"As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected
and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever
~Clarence Darrow

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Press Release - 2011 Federal Budget Recognizes More Needed for People with Disabilities and Families


June 6, 2011, Toronto – ON. The Federal Budget tabled today before the House of Commons recognizes that more needs to be done to support people with disabilities and their families. CACL’s President Bendina Miller welcomed the budget measures and expressed: “Today’s budget takes modest steps to address the needs of people with disabilities and their families. It recognizes that: families and caregivers are at the core of supports to persons with disabilities and that more needs to be done to support them in this role; improvements are needed to the RDSP to ensure people with intellectual disabilities are able to enjoy equal benefit of the savings mechanism without jeopardizing their legal capacity; and, that new investments are needed to address the long-standing exclusion of people with intellectual disabilities from the labour market.”

CACL is encouraged by the inclusion of disability issues in this Federal Budget and is hopeful these new investments are first steps in developing a more comprehensive national disability strategy. In particular, the Federal Budget commits to:

  • Enhanced support for families and caregivers through:
o a new Family Caregiver Tax Credit, a 15-per-cent non-refundable credit on  an amount of $2,000
o removing the limit on the amount of eligible expenses that caregivers can claim under the MedicalExpense Tax Credit
o a Children’s Arts Tax credit – with an enhanced component for children eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.

  • Improving Labour Market Outcomes
o A $3billion investment over 6 years for new Labour Market Agreements to address gaps and improve labour market outcomes for under-represented groups.

  • Improving the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) by:
o Increasing withdrawal flexibility for those with shortened life expectancies.
o Conducting a 3-year review to address issues raised by Canadians with disabilities and their families including a specific recognition of contract/legal capacity issues some adults with disabilities have encountered in trying to open and manage a RDSP.

“Employment is a major issue for people with intellectual disabilities. Something isn’t right when employment rates for working-age adults with intellectual disabilities are one-third of the employment rate of people without disabilities and when the average income for working age adults with intellectual disabilities who are working is less than half of that of Canadians without a disability. Canada needs to take a serious look at how to improve inclusive labour market outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities. This Budget is one step in that direction.” said CACL Executive Vice President, Michael Bach. “CACL looks forward to working in partnership with the Government of Canada in realizing these new investments and identifying the next steps to build strategically on these investments.”

About the Canadian Association for Community Living

The Canadian Association for Community Living is a Canada-wide association of family members and others working to advance the human rights and inclusion of persons of all ages who have an intellectual disability. CACL’s federation is comprised of 10 provincial and three territorial associations, 420 local associations and over 40,000 members.

For more information, please contact:
Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President, 416.209.7942, mbach@cacl.ca

Anna MacQuarrie
Director, Policy and Programs
Canadian Association for Community Living
Kinsmen Building, York University
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

Tel: 416-661-9611 ext 204
Fax: 416-661-5701

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