COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group Report in Plain Language

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Message from the Minister

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected the lives and health of all Canadians. It has affected Canadians with disabilities far too much. From the beginning, our Government has taken people with disabilities into account in its response to the pandemic. I asked leaders from the disability community to join the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group (Advisory Group for short). I asked them for advice on how the Government can use a “disability lens.”Footnote 1 I wanted to make sure that we look at the real experiences of Canadians with disabilities and give them the support they need.

The members of the Advisory Group have made a big difference in our pandemic response. The group discussed:

  • long-term care in assisted living homes
  • visitor rules for hospitals
  • getting personal protective equipment to personal support workers
  • money for the extra things people with disabilities need

The Advisory Group has done these things:

  • it gave advice on how to include people with disabilities in medical and public health rules
  • it made sure that the Government bought personal protective equipment that is accessible
  • it suggested that the Government give the one-time payment of $600 to even more people with disabilities. This payment is now also given to people who receive:
    • the Canada pension disability
    • the Quebec pension disability pension
    • disability support from Veterans Affairs Canada
  • it made sure that the Government messages were accessible
  • it made sure that that the Government used a “disability lens” in:
    • the Canada Emergency Student Benefit
    • Canada Student Grants for students with disabilities, by doubling the amount

These things will help many Canadians with disabilities.

The Advisory Group pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has made things worse: people with disabilities now face bigger challenges and less support. The Advisory Group challenged me and our Government to act based on human rights. They gave examples of poverty, unstable employment and discrimination.

Our Government needs to do better. It needs to give better access to our systems. It needs to listen to people with disabilities.

We know that COVID-19 has had a bigger impact on Canadians with disabilities. We know there are problems with the system that have been around for a long time. So we will create a Disability Inclusion Plan. This plan will include:

  • a new Canadian Disability Benefit
  • a strong approach to help Canadians with disabilities have jobs
  • a better way of deciding who can receive disability benefits

This report gives an idea of the Advisory Group’s work. The group’s members gave a lot of good advice in a short amount of time and under challenging conditions. They helped us with our “Nothing Without Us” approach to the pandemic. This means that we want to include people with disabilities in all our decisions related to the pandemic. I thank them for their work.

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough,
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Message from the Advisory Group

When Minister Qualtrough asked us to be members of the Advisory Group, we knew the disability community would expect a lot. COVID-19 has made things worse for people with disabilities. They have more difficulty getting help and feel more frustrated and isolated.

The Advisory Group had to examine how the Government’s response to the pandemic could use a “disability lens.”Footnote 1 It also had to consider Minister Qualtrough’s dedication to inclusion by using the “Nothing Without Us” approach.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to accept that there are inequalities that prevent people with disabilities from fully and fairly participating in society. The Advisory Group understood that all levels of government have major obligations to the disability community. Now more than ever, governments must include the perspectives of people with disabilities in their policies.

We faced some challenges in our work related to:

  • the scope of our work
  • gathering information
  • confidentiality and engagement
  • the workload and pace

We found some possible solutions to these challenges. We hope they will help us in the future and in other areas.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given people and governments a chance to re-think the way we organize ourselves. We can’t go back to how things were before. It doesn’t work for people with disabilities.

As an Advisory Group, we have sincerely appreciated the opportunity to give advice on the real experiences of people with disabilities. We applaud Minister Qualtrough for her willingness to listen to many different opinions. We have made 21 top recommendations and hope that the Minister and her government will act on them. We ask that they make bold changes so that all Canadians with disabilities can fully participate in society.

Neil Belanger
Member of and Government Liaison for the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group


The COVID-19 pandemic created a public health and economic crisis. This crisis continues to affect the lives and health of all Canadians, especially Canadians with disabilities.

The Minister responsible for Disability Inclusion, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, recognized the complex issues people with disabilities were facing in the pandemic. On April 10, 2020, Minister Qualtrough set up the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group (Advisory Group). This group gave the Minister advice on how people with disabilities are really experiencing the pandemic:

  • disability-specific issues
  • challenges and gaps in the system
  • steps the Government could take to better support people with disabilities during the pandemic

The Advisory Group said it was very important that all its recommendations use a “disability lens.”Footnote 1 It also recommended that the Government tackle systemic discrimination through actions and messages.

