Kitchener-Centre MP supports call to fast track a Canada Disability Benefit

By Divya Gill

December 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Kitchener Centre MP Mike Morrice is sponsoring a petition to fast track a Canada Disability Benefit to acknowledge the day. With over 6,200 signatures so far, Morrice says it also calls for people living with disabilities to be involved in the creation and implementation to ensure it makes sense for them.

“We all have a voice, and together we can influence change,” said Morrice. “This is an important conversation for us to be having, especially today … What kind of country, what kind of community do we want to live in?”

A media statement said the number of homeless Canadians living with a disability or mental illness is 45 per cent of the overall homeless population. MP Morrice said it is crucial to have these conversations.

“To advocate this government that there is a particular population across the country who have been calling out for years and to ensuring people with disability have a fully independent and dignified life.”

The petition will be presented in the House of Commons, and the government has 45 days to provide an official response. If approved, the benefit would make Canada the first country to provide a livable income supplement for people with disabilities.

“I have had many conversations over the years when knocking on doors of our community, and some of the most profound and difficult it was devastating. Hearing about the ways and implications of when governments let a person down the devastating condition in which folks in our community living with disability have to live.” said Morrice.

The petition was drafted by Disability Without Poverty. It hopes to address a longstanding gap in Canada's social safety net.

Canadians have until January 11 to sign the petition.

“By signing on, you will make it that much more compelling when I share this petition in the House of Commons. I will be able to speak to the thousands and thousands of people who are looking to have their voices heard, and that will build on the advocacy all the more.”

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