MS Society of Canada launches campaign in support of the Canada Disability Benefit
Campaign follows tabling of legislation to introduce the benefit in June
Toronto, ON (September 21, 2022) – The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Canada today launched a digital advocacy campaign in support of the Canada Disability Benefit, a promise by the federal government to lift Canadians living with disabilities out of poverty.
Through this campaign, Canadians can directly email their Member of Parliament (MP) to urge the federal government to fast-track the Canada Disability Benefit during the fall legislative session. The legislation to create this benefit was introduced in June, but did not have any debate before the summer break. Members of Parliament returned to Ottawa yesterday to begin the fall sitting, which began with the second reading of the Canada Disability Benefit Act. The legislation must go through a committee study, third reading and debate, and then the same process in the Senate before being passed.
“Disabled people who cannot work are legislated into poverty,” said Michelle Hewitt, who has lived with MS for the past 14 years. “Where I live in BC, the maximum amount that someone who does not work can get in provincial supports is $1,358.50 and the poverty line is over $2,000. Disabled people deserve to live with dignity, autonomy, and independence.”
This campaign follows up on a similar initiative that the MS Society launched in March 2022, when the MS Society launched a digital petition in support of the Canada Disability Benefit. Within 24 hours of its launch, the petition had close to 10,000 signatures from all over Canada, signaling the widespread support for the government to introduce this benefit as soon as possible. In May, for MS Awareness Month, MS Society representatives met with more than 60 Parliamentarians to discuss key policy priorities important to the MS community. The meetings emphasized the importance of a quick introduction of the Canada Disability Benefit and ensuring that such a benefit would include people who live with episodic disabilities as defined in the Accessible Canada Act.
The MS Society is committed to ensuring that Canadians impacted by MS can participate fully in all aspects of life. More than 90,000 Canadians live with MS, with 12 Canadians diagnosed every day. MS impacts all Canadians – not just the people who live with MS, but their family, friends, and community. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges faced by people living with MS have only heightened, and the need for information, resources, and support are as urgent and critical as ever. To keep up to date as the bill moves through the legislative process, click here to join our MS supporter network.
About multiple sclerosis and the MS Society of Canada
Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world. On average, 12 Canadians are diagnosed every day. MS is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord). It is considered an episodic disability meaning that the severity and duration of illness and disability can vary and are often followed by periods of wellness. It can also be progressive. Most people are diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 49 and the unpredictable effects of the disease will last for the rest of their lives. The MS Society provides information, support and advocacy to people affected by MS, and funds research to find the cause and cure for the disease, bringing us closer to a world free of MS. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 for more information, to get involved, or to support Canadians affected by MS by making a donation.