The Advisory Group made 21 priority recommendations to support Canadians with disabilities during and after the pandemic. The recommendations cover 5 areas:

  • finances and employment
  • public communications and accessibility
  • support for populations at highest risk
  • federal, provincial and territorial collaboration
  • support for civil societyFootnote 2 and the non-profit sectorFootnote 3

The report describes what the Government of Canada has to do to address the impact of COVID-19 on Canadians with disabilities. It also mentions lessons learned from the Advisory Group’s work. The Government of Canada will build on what the Advisory Group accomplished in the next phase of recovery.

1. Introduction


The COVID-19 pandemic is a time of public health and economic crisis. It has affected people with disabilities in unique ways. Some people with disabilities who have underlying medical conditions are at greater risk of serious complications related to COVID-19. Self isolation and physical distancing can create extra challenges.

The Advisory Group discussed how much more the pandemic has affected people with disabilities, who face:

  • barriers to health care, including fears about not getting critical care
  • social isolation and loss of access to supports due to:
    • visitor rules at hospitals and facilities
    • fewer staff and personal support workers
    • no access to friends and family to help with daily living
  • negative financial impacts, including losing a job and having more expenses
  • new barriers due to public health rules:
    • difficulty respecting social distancing for people with certain types of disabilities (visual, developmental)
    • difficulty understanding what people are saying because of masks
  • loss of access to crucial services such as occupational therapy, mental health services, and maintaining disability aids

Minister Carla Qualtrough has the job of leading the Government’s efforts to include people with disabilities. On April 10, 2020, the Minister announced the creation of the Advisory Group in keeping with:

  • the “Nothing Without Us” approach
  • the Accessible Canada Act
  • Canada recognizing human rights obligations

The Government of Canada promised to think about the needs of people with disabilities in its decisions and its response to the pandemic.

Job of the Advisory Group

The Advisory Group’s job was to give the Minister advice on:

  • the real experiences of people with disabilities during the pandemic
  • disability-specific issues, challenges and gaps in the system
  • steps to take

The Group worked from April 2020 to August 2020.


Minister Qualtrough led the Advisory Group with member Al Etmanski, who also led the group until mid June 2020. In July 2020, the Advisory Group asked member Neil Belanger to become the government contact person.

The Minister appointed members who the community recognizes for their leadership and knowledge. Members had a lot of experience working in various sectors and from different backgrounds (see Annex B).


Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) gave support through a Secretariat. The Secretariat organized meetings and took notes.

2. Approach

Process and organization

The Advisory Group had regular virtual meetings from April to August 2020 led by Minister Qualtrough. The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health each attended a meeting. Some members also met with the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services. (See Annex C for meeting dates and attendees).

During the first meeting, the members chose 5 areas they wanted to discuss. They talked about setting up working groups. These working groups would examine each area and recommend things that the Government should do. The Secretariat asked members to decide which working groups they wanted to join. Members then chose who among them who guide the work (leads). (See Annex D for members and meeting dates).

The Secretariat organized the Advisory Group meetings, but members led the working groups. The working groups’ priorities were:

  • finances and employment
  • public communications and accessibility
  • support for populations at highest risk
  • federal, provincial and territorial collaboration
  • support for civil societyFootnote 2 and the non-profit sectorFootnote 3

Officials from the following departments met with the working groups to support their work:

  • Health Canada
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Privy Council Office
  • Employment and Social Development Canada

Disability lensFootnote 1 and intersectional lensFootnote 4

In its work on COVID-19, the Advisory Group took into account the experiences of people with disabilities before the pandemic. People with disabilities already experience more poverty than people without disabilities. They also experience more joblessness and gender-based violence and discrimination.

The Advisory Group used a disability lens that:

  • connects gender, income and race
  • allowed it to examine how people with disabilities face major barriers:
    • on the job market
    • in society
    • in health care
  • highlights the barriers for women with disabilities who are Indigenous, racialized or live in low income

Some facts:

  • more women than men are likely to live with a disability, and this is even truer for Indigenous women
  • while about 8 out of 10 Canadians without disabilities have a job, only about 6 out of 10 people with disabilities have a job
  • there are more people with disabilities in low-income
  • more women with disabilities live below the poverty line than men with disabilities
  • women with disabilities are almost twice as likely as women without disabilities to have been sexually assaulted
  • disability is the most frequent reason for human rights complaints in Canada

In its discussions, the Advisory Group reaffirmed the importance of using an intersectional and disability lens in all of its recommendations. It encourages the entire Government to tackle systemic discrimination, including ableismFootnote 5 and audismFootnote 6.

