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October 13, 2015

2015 Party Platforms

I should have done this earlier.

If you are interested in the issue of disability, here are excerpts from the Canadian Federal party platforms of 2015 where the word 'disabled' or 'disability' occurs.  

Of course, an interesting and meaningful program that does not mention the word 'disability' might escape notice.  Youth unemployment, affordable housing and various tax credits are of interest, but harder to assign directly to the cause of people with disabilities.  Other words like 'accessible' have other contexts and are not so useful. 

So here are the relevant paragraphs, links to the platforms, and a count of how many times 'disab...' is mentioned.

Notably, both the Liberals and the NDP promise a Canadians with Disabilities Act, but the proof is in the pudding.  The more like Ontario, the less effective.

Liberal - 88 pages, 7 mentions

  • We will more than double the almost 11,000 Canadians who access Skills Link each year. This program helps young Canadians – including Aboriginal and disabled youth – make a more successful transition to the workplace.
  • To eliminate systemic barriers and deliver equality of opportunity to all Canadians living with disabilities, we will consult with provinces, territories, and other stakeholders to introduce a National Disabilities Act.
  • We will re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans, and increase the value of the disability award. We will ensure that every injured veteran has access to financial advice and support so that they can determine the form of compensation that works best for them and their families
  • We will introduce a public safety officer compensation benefit to be paid to the families of fire fighters, police officers, and paramedics killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. This $300,000 benefit will offer a measure of financial security to families who are struggling with permanently changed life circumstances or the loss of a loved one.
  • Canadian families looking for caregivers to help family members with physical or mental disabilities must pay a $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee. We will eliminate that fee.

Conservative - 159 pages, 20 mentions

  • Maintaining programs such as the Opportunities Fund and the Enabling Accessibility Fund to help disabled Canadians participate in the job market. 
  • Expand grants for families with disabled children
  • A re-elected Conservative Government will increase the maximum annual RDSP grant for low- and middle-income families from $3,500 to $4,000. This means that these families will now receive a matching grant of $4 for every $1 contributed, on the first $500 they contribute each year. 
  • We’ll also continue to work with the provinces and Canada’s financial institutions to improve the administration of the RDSP program, and to expand the range of investment options for RDSP holders.
  • A re-elected Conservative Government will continue to support our three-year partnership with the Canadian Association of Community Living to help connect people with developmental disabilities with jobs. 
  • We'll also continue our four-year partnership with the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks Canada to expand vocational training programs for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. And we'll continue to support the Autism Spectrum Disorder Working Group’s work to develop a Canadian Autism Partnership. We'll be ready to support the initiative in areas of federal jurisdiction once the development work is complete.
  • A re-elected Conservative Government will implement our plan to increase the Child Care Expense Deduction by $1,000, beginning this year. This means that the maximum amount that can be claimed will increase to $8,000 from $7,000 for children under age seven, to $5,000 from $4,000 for children aged seven through 16, and to $11,000 from $10,000 for children with disabilities. 
  • Providing significant new resources to support Canadian veterans who are affected by disability or injury, and those who wish to transition back into civilian life. 

NDP - 81 pages, 25 mentions

  • The Canada Student Grants program will receive additional funding of $250 million, ramped up over four years, to make education more affordable with an emphasis on helping low-income and Indigenous students, as well as students living with disabilities
  • Amending federal bankruptcy legislation to move pensioners and those on long-term disability up the line of creditors when their employer declares bankruptcy or enters court protection.
  • Introduce a comprehensive Canadians with Disabilities Act
  • Fully implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Undertake a review of income security programs for persons living with disabilities.
  • Fix the broken process for CPP Disability appeals
  • We will stop the Conservative plan that unfairly impacts seniors and persons living with disabilities, and restore home delivery for the one million Canadian households where it has already been cut. 
  • This investment increases available funding to provinces and territories for community sports programs through Sport Canada bilateral agreements. It will also help increase participation of underrepresented groups in sports activities, including girls and young women, new Canadians, youth living with disabilities, as well as low-income, Indigenous and LGBTQ youth.
  • Eliminating the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, which is staffed by appointees who have often been unresponsive to the realities faced by veterans seeking disability benefits, and replacing it with a medically focused peer review process for appeals.
  • Establishing a Hero’s Benefit to recognize the contributions of firefighters, police officers and other public safety officers who die or are permanently disabled in the line of duty

Green - 44 pages, 2 mentions

  • We will phase-in a national Guaranteed Livable Income, to ensure that no person’s income falls below what is necessary for health, life and dignity. Through the Council of Canadian Governments we will work with the other levels of government whose inadequate poverty band-aid solutions (such as welfare, disability programs) can be rolled up in order to fund Guaranteed Livable Income.
  • Recognizing the critical role that our forces play also means respecting and truly taking care of our veterans. Canadian veterans deserve our grateful and ongoing support, including secure and generous pensions. Our veterans should never be forced to fight in the courts to secure their long-term benefits or to ensure that Veterans Affairs disability pension promises are honoured.

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