Federal politicians are being urged to work together to help Canadians with disabilities weather the COVID-19 crisis.
This after opposition parties refused Wednesday to give the unanimous consent needed to swiftly pass the government’s latest emergency aid bill.
The bill included provisions to deliver on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s promise of a one-time, tax-free benefit of up to $600 for disabled Canadians.
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That benefit, along with other measures in the bill, are now in limbo.
Jewelles Smith, chair of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, says she’s disappointed that governments have failed to provide emergency help for disabled Canadians.
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Many of them face increased costs due to the pandemic including for grocery delivery, medication dispensing fees and increased home care.
“We urge all parties to work together during this crisis,” Smith said in an email. “People with disabilities continue to experience barriers that are not being recognized.”
6:15Recognizing the unique challenges COVID-19 presents to people with disabilities
Recognizing the unique challenges COVID-19 presents to people with disabilities
The bill also includes a proposed expansion of the wage subsidy program to include more seasonal workers and some additional businesses and proposed penalties for fraudulently claiming the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.