3. Priority recommendations

The Advisory Group made the following recommendations.

Finances and employment

  • Give income support to people with disabilities during the pandemic. This includes $350 a month for people with disabilities for 6 months during the pandemic

Public communications and accessibility

  • Educate the public on the social distancing issues people with vision loss are experiencing. Show people who can see how they should interact with people who are blind or have low vision
  • Create communications that are accessible to people with disabilities across the Government of Canada

Support for civil societyFootnote 2 and the not-for-profit sectorFootnote 3

  • Recognize non-profit organizations in the Government’s wage subsidy program
  • Make sure disability organizations have access to the new Emergency Community Support Fund. Make sure a quarter of the money from this Fund goes to disability organizations

Federal, provincial and territorial collaboration

  • Continue to work with the federal government, the provinces and the territories on issues that affect people with disabilities, such as:
    • triage rules
    • hospital visitor rules
    • making personal support workers essential workers
  • Make recommendations for shared living residences
  • Involve people with disabilities in creating public health recommendations
  • Make sure everyone has access to personal protective equipment, including clear masks for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Create a plan to help people with disabilities in emergencies quickly. This includes preparing for a possible second wave of COVID-19

Support for populations at highest risk

  • Provide statistics related to COVID-19, and break these down by disability, gender, race and other factors
  • Recognize that there are greater risks of violence against women and girls with disabilities and absolutely no front line services for them. Promise now to tackle those problems with money and support
  • Make sure we have ongoing and mutual contact with Indigenous communities on:
    • where things stand now and what’s available
    • the most important needs of their members living with disabilities

Other priority recommendations

  • Invest more money in agreements that help people find jobs. Make sure at least 25% of the money goes to helping people with disabilities find jobs
  • Make it easier for people with disabilities to get the Canada pension plan disability benefit
  • Extend tax exemption for Status First Nation people receiving disability aid to include income earned in the provinces and territories
  • Support the pan-Canadian disability and work strategy
  • Keep the end of life criteria in the law on medical assistance in dying (called Bill C-7). Re examine the law so that it does not discriminate against people with disabilities
  • Promise to give money to non-profit organizations
  • Write rules on how the Government and its institutions should use language and images that are positive for people with disabilities. The rules should promote respect, dignity and value
  • Create a Centre of Accessibility Communications Excellence in the Government of Canada. This will make sure that the Government of Canada follows rules and suggestions for accessible communications

4. How the Government of Canada has responded to and supported persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Government of Canada began supporting Canadians, including people with disabilities, shortly after the pandemic started. It gave a special payment to people and families with low and modest incomes. Since Canadians with disabilities are overrepresented among people in low-income, this measure helped them a lot. In April 2020, Minister Qualtrough talked about the Government’s disability-inclusive approach to responding to the pandemic. The Advisory Group had its first meeting on April 9, 2020 and right away started advising and recommending solutions to Minister Qualtrough. The Group also gave other Ministers advice on how to be disability-inclusive.

This list of actions shows how the Government has responded to and supported people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finances and employment

  • One-time payment of $600 for people who receive:
    • the disability tax credit
    • the Canada pension disability payment
    • the Quebec pension disability payment
    • the Veteran Affairs disability payment
  • This includes an extra payment for seniors with disabilities who previously received a one-time payment of $300 or $500
  • A new National Workplace Accessibility fund of $15 million for 2020 to 2021
  • An investment of $1.18 million for 5 projects across the country
  • Flexibilities in paying the Canada pension disability benefit
  • Bank of Canada recommending that stores continue to accept cash
  • Provision of Canada Emergency Response Benefit (up to $2,000 per month) for up to 24 weeks. This is especially important for workers with disabilities because they were:
    • more likely to get laid off
    • less likely to have Employment Insurance coverage
  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which includes an extra $750 per month for students with disabilities
  • Canada Student Grants doubled in 2020 to 2021, including for students with permanent disabilities and students with dependants
  • One-time special payment for GST credit recipients. People with disabilities are more likely to benefit from this. This is because they are more likely to earn less and be eligible for the GST credit
  • Increase in the Canada Child Benefit of $300 in 2019 to 2020. Also, an increase in annual payments as of 2020 to 2021

Public communications and accessibility

  • Investment of $1.1 million for national disability organizations. This was to help organizations communicate with people with disabilities impacted by the pandemic
  • New rules on accessible communications during the pandemic
  • Links on the Government of Canada website about COVID-19
  • Statements by Minister Qualtrough and the Prime Minister supporting people with disabilities during COVID-19
  • Letter from Minister Qualtrough to Accessibility Standards Canada asking them to create recommendations on improving accessibility in future crises

