Historic law will help realize the rights of people with disabilities

June 26, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

Following Bill C-22 receiving Royal Assent on June 22, 2023, Charlotte-Anne Malischewski, Interim Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues the following statement:

The Commission is pleased that the Canada Disability Benefit Act (Bill C-22), is now law. The Commission recognizes and celebrates the efforts of people with disabilities, their advocates, and Parliamentarians for championing this historic law that will help realize the rights of people with disabilities.

We are especially pleased to see that the Act recognizes the intersectional needs of disadvantaged groups, the additional costs of living with a disability, and Canada’s international human rights obligations concerning disability rights.

The Canada Disability Benefit Act has the potential to provide much needed financial security to people with disabilities who are living in poverty by providing a regular income supplement. People with disabilities, their families, and their advocates have told the Commission countless times that this support is desperately needed.

This kind of financial support is vital to ensuring that everyone can live with dignity and independence. It ensures people can participate in their community and it improves their overall standard of living including access to adequate housing and healthcare services.

When it comes to implementing this new law, intersectionality must be at the crux of policy-making practices to ensure people of diverse identities have a voice. The Commission encourages the government to ensure that people with disabilities of all backgrounds and identities are included as the regulations are developed.

While the Commission welcomes this monumental step forward, it is vital that this law and its regulations are implemented as quickly as possible. People with disabilities in Canada have waited long enough. We cannot lose momentum. For some people with disabilities, this is a matter of life and death.

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