Improving income security and increasing employment opportunities

Alberta's largest employer should be Alberta's largest inclusive employer, too. #DisabilityInclusionVoteAB. Inclusion Alberta.

Canada Disability Benefit

The federal government’s proposed Canada Disability Benefit (CDB) will be an effective poverty reduction measure for people with disabilities only if the Government of Alberta exempts these payments from eligibility and benefit calculations for existing provincial income benefits, health benefits, transportation allowances, affordable housing, adaptive equipment programs, employment supports, and other in-kind benefits for people who receive the Canada Disability Benefit (CDB).

Ask the candidates in your constituency if they, and their parties will commit to:

  • No provincial clawbacks related to the Canada Disability Benefit (CDB) and to exempt CDB income from eligibility calculations for any programs, when the CDB is introduced.

Increase Funding for Employment Opportunities

Increasing employment for people with developmental disabilities will strengthen Alberta’s economy by helping to address labour shortages, reducing government expenditures on AISH, and increasing consumer spending through employment. People with developmental disabilities have career aspirations, significant social and economic contributions to make through employment, and benefit from both the support network and the income that come with a job. Any approach to reducing poverty must recognize that people with developmental disabilities want and need more than financial assistance but as importantly require access to jobs and support to secure and maintain their employment.

Inclusion Alberta through its Youth Employment Partnership, Inclusive Post-Secondary Initiative and partnerships with Rotary Clubs and businesses has created over 1000 inclusive employment opportunities to-date at or above minimum wage and without wage supplements. Employment supports from the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program are indispensable as the supports available through Alberta Income and Employment Supports do not address the specific needs of people with developmental disabilities.

Ask the candidates in your constituency if they, and their parties will commit to:

  • Increasing funding through the PDD program to create and sustain inclusive employment, recognizing the unique barriers that people with developmental disabilities face.

Hire More People with Developmental Disabilities in the Alberta Public Service

In addition to providing support for people with developmental disabilities to acquire and maintain inclusive employment in the private and non-profit sectors, the Government of Alberta must also ensure that as Alberta’s largest employer it is employing people with developmental disabilities. In 2018 the Alberta Public Service began a partnership to hire people with developmental disabilities but fewer than 5 people are currently being employed through the initiative. In contrast, the City of Edmonton employs 44 individuals with developmental disabilities (while the Calgary Public library employs 11 people). The Alberta Public Service has 27,000 employees but a municipality with a 1/5 the workforce has hired 9 times the number of people with developmental disabilities (and a library system with only 800 employees has hired more people with developmental disabilities than the Alberta government).

Ask the candidates in your constituency if they, and their parties will commit to:

  • Increasing the inclusive employment of people with developmental disabilities within the Alberta Public Service.

Stop Deducting Employment Insurance Benefits from AISH

People with disabilities who are employed make the same EI contributions as anyone else and so they should benefit fully from EI. The AISH policy which deducts Employment Insurance (EI) earnings dollar for dollar is unfair and contrary to the intent of AISH to encourage Albertans with disabilities to seek employment whenever possible.

Ask the candidates in your constituency if they, and their parties will commit to:

  • Changing the AISH Policy to treat EI as earned income, to be deducted only in accordance with earned income and not dollar for dollar.

Income Security and Inclusive Employment Fact Sheet AB Election 2023 (PDF)

View/download the full document of Inclusion Alberta’s Election 2023 platform asks here (PDF)

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