Support for civil societyFootnote 2 and the not-for-profit sectorFootnote 3

  • Investment of $350 million to support organizations that help vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities
  • Making it possible for non-profit organizations and charities to receive the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  • Adjusting how the Social Development Partnerships Program-Disability and Opportunities Fund spend money

Federal, provincial and territorial collaboration

  • Minister Qualtrough asked the provinces and territories to exempt the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and other supports when calculating provincial social aid payments
  • Ministers Qualtrough and Hajdu shared their concerns with the provinces and territories about triage of health care services raised by the Advisory Group
  • Minister Qualtrough met with provincial and territorial ministers to discuss issues raised by the Advisory Group
  • Minister Hajdu told provincial and territorial ministers of health about issues raised by the Advisory Group
  • Then-Deputy Minister Maheu met with federal, provincial and territorial health officials to share issues raised by the Advisory Group
  • Public Health Agency of Canada released public health guidance on:
    • home care providers and infection prevention and control for COVID-19
    • people with disabilities and COVID-19
    • public health ethics
  • Health Canada allowed use of the Clear Mask. This transparent mask makes communicating easier for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • The Government of Canada launched Wellness Together Canada, an online portal that offers free mental health services to all Canadians

Support for populations at highest risk

  • Statistics Canada:
    • launched 2 new surveys to provide information on people with disabilities
    • released a study on businesses run by people with disabilities
  • Canada supported a United Nations document on a disability-inclusive response to COVID-19
  • Canada released a statement with other countries on protecting women’s sexual and reproductive health rights

5. Lessons learned from the Advisory Group's work

The Advisory Group learned many lessons from their work that the government can use to set up future advisory groups.

Advisory Group members gave their opinions on:

  • research and information
  • scopeFootnote 7
  • engagement
  • workload and pace

Research and information

  • To support them in creating good advice, the Advisory Group needs:
    • more research and information on people with disabilities
    • information and background on government policies, programs and processes
  • Advisory Group members believe it would be good to have greater and faster access to Government of Canada research and information. This would help the Group give better advice and recommendations

ScopeFootnote 7

  • Members believe it would be good to set specific goals so that their work is more focused Members could also use more feedback from the Government on their recommendations
  • The Advisory Group talked about issues for which the Government is not responsible. So all the Government could do was mention these issues to their provincial and territorial colleagues
  • While the Advisory Group’s job was specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, members believe they should expand their work beyond emergency and recovery measures. The members believe they could support the Government in tackling issues that existed before the pandemic


  • The Advisory Group’s instructions said that the Group’s work would remain confidential. This caused tension because the disability community expected the Group to talk about their work regularly
  • The Advisory Group said it would help if the Government told them about decisions related to people with disabilities before announcing these decisions
  • The Advisory Group would like to guide the Government on more disability topics, particularly in terms of collecting COVID-19 information

Workload and pace

  • Advisory Group meetings took place weekly from April to May 2020. The frequency of the working group meetings varied. There was a lot of hard work to do in a short amount of time. Advisory Group members were part of many working groups and participated in weekly Advisory Group meetings
  • The meetings did not always provide enough time to discuss things thoughtfully
  • The working groups were able to examine issues in depth. But this was a concern because the working groups had too much work

Current members say that Advisory Group should continue its work after August 2020. They have offered to continue being members of the Advisory Group.

6. Next steps

The Government was not able to deal with all the Advisory Group’s recommendations. Some recommendations, for example, concern the provinces and territories. Other recommendations are complex and require more consultation.

Some lessons learned from the Advisory Group’s work include:

  • that a reasonable pace of work is important (which would allow members to reflect between meetings and give thoughtful advice and recommendations)
  • the challenges of giving advice on disability plans and actions, because many different governments share responsibilities

During the Advisory Group’s work, the public became more aware of systemic racism. Members have said that they would like to look at measures to counter ableism (when we discriminate against people with disabilities) and racism. This would make sure that programs and services meet the needs of all kinds of people with disabilities. In particular, they would meet the needs of Indigenous, Black and racialized people with disabilities.

The Government of Canada has said that it wants to build on the Advisory Group’s accomplishments. It also wants to act on the lessons learned so that the economic recovery from the pandemic is disability-inclusive. It wants to use the “Nothing Without Us” approach.

