2020 was some year for our Canadian disability community.
COVID-19 taught us a lot about the country we call home. We faced triage protocols that bumped us to the back of the line if emergency beds were full. We were the last to get any financial assistance. When we did, the one-time payment of $600 was well-below what any other Canadian received. Many of us living in the community still wait to get our vaccine. With all of this disappointment, the Government of Canada pushed through Bill C-7, changes to the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) legislation. This new change to the law enables anyone with a disability to choose death whenever they want.
But we are a resilient bunch, and we know that from adversity comes strength. We live it every day.
Throughout this dark year, the one spark of light came from the Speech from the Throne. The Government of Canada announced a new Disability Strategy. One of the key points was their intention to create a Canadian Disability Benefit similar to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors.
After hearing the announcement, many people with disabilities and allies began working together to fan the flames. Getting informed. Digging up resources. We are committed to getting the Canadian Disability Benefit.
But we need more people. There is 22% of the Canadian population between the ages of 15-64 living with a disability. One-third of people who live in poverty are people with disabilities.
To keep this fire alive, we need you. Join us.
It is the dawn of a new day.
“You can blow out a candle, but you can’t blow out a fire. Once the flames begin to catch, the wind will blow it higher.” – Biko by Peter Gabriel.