Many provinces and territories are struggling to address need, and indeed some are falling behind -increasingly. less able to provide adequate support based on the size of their taxpayer base.
A national program would introduce new financial resources to address the shortfall in supports. It would also allow for balanced financial transfers so that every province and territory, regardless of how wealthy or poor, could meet a minimum, adequate standard of support for Canadians with long-term disabilities.
Data on the number of Canadians living with disabilities is not well documented - there is no requirement for our governments to collect or publicly report this information.
This program could create a nationwide data collection system and reporting standards to provide a clear picture of provincial and territorial performance. It would then direct resources to identified areas of need.
Canadians with disabilities who require support may receive it from their family, a government program, a private provider or a not-for-profit organization
A national program would increase coordination, close support gaps, set performance standards, and reduce costs through preventative approaches, such as early intervention and sustained supports.
“Portable” means you can take something with you, no matter where you go in Canada. Right now Canadians with disabilities have no guarantee that should they move, the services they need will be there for them.
A national approach would ensure that a minimum standard of supports was available across Canada. This would allow Canadians with disabilities and their families to enjoy the same flexibility in their life decisions as other Canadians knowing they will get the support they need no matter where they lived.
Canadian provinces and territories have been changing delivery systems for disability supports as they learn through trial and error. Meanwhile, other countries have introduced nationwide systemic reforms.
A national program could allow for coordinated knowledge sharing and the setting of performance standards, thereby identifying policies and delivery methods that work, as well as those which are less effective.
IMPROVED PUBLIC AWARENESS
Many of us know of someone living with a long-term disability and their experiences with trying to navigate the current disability support systems ‘nightmare’.
Gaining public support for a national insurance program will require raising public awareness about the ongoing disability crisis and the benefits this program could have for all Canadians. We believe a more educated public means a stronger and more understanding Canada.