Annex A – "Nothing Without Us"

“Nothing Without Us” comes from the disability rights movement. The United Nations added this slogan into the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Government of Canada applies this idea in its plans and actions. This means that it includes the perspectives of people with disabilities in all initiatives, whether or not they apply to people with disabilities.

Annex B – List of the Advisory Group members

The Honorable Carla Qualtrough, co-chair

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.

Al Etmanski, co-chair

Al Etmanski is a writer, community organizer and social entrepreneur. He was welcomed into the world of disability in 1978 with the birth of his daughter. He helped to close institutions in British Columbia where people with disabilities were separated from people without disabilities. He founded Canada’s first family support institute. In 1989, he co-founded Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, which fought for the registered disability savings plan (RDSP). Mr. Etmanski sparked a national conversation about ‘belonging’. He has published books about disability and has a blog at

Bill Adair

Mr. Adair is the Executive Director at Spinal Cord Injury Canada. He has a lot of experience in the spinal cord rehabilitation field. He has nearly 30 years of expertise in non-profit management and strategic leadership, including as a:

  • former Ontario government employee
  • national task force leader
  • Director of the National Patient Services Program with the Canadian Cancer Society

He has also been:

  • Director of the International Year for Disabled Persons
  • Executive Director of a group that designed a system to coordinate cancer control efforts throughout Canada
  • Founding Executive Director of Wellspring

Neil Belanger

Mr. Belanger is Executive Director of the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society. He has over 30 years of experience working in Canada’s Indigenous and non Indigenous disability and health sectors. He also gives disability-related advice to the government.

Mr. Belanger is a member of the Lax Se el (Frog Clan) of the Gitxsan First Nation. He lives in Victoria with his wife and 2 children.

Diane Bergeron

Ms. Bergeron is the President of CNIB Guide Dogs and Vice President, International Affairs. Ms. Bergeron has over 35 years of experience as a guide dog handler. She is passionate about supporting equal rights and actions that help people with sight loss live the lives they choose.

Bonnie Brayton

Ms. Brayton is a leader in both the feminist and disability movements. She has been the National Executive Director of the Disabled Women’s Network since May 2007. In this role, she is a great advocate for women with disabilities in Canada and internationally. Ms. Brayton has worked hard to draw attention to the issues that affect women and girls with disabilities. Since 2016, she has served as a member of the Federal Department of Women and Gender Equality Minister’s Advisory Council on Gender-Based Violence. She also regularly gives talks to government and the public. She has represented women and girls with disabilities both in Canada and internationally.

Krista Carr

Ms. Carr is a long-time advocate in the developmental disability movement. She leads Inclusion Canada, one of Canada’s 10 largest charity organizations. Inclusion Canada is a group of:

  • over 40,000 members
  • 400 local associations
  • 13 community living associations that work to help Canadians with a developmental disability

Ms. Carr has extensive experience in the non-profit sector. She works with people with a developmental disability, their families and governments. Her goal is the full inclusion and citizenship for people with a developmental disability and their families. She is responsible for:

  • the Inclusion Canada National organization
  • the Inclusion Canada Foundation
  • Inclusive Education Canada
  • Ready, Willing & Able and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance

Ms. Carr brings a perspective on disability supports and services from across Canada.

Ms. Carr is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick, with studies in business administration, human resources and management. Before joining Inclusion Canada, she held several positions with the New Brunswick Association for Community Living (NBACL). There she was responsible for around 100 employees. NBACL has been nationally recognized as a good workplace for employees just as Krista joined Inclusion Canada.

In addition to these accomplishments, Ms. Carr sits on a number of disability related committees. She is currently a member of the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group chaired by the Honourable Carla Qualtrough. She is fluently bilingual and works for Inclusion Canada in both French and English. She lives in New Brunswick with her husband and 2 daughters.

Maureen Haan

Ms. Haan has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) since 2012. CCRW is the only organization in Canada with a vision of equitable and meaningful jobs for people with disabilities. Under her leadership, CCRW has contributed to direct service throughout Canada. Ms. Haan has been very active in the cross disability sector, currently focusing on employment issues. She has worked at increasing awareness about and access for people with disabilities and people who are deaf or hard of hearing. She worked with civil society on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She was also involved in the pan-Canadian strategy on disability and work.

