Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

December 01, 2008 10:00 ET

Government of Canada's Office for Disability Issues Opens Doors to Accessibility

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2008) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, officially opened the Government of Canada's Office for Disability Issues' new accessible workplace today.

The new facility has been renovated to be a model of accessibility, offering a safe, user-friendly work environment that promotes equal opportunity and the participation of all employees, including those with disabilities.

"Our government is committed to breaking down the numerous barriers faced by persons with disabilities through various initiatives," said Minister Finley. "I am proud to highlight this new facility as a model of accessibility and a stellar example of what can be done to meet the needs of Canadians with disabilities in a workplace."

The Minister also highlighted the new Registered Disability Savings Plan, the Canada Disability Savings Grant and the Canada Disability Savings Bond, which will be offered this month through financial institutions.

Building on a commitment outlined in Budget 2007, the Government proposed the creation of the Registered Disability Savings Plan, the Canada Disability Savings Grant and the Canada Disability Savings Bond to help eligible individuals with disabilities, families and others to save for the long-term financial security of a person with a severe disability.

The Government of Canada provides a wide range of effective policies, programs and services that support opportunities for Canadians with disabilities to participate fully in society. It invests annually towards the full participation of Canadians with disabilities through programs and services delivered by over 28 departments and agencies.

Internationally, Canada plays a leadership role through its contribution to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Canada signed the Convention on March 30, 2007, signalling its commitment to work towards ratification. The Convention will help lead to the full inclusion and full participation of people with disabilities globally.

For information on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, please visit the United Nations Web site at http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=109.

More information on the Office for Disability Issues is available at www.hrsdc.gc.ca.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


BACKGROUNDER

Office for Disability Issues' New Accessible Workplace

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) moved on April 14, 2008, to 105 Hotel-de-ville, 1st Floor, Gatineau, Quebec. The consolidation of the ODI into a single, accessible location fulfills a commitment made to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Person with Disabilities (HUMA).

The new facility meets the technical standards for accessibility. It will serve as a model for the rest of the Government of Canada to emulate as a cost-effective example of how accessibility should be incorporated in a respectful and inclusive manner.

Registered Disability Savings Plan

Budget 2007 proposed the creation of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), including the Canada Disability Savings Grant and the Canada Disability Savings Bond components, as a way to help eligible individuals with severe disabilities, parents and others to save for long-term financial security.

The Canada Disability Savings Grant is a matching grant from the Government of Canada paid directly into a Registered Disability Savings Plan. The Canada Disability Savings Bond is a bond paid directly into an RDSP to help low-income families save for long-term financial security. These bonds can be paid to eligible Plan holders regardless of whether contributions are made to a Registered Disability Savings Plan.

The Government of Canada is working with financial institutions to ensure that they meet Canada Disability Savings Act regulations requirements, and that they have the system specifications in place to begin offering RDSPs in the coming weeks.

Canada Disability Savings Grant

The Government of Canada may supplement contributions to the RDSP through the Canada Disability Savings Grant, up to an annual maximum of $3,500, with a lifetime limit of $70,000. A beneficiary's lifetime contribution limit is $200,000.

Beneficiary family income of less than or equal to $75,769

- For the first $500 contributed towards the Plan, the Government of Canada may supplement the contribution with $3 for every $1 contributed, up to $1,500 in a calendar year.

- On the next $1,000 contributed towards the Plan, the Government may supplement the contribution with $2 for every $1 contributed, up to $2,000 in a calendar year.

Beneficiary family income greater than $75,769

- For the first $1,000 contributed towards the Plan, the Government of Canada may supplement $1 for every $1 contributed, in a calendar year.

Canada Disability Savings Bond

The new Canada Disability Savings Bond is also available for individuals with disabilities who have a low family income. Contributions to an RDSP are not required. The Government of Canada may deposit a bond of up to a maximum of $1,000 annually into a beneficiary's RDSP to help low-income families save for long-term financial security. The lifetime Canada Disability Savings Bond limit for a beneficiary is $20,000.

Beneficiary family income of less than or equal to $21,287

- The Government of Canada may contribute $1,000 annually to an RDSP.

Beneficiary family income between $21,287(i) and $37,885

- The Government of Canada may contribute a portion of the $1,000 to an RDSP (based on a formula in the Canada Disability Savings Act).

- Beneficiary family income thresholds are updated each year based on the rate of inflation. Income thresholds shown are for 2008.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations
    819-994-5559