1,000 signatures reached
To: Prime Minister and MPs
Provide a liveable income for all Canadians with Disabilities
Dear Prime Minister and Canadian MPs,
We are calling on the federal government to provide a permanent monthly top-up to Canadians with disabilities currently living below the poverty line. We are requesting that the federal government meet the standards lined out in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, most notably under:
Article 28: Adequate standard of living and social protection.
Per the report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities on her visit in April 2019, Canada was not meeting its obligations to the UN in terms of adequate treatment of disabled citizens.
-This financial assistance must be given to all Canadians with disabilities regardless of whether sources of income are federal, provincial/territorial or work-related.
-It must not interfere with any medical/dental or other benefits currently in place.
-These funds must also not be subject to clawback or garnishing through provincial/territorial or federal programs already in place.
Why is this important?
Currently, the majority of Canadians with disabilities are living 30-40% below the poverty line, and find themselves making hard choices every month between paying for food, bills, transportation or paying for medications that are not covered. Over the last two decades, despite the rate of inflation, the programs meant to assist people with disabilities have not kept up leaving them to struggle more and more each year to make ends meet. Imagine having to decide whether you can afford personal hygiene products or not, or if you can afford soap to wash yourself or if you can afford cleaning products? These are just a few of the decisions faced every day by those with disabilities.
Most Canadians with disabilities are lucky if they get a singular meal every day, that being with the assistance of food banks and other social programs which often cant provide for special dietary needs. None of these services are able to keep up with actual demand, despite large sums of money doled out by federal and provincial governments, especially now with many other Canadians facing financial hardships.
With a lack of affordable housing and skyrocketing rental rates, many Canadians with disabilities are finding themselves having to give up their independence and consider cohabitating, or are finding themselves living in rentals that are often derelict with landlords and management that do not maintain the units or premises. Many are also facing discrimination when searching for rentals, being met with ads that state that those on specific provincial programs need not apply, or outright telling applicants that they don't rent to those on provincial programs.
People living with disabilities need proper financial and social supports to ensure the best quality of life possible despite their disability. Living so far below the poverty line often means that people with disabilities end up with chronic illness, added mental health issues that would have not otherwise impacted their lives had they been in a position to afford healthy meals without sacrificing possible treatments and vice-versa.
By providing an income nearer to the poverty line, Canadians with disabilities would be in a position to help themselves, rather than rely on already heavily burdened services, would allow then to ensure adequate living arrangements, as well as participate in society to an extent only dreamed of.
Giving Canadians with disabilities financial assistance won't only benefit them, but will also benefit the economy, as finances will be injected directly back into circulation on basic necessities. This has already been proven through the CCB. For every 1$ disbursed through the program has translated to 1.97$ contributed to the GPD.
Canadians with disabilities deserve better, deserve to live rather than try to survive and in a first world country such as ours, legislated poverty imposed on those with disabilities should not exist.