Hélène Hébert

Ms. Hébert is President of the Réseau québécois pour l’inclusion sociale (ReQIS). ReQIS is a provincial organization defending the rights and interests of the deaf and hard of hearing. In addition, Ms. Hébert is a member of Voir dire, a publication for Quebec’s deaf population. She is a long-standing activist committed to different organizations for the deaf. She has a graduate degree in educational administration, a bachelor’s degree in special education, and a certificate in children’s literature. She has previously taught deaf signers.

Dr. Heidi Janz

Dr. Janz is an assistant professor at the University of Alberta. She specializes in disability ethics. She previously coordinated learning for a program in disability ethics at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. In her “other life,” Dr. Janz is a writer and playwright. She also leads the end-of-life ethics committee for the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

Rabia Khedr

Ms. Khedr is the Chief Executive Officer of Disability Empowerment Equality Network Support Services and Executive Director of the Muslim Council of Peel. Rabia is a community leader who helps people with disabilities, women and diverse communities with fairness and justice. She was recently the Commissioner for the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Ms. Khedr created the Canadian Alliance on Race and Disability, which represents people with disabilities and organizations. She is also a member of the Mississauga Accessibility Advisory Committee. She is a motivational speaker and documentary commentator and has received many awards.

Dr. Michael J. Prince

Dr. Prince is a professor of social policy at the University of Victoria. He teaches public sector governance and public policy analysis. He has advised federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal government agencies. He has volunteered with:

  • a community health clinic
  • a legal aid society
  • a hospital society and hospital foundation
  • the BC Association for Community Living
  • the social policy committee of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities

Since 2018 he has been Board Chair of Community Living British Columbia. This organization pays for supports and services to:

  • adults with developmental disabilities
  • people with autism or fetal alcohol disorder

It helps people have promising lives in welcoming communities.

Annex C – Advisory Group meeting dates

Advisory Group meetings led by Minister Qualtrough:

  • April 9, 2020
  • April 17, 2020
  • April 24, 2020 (the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, attended this meeting)
  • May 1, 2020 (Parliamentary Secretary Irek Kusmierczyk replaced Minister Qualtrough. The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development attended this meeting)
  • May 11, 2020
  • May 22, 2020
  • June 19, 2020
  • August 4, 2020
  • August 14, 2020

Additional meetings:

  • May 25, 2020 (Al Etmanski and Neil Belanger met with Minister Miller)
  • June 5, 2020 (technical briefing with the Minister’s Office)
  • June 17, 2020 (members meeting only, no Minister)
  • July 8, 2020 (members meeting only, no Minister)
  • July 10, 2020 (leads of working groups only)

Annex D – Working group meeting dates and members

Finances and employment


  • Maureen Haan (volunteered to lead)
  • Al Etmanski
  • Michael Prince
  • Krista Carr
  • Diane Bergeron
  • Neil Belanger

Meeting dates:

  • May 6, 2020
  • May 14, 2020
  • June 1, 2020 (ESDC officials and Minister’s Office attended)
  • June 9, 2020
  • June 17, 2020 (members only)

Public communications and accessibility


  • Bill Adair (volunteered to lead)
  • Al Etmanski
  • Maureen Haan
  • Diane Bergeron
  • Hélène Hébert
  • Neil Belanger

Meeting dates:

  • May 4, 2020
  • May 7, 2020
  • May 14, 2020
  • May 21, 2020
  • May 27, 2020
  • June 4, 2020 (government officials from ESDC, Privy Council Office and Minister’s Office attended)
  • June 22, 2020 (government officials from Treasury Board Secretariat and Privy Council Office attended)

Support for populations at highest risk


  • Bonnie Brayton (volunteered to lead)
  • Al Etmanski
  • Neil Belanger
  • Heidi Janz
  • Krista Carr

Meeting dates:

  • May 14, 2020
  • May 22, 2020
  • May 30, 2020
  • June 7, 2020

Federal, provincial and territorial collaboration


  • Krista Carr (volunteered to lead)
  • Al Etmanski
  • Neil Belanger
  • Rabia Khedr
  • Heidi Janz

Meeting date:

  • April 29, 2020

Support for civil society and the not-for-profit sector


  • Krista Carr (volunteered to lead)
  • Al Etmanski
  • Rabia Khedr
  • Bonnie Brayton
  • Bill Adair
  • Neil Belanger

Meeting date:

  • April 29, 2020
  • June 17, 2020 (some members met with the co-chairs of the Canada Revenue Agency Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector. No government officials attended)

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