15 Asks For Election 2021

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

A red question mark made up of maple leaves

There are many issues that disability advocates and organizations want to see addressed

By Spencer van Vloten

BC Disability

September 3rd, 2021

With the 44th federal election coming up on September 20th, we spoke with 15 disability advocates and organizations about their top priorities for candidates to address. The responses highlight some of the biggest gaps for Canadians with disabilities.

The question: What is the #1 issue you want the election candidates to address?

Cathy McMillan, Dyslexia BC

I would ask them when they plan on adding the recommendations by the federal Disability Advisory Committee to improve the disability tax credit so that people have an easier time applying and more people get approved. This didn't happen in the summer under Bill C-30.

People with learning disabilities get told all the time that they can't even apply by doctors and psychologists. It's super frustrating. Having severe dyslexia makes it hard to do your taxes, bank, shop, travel, write tests (including driving tests), it's not just in school.

Disability Alliance BC

Our #1 priority for the 2021 federal election is for the government to development and implement the Canada Disability Benefit and eliminate disability poverty.

Heather McCain, Creating Accessible Neighbourhoods

30-35% of Indigenous people self-identify as having a disability, which is higher than the non-Indigenous population at 25%. They have higher rates of mental health issues. This is, in part, due to the ongoing genocide that Canada's committing.

I want the government to fund the search of Indigenous residential schools, day schools, and hospitals and fund bands and families being able to have ceremonies and/or burial. The government must also fund appropriate mental health care for the ongoing trauma from these discoveries.

Heather standing dressed in a blue coat, smiling while holding her walker.

Heather McCain wants to see far more done to address the trauma inflicted on Indigenous persons (photo: Heather McCain)

The mental health care must be directed by Indigenous people and be culturally appropriate. It should not be a fly-in plan that's all flash and no substance, it must be responsive and ongoing. The access to funding shouldn't be a fight or overly bureaucratic (creating more trauma).

I obviously have a ton of other disability related issues I’d love to address (climate change being high on the list - how it disproportionately affects those in poverty, particularly disabilities, for example) but the Canadian government needs to prioritize Indigenous people and the mental health issues caused and perpetuated by colonialism.

Jennifer Burgmann, A Day in the Life of a PWD (Person with a Disability)

It's really important to address poverty in this country with regards to people with disabilities and seniors.

I was surprised to see the federal government decide the basic standard of living should be $2000 a month when disabled and seniors aren't getting anywh