June 21, 2023 – Following its unanimous passage in the House of Commons earlier this year, Bill C-22 was accepted in the Senate of Canada yesterday evening and is expected to receive Royal Assent imminently. After years of hard work by many in Canada’s disability community, government, and the charitable, not-for-profit, and health sectors, this is an historic moment for people with disabilities in Canada.
Bill C-22 is landmark legislation that will provide a cash benefit to eligible persons living with a disability in our country. Last night’s passage of this Canada Disability Benefit legislation in the Senate and its imminent Royal Assent are cause to celebrate: with more than 6.2 million persons aged 15 and over in Canada who live with a disability – comprising 40% of Canada’s low-income population – a cash benefit for eligible Canadians is needed now more than ever in the face of the current cost-of-living crisis, with soaring inflation and unprecedented costs of groceries, housing, medical equipment, and transportation.
This week’s positive progress on the Canada Disability Benefit was made a reality through extensive collaboration nationwide. Easter Seals Canada wishes to extend its sincere thanks to its colleagues in the disability community across Canada and to all parliamentarians who worked hard to ratify Bill C-22 before Parliament recesses for the summer.
Today, our Easter Seals community from coast to coast celebrates this historic moment.
Tomorrow, work begins on the regulatory phase taking place in the months ahead to solidify the details of the Canada Disability Benefit and ensure its implementation by mid-2024.
“I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Minister Carla Qualtrough, Senator Brent Cotter, and all Members of Parliament and the Senate of Canada who have worked on Bill C-22. As Canada’s largest provider of disability programs and services, Easter Seals recognizes the impact this benefit will have on Canadians with disabilities and their families. We are pleased that the regulatory phase ahead will be collaborative and public. Ensuring the regulations reflect the real need faced by Canadians on the benefit amount, eligibility, and appeals process is critical to the success and optimal impact of the Canada Disability Benefit.”
– Dave Starrett, President and CEO, Easter Seals Canada
About Easter Seals Canada
Easter Seals Canada has been making a difference in the lives of Canadians living with disabilities for over 100 years. The charity provides a wide range of services and programs, including summer camps, adaptive sports and recreation programs designed to empower, foster and create opportunities for people living with disabilities to enjoy a world without limits.