Federal benefits will reach 40% of people with disabilities. What about the other 60%?

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2020-06-10 13:54

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Just to put it on the record, because we may or may not be debating it, the draft embargoed bill that we’ve seen is unacceptable to members of the Green Party caucus. My questions will relate largely to those sections that are troublesome.

I’ll start with a question to the honourable minister for disabilities.

I certainly appreciate her work and I know her intentions are the best, but part 3 of this bill allows for the information to be shared so people can get a one-time payment of $600, which is not enough to really deal with the COVID crisis for people with disabilities. It’s clear—and I thank the honourable leader of the New Democratic Party for making this point clearly in question period—it will reach approximately 40% of people with disabilities because of the structure of going through the disability tax credit.

To the honourable minister, are other measures under consideration to reach the rest of the people in Canada with disabilities who need help?

Hon. Carla Qualtrough (Delta)
2020-06-10 13:55

Madam Chair, the disability support payment we are proposing and that we hope to get through the House today complements a whole suite of measures our government has put in place that people with disabilities have access to.

We know that people with disabilities who were precariously employed are now taking advantage of the CERB. Students with disabilities get the student benefit, including a $750-per-month top-up for four months. Families with children with disabilities are getting the CCB payment. Disproportionately, people with disabilities are benefiting from the GST payment. I should talk about the provincial letters that are being delivered to recipients of provincial disability supports.

All around, Madam Chair, we’re trying to get to every citizen with a disability, and this measure fills an important gap.