Open Letter to New Brunswick MPs – Re: Bill C-22 – Canada Disability Benefit – Third and Final Reading

Posted in: NBACL News, Press Releases, Uncategorized

Dear New Brunswick Members of Parliament,

I am writing to you today on behalf of the over 2,600 New Brunswick families we support. Inclusion NB, (formerly the New Brunswick Association for Community Living) was formed in 1957 for the purpose of improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and their families. For over 65 years we have advocated for the financial security of persons with disabilities.

We urge you to continue supporting Bill C-22. As you and your parliamentary colleagues prepare to return on January 30th, we ask that you actively support the prioritization of Bill C-22, the Canada Disability Benefit, as a first order of business. We were disappointed that Bill C-22 was not passed by the House of Commons before the holiday break – a missed opportunity to get this done. New Brunswick has one of the highest rates of people with a disability in the country and they are waiting. They cannot wait any longer. Disability poverty has not taken a break and continues to worsen. We need action now.
With the encouraging collaboration and cooperation of all the Members of Parliament who sit on the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA), the disability community was optimistic. The bill has had ample time for debate and consideration in the House and by the HUMA Committee. In fact, there were several constructive amendments passed which have strengthened the bill and added further clarity.

In Canada, more than 70 percent of adults with an intellectual disability live in poverty. Income and financial disability support is being stretched further and further in the current environment. With inflation at its highest level in decades, many disability support amounts haven’t risen with inflation or are lagging behind actual inflation levels. This is pushing people with disabilities further below the poverty line. We are asking for all-party support on this non-partisan issue.

We are urging every New Brunswick Member of Parliament to work in collaboration with their colleagues and House Leaders representing different parties to finish this job. Please prioritize this as a first order of business. We cannot afford to take a risk to delay this foundational legislation and have it linger on the Order Paper or with prolonged debate or further amendments. People with disabilities are counting on our elected officials to do what is necessary to end disability poverty.

We are urging you to prioritize and fast-track Bill C-22 at Third Reading and vote in favour so it can get to the Senate as quickly as possible, become law and enable the regulatory process to get started. This is a historic opportunity that we cannot miss.

Thank you for your support.

Sarah Wagner
Executive Director
800 chemin Hanwell Road, Fredericton (N.-B.) E3B 2R7
Tel/Tél : 506.453.4400 Fax/Téléc: 506.453.4422
Charitable Registration 107768749RR0001

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