Federal Budget Sends Strong Message for an Inclusive Canada Accessible to People with Disabilities
The 2016 Federal Budgetcommits investment in a number of areas that signals this government's commitment to an inclusive and accessible Canada. The budget includes:
A revamped Canada Child Benefit, including an overall increase for low and middle-income families with children with significant disabilities.
Commitment of $500 million to a National Framework for Early Learning and Child Care. CACL urges that the principle of inclusive early learning and child care be firmly embedded in this framework, and that organizations representing children with disabilities and their families be actively engaged in the development of the National Framework.
An immediate investment of an additional 165.4 million in the Youth Employment Strategy, with a particular focus on Indigenous youth and youth with disabilities, and transition into employment. Many innovations, including the Ready Willing and Able and Worktopia initiatives supporting youth with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder, are excellent platforms to build upon.
Establishment of a Prime Minister's Youth Council. CACL hopes this will include youth with an intellectual disability, in order to bring the unique perspective, experience and talents of this community of youth.
Increase in the Canada Student Grants. CACL hopes this will be designed to ensure youth with intellectual disabilities can transition to post-secondary education; access which is proving to result in employment outcomes of 80% for those able to access and complete post-secondary training and education. More attention will be needed to ensure access, participation, completion and successful transition to employment for people with intellectual disabilities.
A $2 million commitment to financing engagement of people with disabilities and their organizations in the development of a Canadians with Disabilities Act.
A commitment of almost $1.5 billion over the next two fiscal years to affordable housing and addressing homelessness, and the development of a National Housing Strategy. CACL urges that the federal government ensure these investments - unlike many prior investments - are dedicated to ensuring people with disabilities access the housing market, and are not invested in congregate, institutional model housing.
Joy Bacon, President of the Canadian Association for Community Living, said: "This Budget signals the new government's commitment to deliver on platform promises. There are immense opportunities to advance real inclusion for people with intellectual and other disabilities - in early learning, housing access, post-secondary education and employment, and investments for Indigenous communities, which could have very positive impact on Indigenous persons with disabilities."
CACL Executive Vice-President, Michael Bach comments: "We congratulate the federal government on its vision and urge that an inclusion and disability lens be brought to the various national strategies anticipated. This budget could help us all turn a corner, but only if people with disabilities, their families, and their representative organizations are fully engaged in the development process."
For more information please contact Michael Bach at (416) 209-7942 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadian Association for Community Living
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