Erin O’Toole pledged more financial supports for disabled Canadians and their families by doubling the disability supplement in the Canada Workers Benefit and reducing the number of hours needed to qualify for the disability tax credit.
O’Toole said a conservative government would increase the disability supplement in the Canada Workers Benefit from $713 to $1,500 and reduce the number of hours needed in order to qualify for the disability tax credit and Registered Disability Savings Plan from 14 to 10 hours per week.
“Too often when someone on disability benefits pursues work, it costs them in benefit cuts and higher taxes,” he said. “Our system of federal and provincial benefits should not punish work and make people poorer for choosing to work. We need to empower Canadians with disabilities to pursue their own meaningful participation in the workforce.”
The Conservative Party leader made the announcement at a campaign stop in Edmonton Saturday morning at the Winnifred Stewart Association, an organization focused on building supports for individuals with developmental disabilities.
O’Toole also promised an additional $80 million per year investment into the enabling accessibility fund to grant additional support for small business and community-led project improving accessibility and programs supporting Canadians with disabilities entrance into the workforce.
“The disability community has been advocating for these improvements for years, but their demands have too often been met with lip service from the Trudeau government rather than concrete action,” O’Toole added. “Conservatives are prepared to put our money where our mouth is and provide real, immediate funding to these programs to help Canadians with disabilities.”
While the Conservative platform is yet to be fully costed, O’Toole said the proposed changes would not only increase the amount of money sent to families or people with disabilities but also help more people qualify for federal programs.
“I want more families to qualify for the disability tax credit,” O’Toole added. “After COVID-19 we have to help some of the Canadians that are hurting the most.”
The Conservative leader said he would work collaboratively with provinces and territories to ensure disability benefits offered help support Canadians and their ability to enter the workforce.
“Together, we will secure the future for Canadians with disabilities and their families,” he said.
The Liberals promised to extend disability supports under the federal student loans program in their April budget.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh campaigned in Toronto on Saturday. He has previously made general commitments to give Canadians living with a disability a guaranteed livable income.