From coast to coast to coast, Canadians with long-term disabilities are finding their rights increasingly eroded, both from private insurers and government regulations. Amid a climate of restraint, it has become easier to role back hard won victories made by and for some of our most vulnerable citizens, but it’s not all bad news. Let’s take a tour across the country to see how long-term disability claims are holding up.

The Halifax Chronicle Herald reports that Veterans’ disability claims are at risk as the federal government continues to assail returning veterans’ claims with “claim denied”. Together with several other veterans, Dennis Manuge from Porters Lake, NS, has launched a class-action lawsuit against Ottawa. They claim their disability benefits were “unjustly clawed back because the payments were unfairly deemed as income”. Fortunately, the Federal Court of Canada decision has ruled that Government of Canada acted illegally in making deductions from veterans’ long term disability benefits.

In Toronto, CBC reports efforts on the part of disabled parents to keep their children after child welfare workers stepped in to take their one-month-old boy. There is a history in Canada of authorities taking children of disabled parents, “Often there’s the assumption that parents are unable to look after their child, rather than look at what can we do to help this family support the child,” said Laurie Beachell, national co-ordinator with the Winnipeg-based Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

Also from Ontario, Margot Scott, Chair, Community Outreach and Development Committee for reminds us in the Caledon Citizen that, “During Mental Health Week, let us remember that everyone has the right to live without discrimination, including people affected by mental illness”. Mental Health Week is upon us, running May 7 through 13.

CBC Northern News Service reports that the Yukon legislature has voted unanymously in favour of a $2,000 tax break to help Yukon family caregivers of disabled persons. Premier Darrell Pasloski said, “This tax credit will provide tax relief for caregivers of all types of infirm, dependent relatives, including, for the first time, spouses, common-law partners and minor children.”

In April, Rick Hansen was in Vancouver to unveiled the Royal Canadian Mint’s 25th Anniversary Man in Motion coin. He will al be part of the Man in Motion Burnaby celebrations on May 18.




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