Posted on September 15, 2021
ACORN Votes 2021: Disability Justice
People with disabilities live in deep poverty. The current social assistance programs fail to provide a life with dignity. In fact, they are pushing people into poverty. In most cases, the social assistance rates have not changed for years despite the fact that the living costs have risen exponentially. Moreover, the pandemic has made the situation worse with escalating costs and no additional support.
ACORN's Disability Justice Platform
ACORN is calling for a federal disability benefit that is no less than $2,000 per month. This benefit should not replace the existing provincial programs.
- Provide a new federal disability benefit. Make it a legislated priority to remove barriers for people living with disabilities by upholding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and strengthening the Accessibility Act to cover all federal agencies equally, with the power to make and enforce accessibility standards in a timely manner.
- Improve EI for Canadians facing serious illness by extending sickness benefits to 50 weeks of coverage and creating a pilot project to allow workers with episodic disabilities to access benefits as they need them.
- In the longer term, build a basic guaranteed livable income for all Canadians.
- Implement the Disability Inclusion Action Plan, in consultation with the disability community.
- Re-introduce and implement the Canada Disability Benefit Act, which will create a direct monthly payment for low-income Canadians with disabilities ages 18-64.
- Develop and implement an employment strategy focused on supports for workers and employers, creating inclusive and welcoming workplaces, and building business disability confidence.
- Commit to making permanent funding to support services that ensure equitable access to reading and other published works for Canadians with print disabilities so that more Canadians are able to fully participate in these activities.
- Implement the Accessible Canada Act and harmonize accessibility standards across Canada.
- Reduce the number of hours required to qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and the Registered Disability Savings Plan from 14 to 10 hours per week.
- Overhaul the complex array of disability supports and benefits. Work with the provinces to ensure that federal programs are designed to work with provincial programs to achieve this result.