Question Period: Canada Disability Benefit

By: The Hon. Andrew Cardozo

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CN Tower, Toronto

Hon. Andrew Cardozo: My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate.

I was initially pleased to see the Canada disability benefit plan announced in the budget pursuant to the bill that was passed by Parliament and which received Royal Assent as far back as June 2022-23. Last week, I talked about Jeffrey, who was waiting for this to go into effect as soon as possible.

I was hoping there was a typo in the budget yesterday that said it would not go into effect until July 2025. I suppose there was not.

I want to add my voice to that of Senator Petitclerc, who raised this question a few minutes ago. I’m asking whether the government would reconsider and change this to July 2024. It has already been a year since the law was passed. Canadians with disabilities needed this assistance a year ago, in 2023.

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question. I have not been advised that there is any willingness to change the date that it comes into force. Again, I do understand the disappointment. The fact remains that the government is putting forward the disability benefits in the context of an overall budget which is seeking to assist Canadians, as it does in many respects, while remaining fiscally responsible.

In that regard, as I said, the issues of maximum income thresholds, phase-out rates and all other important elements of design will be developed in close consultation with those in the disability community.

Senator Cardozo: Senator Gold, I hope you can still pass on the message to the government that, indeed, many Canadians would like to see this go into effect a lot sooner.

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