KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Readers of the Nova Scotia Advocate may remember my recent open letter to the Prime Minister, Dear Prime Minister, punishing poor people doesn’t solve anything, about the plan to punish people who knowingly received CERB payments while not qualifying.
As well as bringing up the concerns about the CERB in this letter, I also mentioned the one time $600 for persons with disabilities who qualify for the Disability Tax Credit.
The sad news to date is that this bill got shot down by the opposition. As Richard Starr explained, “The Conservatives wanted more time to debate the bill, part of their campaign to resume normal Parliamentary proceedings. The Bloc wanted concessions in other areas and the NDP were opposed to the CERB crackdown.”
I have within the past couple of days heard from some people in the disability community who are concerned about the delay of this one time $600 payment. The Prime Minister said in his June 15th address “we will get this resolved this week”, but nothing has happened so far.
The people I heard from gave me permission to call them Dawn, Jake, Donna, and Joe, not their real names. I have been in touch with these people over the weekend, and just yesterday they asked me to write about why the delay, and why they are concerned.
Although not everybody with a disability qualifies, all four of them are people who do qualify for the Disability Tax Credit.
They also told me that they do not qualify for the CERB. That is because even though they work part time, they earn under $5000 a year at their jobs that supplement their income from income assistance.
They were counting on that $600 to help them offset extra cost they incurred during COVID-19.
We can all agree it is frustrating. First the delay, and now people being left in the dark as to whether or not the one time payment issue has been resolved.
Anyway, on June 15th, 2020 the prime minister did say that it would be resolved, and since then he had not brought up the disability payment in his addresses to the nation and nothing has been reported in the news about whether or not that has been resolved. The people I am talking with in this story believe that parliament is too long winded on other matters.
I asked Any Filmore, the Liberal member of parliament for Halifax.
“This financial support matters and Canadians with disabilities can have confidence that our government will continue to work to find a solution to deliver this supplement,” someone in his office replied in an email.
Let’s keep hoping for the best!
Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.
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