As the House of Commons debates Bill C-22, the Canada Disability Benefit Act, the Liberal Opposition in New Brunswick is expressing concern that the Higgs Government will adjust the provincial benefits in consequence.
“The Federal Government is doing important work with this bill and it’s vital that every eligible New Brunswicker benefits from this program to its full extent” says Roger Melanson, Leader of the Official Opposition. “Should this bill be adopted, it would create a much-needed monthly benefit for low-income working-age people living with disabilities.”
The Canada Disability Benefit is designed to supplement existing federal and provincial supports, not replace any of the programs already in place.
“This benefit is intended to build on the existing programs both federally and provincially with the goal of lifting people out of poverty,” says Roger Melanson. “If Premier Higgs decides to claw back a portion of the provincial social assistance benefits, he will once again be putting the bottom line ahead of New Brunswickers in real need.”
As the cost of living in New Brunswick continues to climb and there are few efforts from the provincial government to address the crisis, it is imperative that government look at ways to better support people living on a fixed income.
“The Higgs Government has done nothing to help reduce the price of gas at the pumps, nor has it done much to help with the cost of rent and the housing crisis. People are suffering and it doesn’t seem that this Government truly understands the gravity of the situation” says Melanson. “While almost everyone could use some support at the moment, people on a fixed income are in desperate need of support to cope with the rising cost of living. I truly hope the Higgs Government will recognize this and leave provincial supports untouched if and when the Canada Disability Benefit comes into effect.”