This week our food security advocacy is focused on the link between food insecurity and disability. Please see this important petition to fast-track a Canada Disability Benefit for people with disabilities in Canada. The link to sign is highlighted below.
According to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, more than 6 million Canadians aged 15 and over (22% of the population) identify as having a disability, and it is expected actual numbers are likely higher. Only 59% of Canadians with disabilities aged 25 to 64 are employed compared to 80% of Canadians without disabilities. Persons with disabilities earn less than Canadians without disabilities (12% less for those with milder disabilities and 51% less for those with more severe disabilities) and are more likely to live in poverty.
This recent study shows that people with disabilities are at considerably greater risk of food insecurity than others – an outcome partially explained by often interconnected physical and economic barriers and which could be reduced with increased incomes from disability income sources or through a basic income supplement.
Newly-elected MP and Basic Income Now Pledge signer Mike Morrice just introduced a House of Commons Petition to fast track the Canada Disability Benefit, which would “act like a UBI for Canadians with disabilities”.
Petition to the Government of Canada
- Poverty is exhausting and intrudes on all aspects of your daily life;
- For people with disabilities, the added costs of being disabled increase the daily struggles;
- 41 percent of the people living in poverty in Canada have a disability, a disproportionate amount, given that people with disabilities make up 22 percent of the population;
- In a recent survey, 89 percent of Canadians agreed that a Canada Disability Benefit is the right thing to do and that the country should come together to dramatically reduce disability poverty;
- The Canada Disability Benefit is a high priority legacy initiative;
- This benefit will centre the needs of people with disabilities in the country’s pandemic recovery plans, addressing a longstanding gap in Canada’s social safety net while honouring its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and
- All-party support is anticipated for fast action to make Canada the first country to provide a livable income supplement for people with disabilities, as was done for seniors and children.
- We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to place the implementation of the Canada Disability Benefit at the forefront of the political agenda by:
o 1. Fast-tracking the design and implementation of the Canada Disability Benefit; and
o 2. Actively and genuinely involving disabled people every step of the way to work alongside the government to make it happen.
For more information:
[ix] Global News. “The worst is yet to come”. November 27, 2021: https://globalnews.ca/news/7488305/food-bank-use-covid-19-report/
[x] International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1976: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/cescr.aspx