FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2018
 
Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy Promising for
People with an Intellectual Disability
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TORONTO, ON - The Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) welcomes the release of Opportunity for All - Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy and its significant focus on social inclusion and the tremendous potential it appears to offer persons with an intellectual disability. 

CACL looks forward to the implementation of the Strategy and to working with the Government of Canada over the coming months and years. It is critical for government infrastructure to maximize the effectiveness of its investment. As the Poverty Reduction Strategy and its various initiatives unfold, we encourage the Government of Canada to keep the lived experience of people who have an intellectual disability in mind and included. 

"Persistent poverty remains, and it can only be addressed by both income and disability-related supports," said Joy Bacon, President of CACL. 

Some indicators of an approach inclusive of persons with an intellectual disability could include - but are not limited to - representatives from the intellectual disability community on the advisory council, up-to-date data on persons with a disability within the Strategy's Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+), and the inclusion of current out-of-pocket expenses that persons with a disability spend to be added to Canada's Official Poverty Line calculation known as the Market Basket Measure. CACL is pleased to see that the Canada Income Survey will be designed to be able to report on income and disability. We strongly recommend that sufficient data be collected to be able to track progress by type and range of disability. 

In addition, CACL hopes that the Government of Canada takes leadership with its provincial and territorial partners to ensure that Canada's first national Poverty Reduction Strategy is implemented to its fullest potential. 

"It is critical to know we are making a difference. CACL remains committed to exploring and advancing conversations about the unmet needs for income support for persons with an intellectual disability," said Krista Carr, Executive Vice-President of CACL. 

CACL welcomes the focus of the strategy on inclusion and looks forward to working with the Government of Canada. We also echo Mile Corak's, Economist in Residence at Employment and Social Development Canada, forward in the Strategy that, "Credit is due, not when budgets are spent, but when outcomes we care about are efficiently and effectively achieved." 

CACL is composed of ten provincial and three territorial associations, with over 400 local associations spread across the country and more than 40,000 members. CACL leads the way in helping Canadians build an inclusive Canada by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone can belong.

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Media Contact: Agata Zieba, Senior Communications Officer, CACL, azieba@cacl.ca.

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