It’s a choice no one should have to make, yet Canadians with disabilities are forced to sell their essentials on online marketplaces to make ends meet.
Rabia Khedr, Country Director no disability poorsaying these conditions “are becoming more common as poverty gets worse”.
They are calling on the federal government to expedite Bill C-22, the Canada Disability Benefit Act, which is currently passing the Senate. The commitment to Bill C-22 was made in the September 2020 Throne Speech.
“We’re calling on the Senate to expedite hearings and make any minor amendments they need to make,” she explained. “We don’t want to see any substantive amendments re-opened for debate in the House.”
With this, disability without poverty is created www.bleakmarket.com, a landing page full of listings meant to “evoke the dark web.” It shows posts for medications, walkers, electric wheelchairs and blood glucose monitors, each of which includes a “buy now” button, which then takes people to another page with a recording explaining why someone would sell the item Items and prompts to block sales.
Khedr said these stories should compel action and stop people from having to make “such difficult and unfathomable choices” in order to survive. Through the website, people will be prompted to email Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and federal Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Quartero, she said.
“People are very surprised that this is happening in their backyard. There is a misconception that people with disabilities can get all the support they need from the system,” Khedr explained. “There’s a lack of awareness about it, yet 41 percent of people living in poverty and 50 percent of people facing food insecurity are disabled.”
Khedr noted that people with disabilities were already living in poverty before the pandemic, but over the past three years they have found themselves plunged even deeper into poverty.
“For people who can’t walk, electric chairs are a way for them to move around, move and move with dignity, and they’re willing to sell them to buy food,” she said.
“They are willing to sell their crutches to pay their bills. They are willing to sell their daily support medications to manage their day-to-day life. They are forced to sell these medications in order to be able to afford the things that are important and essential to them.
“It’s a choice no one should have to make.”
disability without poverty An open letter was sent to the Senate They were asked to act urgently in March to pass the bill during the current session.
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Disability Poverty Alleviation