Readout: Disability Advisory Committee Meeting – June 10-11, 2019

On June 10-11, 2019, the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) held its fifth meeting in Ottawa, Ontario. It was the first meeting since the release of the committee’s first annual report: Enabling access to disability tax measures on May 24, 2019. The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, and Bob Hamilton, Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency, attended part of the meeting.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, Minister Lebouthillier thanked the committee for their report and reiterated the Government’s commitment to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities. Minister Lebouthillier outlined the steps that the Government has already undertaken to deliver on many of the committee’s 42 recommendations, including the Budget 2019 proposal to allow Canadians to keep their Canada Disability Savings Grants and Canada Disability Savings Bonds for all periods in which they qualify for the disability tax credit (DTC).  

Minister Lebouthillier and the Commissioner also engaged in a discussion with committee members about their longer-term recommendations and emphasized the importance of the committee’s work in contributing to the Government’s broader mandate to improve services for individuals with disabilities and their families. Committee members appreciated having this opportunity to hear Minister Lebouthillier’s feedback on the report and to have a conversation with her about the next stages of their work. 

During the meeting, the committee focused on forward-planning for the second year of their mandate. They will work closely with the CRA and other departments in doing the further study and engagement that may be required to implement longer-term recommendations that involve legislative changes. To this end, the committee’s five working groups provided updates on their respective areas of research and consultation.

The committee also took the opportunity to examine updated and expanded DTC data, recently published on canada.ca that provides information from 2011 to 2018 about gender, age, and province or territory of residence of DTC applicants. 

The meeting included an update from the CRA on ongoing improvements to DTC administration and initiatives that will deliver on the committee’s administrative recommendations, most of which the CRA expects to implement by spring 2020. Over the summer months, the committee will continue to advance on their priorities in preparation for their next meeting in fall 2019. 

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