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Inclusion Canada Newsletter

What we know about the Canada Disability Benefit


On November 3, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented the Fall Economic Statement in Parliament. Inclusion Canada and our disability community allies hoped the government would outline their financial commitment and timeline to implement the Canada Disability Benefit (CDB). We wrote to the Finance Minister as well.


Click here to read our letter.


Unfortunately, there was no mention of the CDB.


We are increasingly alarmed by the federal government's silence on the benefit status. The NDP also has some power in that they could incorporate the funding and completion of the CDB into it's Supply and Confidence Agreement with the government to add pressure. So far, we have heard nothing.


Inclusion Canada continues to actively engage with the government and parliament on the CDB. On November 14, Executive Director of Knowledge Mobilization & Transformation, Jeff Ferguson, appeared before the Standing Committee on Finance during it's pre-budget hearings. He outlined our vision for the funding of the benefit and called on the Finance Committee to "include a strong and unequivocal statement on the necessity of adequately funding the CDB."



Advancing Inclusion on Bill C-35 - An Act respecting early learning and child care in Canada


Inclusion Canada strongly believes that early learning and child care should be fully inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities. That's why we have been fighting for changes to Bill C-35 that would enshrine the full inclusion of people with disabilities in a nation-wide early learning and child care system.


As it stands, the bill does not contain any specific commitments to the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. Although the Senate of Canada Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (SOCI), recognized our concerns in it's Observation Report, they failed to pass any amendments that would address the necessary changes.


In a recent appearance before the Senate of Canada Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Inclusion Canada Executive Vice President Krista Carr urged Senators to consider amendments. We reiterated those concerns in a letter last week to all Senators - however, these concerns have gone unheeded.


Bill C-35 is now at Third Reading in the Senate. If they do not amend the legislation at this stage, it will pass into law. In a last-ditch effort, our President, Robin Acton, wrote a letter urging Senators to hear a "mother's plea" to strongly consider three proposed amendments.


Click here read the letter.



Inclusion Canada in Action


·    From November 6-8, Executive Vice President Krista Carr attended the Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence's Caregiving Summit. The annual event brings together lived experience experts, leaders, policymakers, and researchers to build the foundation of a national strategy. At the event, Krista presented on the importance of inclusive housing.


·    On November 14, Executive Director of Knowledge Mobilization and Transformation, Jeff Ferguson, appeared as a witness at the Standing Committee on Finance's pre-budget consultation in advance of the 2024 federal budget to advocate for the inclusion of the Canada Disability Benefit.


·    On November 16, EVP Krista Carr participated in the Daily Break Food Bank's panel on the Canada Disability Benefit. During the panel, Krista discussed the importance of fully funding the Canada Disability Benefit to address the systemic poverty and income insecurity experienced by people with intellectual disabilities.

·    On November 21, Director of Community Justice & Health Equity, Natalia Hicks, presented at the International Federation on Aging's Adult Vaccination Advocacy Strategy Series. She was invited to discuss Inclusion Canada's contributions to a nationwide discussion on strategies to improve vaccination rates across Canada.

·    From November 29-30, Inclusion Canada co-hosted the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy's Disability & Work Conference in Ottawa, Ontario. The conference brings together stakeholders to discuss inclusive employment practices. This year's theme is "Livelihoods and influencing the future of work for people with disabilities: a focus on rights, and quality of life."


·    On November 28, Inclusion Canada senior leadership joined Indigenous Disability Canada and our other disability ally organizations at our shared workspace in Ottawa to celebrate Indigenous Disability Awareness Month.


Inclusion Canada & People First of Canada Host Showing of Huronia Documentary in Ottawa


On November 22, Inclusion Canada & People First of Canada joined filmmaker Barri Cohen in Ottawa for a private screening of her documentary, Unloved: Huronia's Forgotten Children. The documentary explores her half-brothers' experiences and highlights the systemic abuse and mistreatment of people with intellectual disabilities housed at the institution.


We were pleased to have the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, the Honourable Kamal Khera attend and provide remarks. Robin Acton, President of Inclusion Canada and Dewlyn Lobo, President of People First of Canada also offered opening comments. Mike Lake, MP for Edmonton-Wetaskiwin, was also in attendance. Krista Carr, EVP of Inclusion Canada closed off the evening.


If you haven't watched this documentary, we highly recommend it. Please share it with your friends, family and community connections.


Click here to watch the full documentary




Trish Coupal at 11:46 AM
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