PEI

Mention of disabilities in throne speech pleases P.E.I. council

The P.E.I. Council for People with Disabilities is optimistic the federal government will move to address the needs of its members following last week’s throne speech.

‘To hear them say it’s not time for austerity is very good’

The P.E.I. Council for People with Disabilities noted in particular a program that would help people find employment. (Brandi Simons/Getty Images)

The P.E.I. Council for People with Disabilities is optimistic that the federal government will move to address the needs of its members following last week's throne speech.

The council has 10,000 members on the Island.

"We see many throne speeches where the word 'disability' isn't even mentioned," said executive director Marcia Carroll.

"To hear them say 'It's not time for austerity' is very good for the people I represent. There seems to be a deeper understanding of how people with disabilities are affected by the pandemic, and certainly some concerted efforts to address those barriers."

Talk of new support for job search, the development of a guaranteed-income supplement based on the model used for seniors, and investment in affordable and accessible housing is all good news, said Carroll.

The proof, as always, will be in the implementation, she said — and that will partly come down to who they consult with in advance of developing the plans. She noted the federal government's first pandemic program for people with disabilities had criteria that were too stringent, but she believes the government has learned from that experience.

The poorest people in the country are people with disabilities, she said, and that's why talk of an income supplement is particularly significant.

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