TORONTO, ON – The Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) applauds members of the House of Commons for passing the long-awaited Bill C-22 (Canada Disability Benefit). The Bill will now return to the Senate for final review, with passage of Bill C-22 now possible in the coming weeks before the summer recess. The House retained five Senate amendments added to the Bill in mid-May, including a crucial amendment enshrining the right of appeal within the text of the Bill.
“It is exceptionally important that people with disabilities who live in poverty have an easy-to-access appeal mechanism if they are denied the Canada Disability Benefit,” says Melinda Ferlisi, Executive Director of ISAC. “We are thrilled to see that both the Senate and the House agree and have voted to pass the Bill with this and other important amendments which support broader access to justice.”
In April, Adrian Merdzan, Staff Lawyer at ISAC, appeared at the Senate SOCI Committee urging Senators to include language on an appeals mechanism in the Bill, as well as several other important amendments. Though the Senate did not include all of the amendments advocated for by ISAC, the Senate did add six amendments that strengthened the protections found in the Bill.
On Wednesday, June 14, the House accepted five of the six Senate amendments to C-22, including: codified provisions outlining a benefit appeals process; greater emphasis and acknowledgement of the additional costs of living, intersectional conditions, and related systemic barriers facing people with disabilities; and stronger implementation timelines.
“The additions to the Bill signal a major win for people with disabilities who have been waiting for movement on the Canada Disability Benefit for years,” said Merdzan. “We will continue to advocate for broad, low-barrier access to the Canada Disability Benefit, and look forward to making sure the regulations of the Bill account for the lived reality of people with disabilities who live in poverty.”
For more information, contact:
Claudia Calabro, Communications Specialist / Organizer, ISAC
email@example.com // Cell: 437-245-9457