Open Letter to Local Members of Parliament (May 29, 2023)

Open Letter to Local Members of Parliament (May 29, 2023)

An Open Letter to Local Members of Parliament regarding the Canadian Disability Benefit


A “net living income” for everyone in our community

May 29, 2023 –  Your United Way is committed to advocating for a “net living income” for everyone in our community. One of the ways we do this is by promoting a living wage for workers; but it also means promoting social benefits that guarantee sufficient income to afford a decent standard of living for those who cannot work full time. 

As May 28-June 3 is “National AccessAbility Week”, I am writing to you today regarding Bill C-22: An Act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada Disability Benefit and making a consequential amendment to the Income Tax Act. 

Persons with disabilities are less likely to be employed than those without disabilities and as the severity of a disability increases, the likelihood of an individual being employed decreases. Consequently, persons with more severe disabilities are significantly more at risk to experience poverty than those without disabilities or even those living with mild disabilities. ( 

I urge you to do all that you can do to make Bill C-22 law this spring and to sufficiently fund the Canada Disability Benefit so that those living with a disability can experience a decent standard of life. This piece of legislation is a critical step towards building a society where everyone can transition from poverty to possibility with dignity.  

I would further request that you ensure that people with disabilities are engaged in the design and roll-out of the benefit in their province/territory; relying on the expertise of those with lived experience is critical to ensuring that these types of initiatives succeed.  

I am happy to discuss this topic further with you at your convenience. 

Bria n Shelley
Brian Shelley
Chief Executive & Philanthropy Officer
United Way Simcoe Muskoka


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