Big win for Canadians with disabilities

November 25, 2017

“We are committed to ensuring that all Canadians receive the credits and benefits they are entitled to,” the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue announced this week. “That is why we are reinstating the Disability Advisory Committee, a forum with a proven track-record of bringing Canada Revenue Agency officials together with stakeholders to ensure that Canadians with disabilities’ views are better incorporated into CRA decision-making. Outreach and consultation are key, and I look forward to hearing the insights of the members of the Committee on ways we can improve access to our services for Canadians living with disabilities.”

Minister Lebouthillier’s announcement comes after health advocates blasted the federal government for preventing people with mental health problems, diabetes and other conditions from accessing the Disability Tax Credit.

Co-chair of the former Disability Advisory Committee, Peter Weissman and I sent a letter to Minister Lebouthillier and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Bill Morneau, in April 2016 requesting the reinstatement of the DAC to help resolve many serious problems with the administration of the DTC.. We got the polite brush-off. In November 2016, I launched my Disability Tax Fairness Campaign website. In August 2017, Peter and I created the Disability Tax Fairness Alliance with support from a number of health charities representing people with both physical and mental impairments.

I must admit that Minister Lebouthillier's announcement caught me off guard. There were plenty of skeptics who did not believe that the DAC would be reinstated considering all of the push back from government on other tax matters. 

Needless to say, I am delighted to be appointed to the committee and I can hardly wait to get started. If you are so inclined, please send a letter to Minister Lebouthillier and thank her. She has probably set a precedent as far as reviving a committee that was shut down so many years ago.

Through the Committee (originally formed in 2005 and disbanded in 2006), the CRA will work closely with stakeholders to ensure that it administers all measures for persons with disabilities fairly under the provisions of the Income Tax Act.

Terms of Reference

The Committee will:

Quick Facts