DABC Follows Up with Minister Malcolmson On Her Interview with the Tyee

DABC’s response to the information linked below:

Since the Tyee article linked above came out yesterday, DABC has seen reactions from members of the disability community on social media channels. Secure and stable income is vitally important to everyone, but especially so for low income people with disabilities that rely on disability assistance. For years now, the disability community has been waiting for the Canada Disability Benefit (CDB), to seek clarity on what the Benefit will look like and how it will be rolled out. We are still waiting.  

So, when an article such as this comes out questioning whether the BC Government will claw back PWD income from the CDB, it rightly strikes a strong reaction of fear and anger for those who depend on PWD income for their livelihood and well-being.

Yesterday, DABC and other advocacy groups met with Minister Malcolmson during a luncheon organized by Disability Without Poverty BC. DABC and others had an opportunity to question Minister Malcolmson on the Tyee article. Minister Malcolmson said to us that she felt her interview with the Tyee was taken out of context and that the BC Government can’t officially declare a decision on the treatment of CDB income until the Federal Government shares with the provinces what the CDB will look like. Additionally, she said that the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (SDPR)’s approach to the treatment of CDB income will likely be in the same spirit to how SDPR treated income from the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (it did not claw back PWD income).

DABC also heard from Minister Malcolmson in 2023, when she stated verbally during a community stakeholder meeting that the Province does not intend to claw back CDB payments from PWD income. DABC will continue to hold Minister Malcomson and the BC Government to account on this, to ensure that when the Canada Disability Benefit is rolled out into the bank accounts of people with disabilities, it does not claw back PWD income.

We also call upon the BC Government to take a more active role on the federal level in being kept up to date on new developments around the design and implementation of the CDB. There are approximately 200,000 people in our province on PWD, and they deserve a Ministry that is proactive, transparent and communicative on this incredibly important issue that has a great potential to increase their income and overall quality of life.