DSRF Supports Fast-Tracking of Canada Disability Benefit Act

The Down Syndrome Resource Foundation is pleased to join more than 75 other Canadian disability organizations as a signatory to the following letter in support of the fast-tracking of Bill C-22, the Canada Disability Benefit Act.

June 13, 2022

The Honourable Mark Holland, MP
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

John Brassard, MP
House Leader of the Official Opposition
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Alain Therrien, MP
House Leader of the Bloc Québécois
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Peter Julian, MP
House Leader of the NDP
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear House Leaders:

We are writing to you today as a collective of stakeholder organizations to urge you to work together to bring Bill C-22, the Canada Disability Benefit Act, back for second reading before the House of Commons rises for the summer break.

As you know, Bill C-22 has all-party support after the House delivered unanimous consent for MP Bonita Zarrillo’s (Port Moody-Coquitlam) May 10, 2022 motion for the government to bring forward the Canada Disability Benefit. Additionally, the April 28, 2022 report from the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities demonstrated a desire for this legislation to be speedily brought forward for the Committee’s review and study.

Most importantly, the urgent income insecurity and affordability crisis facing millions of people with disabilities in Canada coupled with the high inflation especially affecting the basic goods makes bringing this legislation back for second reading a critical and time- sensitive priority. The bill’s second reading will be a milestone event that will enable C- 22 to quickly move forward to its assigned Standing Committee and the remainder of the legislative process that follows.

We recognize that there are multiple legislative priorities and approximately 10 sitting days left before the House of Commons adjourns for the summer break. However, people with disabilities waited almost a year for the legislation to be re-introduced after its predecessor bill died on the Order Paper when Parliament dissolved for the 2021 general election. Our community simply cannot wait as another season passes by, not knowing whether our federal representatives will deliver on their support for the dignity and financial security of all people living with disabilities in Canada.

We would appreciate the favour of your reply with all possible haste.


Disability Without Poverty – Rabia Khedr, National Director

Independent Living Canada – E. Anne MacRae, National Executive Director

L’Arche Canada – Louis Pilotte, Executive Director

March of Dimes Canada – Len Baker, President & CEO

Plan Institute – Stephanie Debisschop, Executive Director

Community Food Centres Canada – Nick Saul, CEO

Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) – Rebecca Pauls, Executive Director

Finautonome – Guillaume Parent, Director

Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion – Richard Faucher, Co-Executive Director

With support from and in collaboration with:

Canadian Labour Congress – Bea Bruske, President

McConnell Foundation/ la Fondation McConnell – Lili-Anna Pereša C.Q., President and CEO/ Présidente directrice générale

United Way Centraide Canada – Dan Clement, President and CEO

Community Foundations of Canada – Andrew Chunilall, CEO

Imagine Canada – Bruce MacDonald, President & CEO

Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS) – Michael Bach, Managing Director

Tamarack Institute – Danya Pastuszek, Co-Chief Executive Officer

Maytree – Elizabeth McIsaac, President

Health Providers Against Poverty – Dr. Talveer Mandur and Dr. Maggie Hulbert, Co- Chairs

Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship – Tim Stainton and Rachelle Hole, Directors

Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) – Maureen Haan, President and CEO

Prosper Canada – Elizabeth Mulholland, CEO

ABLE2 – Heather Lacey, Executive Director

Accessibility For All – Meenu Sikand, CEO

Accessible Housing Network – Kate Chung, Co-chair

Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians – Marcia Yale, National President

ATI Foundation – Selvamanikam Bhrapakaran, President

Avana Capital Corporation – Alan Broadbent, Chair

BC Complex Kids Society – Brenda Lenahan, Founder/ Director

BC People First Society – Dara Watson, President

BC Poverty Reduction Coalition – Rowan Burdge, Provincial Director

BGC Canada – Owen Charters, President & CEO

Brain Injury Canada – Michelle McDonald, Executive Director

Bridges to Belonging – Donnamarie Dunk, Executive Director

Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance – Jonathan Lai, Executive Director

Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence – James Janeiro, Director of Policy and Government Relations

