July 21, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec              Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers* Responsible for Social Services met virtually today. Participating ministers discussed improving collaboration to support persons with disabilities. Today’s meeting was co-chaired by the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough and the Minister of Social Development for New Brunswick, Bruce Fitch.

At the virtual meeting, federal Minister Qualtrough requested the opportunity to brief her colleagues on the recently introduced Bill C-35, the Canada Disability Benefit Act, and the federal government’s ongoing work related to its Disability Inclusion Action Plan. The proposed Canada disability benefit aims to provide additional long-term financial support to persons with disabilities, and is intended to contribute to the financial well-being of persons with disabilities across Canada.

Ministers recognize that Canadians with disabilities face employment inequities, financial insecurity and hardship at higher rates than Canadians who do not have disabilities. Ministers also noted that the global COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated social and economic challenges, and that removing barriers for persons with disabilities will be key to Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery now, and in the long-term.

Ministers recognize that rural, remote, northern and Indigenous communities have unique challenges, and the importance of working with Indigenous communities and organizations to improve the lives of persons with disabilities.

Ministers in attendance agreed to meet again before the end of the year to discuss further areas for collaboration.

*Nova Scotia did not participate due to a provincial election.

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