For Immediate Release
April 20, 2021

OTTAWA, ON – People with intellectual disabilities and their families had high hopes for Federal Budget 2021. In last year’s Throne Speech, the government committed to address significant gaps in our social infrastructure by investing in disability inclusion across the lifespan. We were pleased to see that some investments in disability have been made, however, more still needs to be done to ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind in Canada’s economic future and COVID-19 recovery strategy.  

“People with intellectual disabilities and their families have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Krista Carr, Executive Vice President of Inclusion Canada, “we cannot build back better unless we ensure Canadians with disabilities and their families are not left behind.”

Access to inclusive, affordable, quality childcare is a priority for the families of people with intellectual disabilities. Following the budget announcement, Minister Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, assured that Canada’s childcare plan will be inclusive of children with disabilities. We eagerly await further clarifications on the specifics in the days ahead.  

During the September 2020 Speech from the Throne, the government committed to creating a Canadian Disability Benefit, better access to government disability programs (e.g. the Disability Tax Credit), and building a robust employment strategy for people with disabilities.  

We are pleased to see commitments to consultations on a Canada Disability Benefit and to broaden eligibility criteria for the Disability Tax credit. However, urgent action is needed on these commitments to respond to the high levels of poverty and economic insecurity faced by people with disabilities and their families.  

“People with disabilities are in desperate need of support now,” says Robin Acton, President of Inclusion Canada. “The pandemic has shone a bright light on the inequities faced by people with intellectual disabilities and their families.  Urgent action to address these inequities is needed.” 

Federal Budget 2021 was an opportunity to lay an inclusive foundation for pandemic recovery. While there are some promising elements in the budget, more needs to be done to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities and their families are not left behind. 

Federal Budget 2021 is available to the public on the Government of Canada website.

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Media Contact: Marc Muschler, Senior Communications Officer, Inclusion Canada,

Inclusion Canada is a national federation of 13 provincial-territorial associations and over 300 local associations working to advance the full inclusion and human rights of people with an intellectual disability and their families. We lead the way in building an inclusive Canada by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone belongs