Canadian Down Syndrome Society – Laura LaChance, Executive Director

Canadian Paraplegic Association Nova Scotia – Nancy Beaton, Executive Director

Christian Horizons – Janet Noel-Annable, Chief Executive Officer

CNIB – Angela Bonfanti, Acting President and CEO

Community Living Society – Janice Barr, Chief Executive Officer

Curiko – Janey Roh, Director

Daily Bread Food Bank, Toronto – Diane Dyson, Interim VP Research & Advocacy

DEEN Support Services – Omar Mansour, Chair

Disability Alliance BC – Helaine Boyd, Executive Director

Disability Pride Alberta Foundation – Andrea van Vugt, President

Down Syndrome Resource Foundation – Wayne Leslie, Chief Executive Officer

Every Canadian Counts – Dr. William Cowie, Executive Director

Extend-a-Family Waterloo Region – Allan Mills, Executive Director

Family Support Institute of BC – Angela Clancy, Executive Director

First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society – Adrienne Montani, Executive Director

Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet – Lorraine Green and Carole Holmes, Co-Chairs

Inclusion Alberta – Trish Bowman, Chief Executive Officer

Inclusion BC – Karla Verschoor, Executive Director

Inclusion Langley Society – Daniel Collins, Chief Executive Officer

Inclusion Press – Jack Pearpoint and Lynda Kahn, Co-Directors

Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) – Melinda Ferslisi, Executive Director

Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security – Sarah Stern, Leader

Momentum – Jeff Loomis, Executive Director

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada – Benjamin Davis, Senior Vice-President,

Mission Network for the Advancement of Black Communities – Amanuel Melles, Executive Director

ODSP Action Coalition – Kyle Vose, Agency Co-Chair

Ontario Disability Coalition – Sherry Caldwell, Executive Director

Partners for Planning – Jeff Dobbin, Executive Director

PLAN Calgary – Dawn Leonard, Executive Director

posAbilities Association of British Columbia – Fernando Coelho, Chief Executive Officer

Poverty Free Halton – Maureen Weinberger, Chair

Race & Disability Canada – Rafia Haniff-Cleofas, Chair

Rick Hansen Foundation – Doramy Ehling, CEO

SEED Winnipeg Inc. – Louise Simbandumwe and Carinna D’Abramo Rosales, Co- Director

Single Mothers’ Alliance – Viveca Ellis, Executive Director

Skills Society: Supporting the Citizenship of people with disabilities – Ben Weinlick, Executive Director

Spectrum Society for Community Living – Ernie Baatz, Executive Director

Spinal Cord Injury BC – Edward Milligan, Chair

Spinal Cord Injury Canada – Bill Adair, Executive Director

Spinal Cord Injury Manitoba – Dan Joanisse, Interim Executive Director

Spinal Cord Injury PEI – Glen Flood, Executive Director

Spinal Cord Injury Saskatchewan – Launel J. Scott, Executive Director

The New Brunswick Coalition of Persons with Disabilities/ La Coalition des Personnes Handicapées du Nouveau Brunswick – Shelley Petit, Chairperson

Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group – Eugene Lefrancois, President

UNITI – Doug Tennant, CEO

Vela Canada – Kim Thomas and Caitlin Goodsell, Co-Executive Directors

Voice of Albertans with Disabilities – Margot Brunner, Executive Director

Women of Halton Action Movement – Steering Committee


The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister

The Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister

The Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Kevin Murphy, Director of Policy (Disability Issues), Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Hon. Candice Bergen, Interim Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

Yves-François Blanchet, Chef du Bloc Québécois

Jagmeet Singh – Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada

Brenda Shanahan, Caucus Chair, Liberal Party of Canada

Scott Reid, Caucus Chair, Conservative Party of Canada

Marie-Hélène Gaudreau, Présidente du caucus, Bloc Québécois

Jenny Kwan, Caucus Chair, New Democratic Party of Canada

Stephanie Kusie, Critic for Disability Inclusion, Conservative Party of Canada

Louise Chabot, Députée, personnes handicapées, Bloc Québécois

Bonita Zarrillo, Critic, Disability Inclusion, New Democratic Party of Canada

Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities: Robert J. Morrissey, MP Chad Collins, MP Michael Coteau, MP Marc Dalton, MP Marilyn Gladu, MP Ron Liepert, MP Wayne Long, MP Soraya Martinez Ferrada, MP Tony Van Bynen, MP

Mike Morrice, MP