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2007-09: Fighting Poverty

Whereas, far too many Canadians with disabilities, including blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted individuals, have incomes far below the established poverty line; and

Whereas, many of these individuals remain unemployed or under-employed; and

Whereas, many Canadians with disabilities are prevented from enjoying the benefits of full integration into their communities because of negative public stereotypes and attitudes; and

Whereas, recent efforts by Government aimed at increasing the minimum wage do not address or affect the needs of the most disadvantaged individuals with disabilities;

Now Therefore be it Resolved, that, the AEBC advocate to all levels of Government for the introduction of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy, that will include the needs of unemployed Canadians as well as those employed at low-paying jobs;

And be it further resolved, that such a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy should include the following basic principles:

A. Income support programs must reflect the real cost of living;
B. Income support programs must provide adequately for the cost of disability itself;
C. Income support programs must provide to individuals and families the basic income necessary to promote good health and nutrition, adequate and safe housing tied to market rent rates, and an additional allowance to cover clothing, utilities, transportation and incidentals necessary to ensure a reasonable quality of life standard;
D. Income support programs must be at an adequate level to promote and encourage individuals to participate with dignity in the life of their communities and provide the resources necessary to re-enter the work force if and when possible;
E. Disincentives to employment should be reduced with the long term goal of their eventual elimination.

Be it further resolved that the AEBC join with other social justice organizations and action coalitions advocating for such goals and principles across Canada.