March 21, 2002
Today, Judi Longfield, Chair of the Standing Committee on
Human Resources Development and Status of Persons with Disabilities tabled a
unanimous report, Getting it Right for Canadians, recommending immediate
action to reform the Disability Tax Credit (DTC).
Chaired by Carolyn Bennett, MP for St Paul’s, the
Sub-Committee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities prepared its report
after holding three months of investigations into the way that the Canada
Customs and Revenue Agency administers the DTC. The report criticises the Agency for practices that are grossly
inadequate for people with disabilities, among the most vulnerable Canadians.
The Sub-Committee called for:
apology by CCRA to the 106,000 Canadians who received a poorly explained
letter from the Agency indicating that they were no longer eligible for
the DTC, despite the fact that
these individuals have been receiving this credit for anywhere between six
and seventeen years;
for the expenses of those who successfully re-certify;
- no new
reassessment of claimants until the certification process is revised and
new procedures and forms put in place;
amendments to the Income Tax Act, so that it incorporates recent
with the disability community and medical professionals to draft
amendments to the Income Tax Act that spell out exactly the
eligibility criteria for the tax credit that reflect the reality of living
with a disability;
the Form T2201 that establishes eligibility for the tax credit and
streamlining the approval process;
educational campaign for the public, medical practitioners and tax
evaluation of the Disability Tax Credit and a re-examination of all tax
measures affecting persons with disabilities.
During its study, the Sub-Committee recognized the need to
make the Disability Tax Credit work more fairly to deal with people with mental
illness and learning disabilities.
Another area of particular concern was the need for the tax system to
recognize cyclical, progressive and degenerative diseases like multiple
“We strongly believe that the tax system must treat
Canadians with disabilities fairly” said Carolyn Bennett. “Most of these individuals have very low incomes
and very difficult lives, and should not be treated as if they are taking
advantage of a tax measure that in my opinion is significantly deficient in its
administration.” She also pointed out that the Sub-Committee’s work, and
thoughtful collaboration of MPs from all parties, set an example for the way
that Parliament could achieve results for the benefit of all citizens.
Judi Longfield, MP for Whitby Ajax, Chair of the HRD
Standing Committee, praised the Sub-Committee.
“The members worked hard, and produced a report that should result in
the elimination of sloppy practices and abuse.”
Office of Carolyn Bennett, MP