QUEEN'S PARK — "I rise today to share the voices of some of London's most vulnerable residents, those struggling to survive on ODSP. People with disabilities in London West have told me they can barely afford rent, much less groceries, a phone and a bus pass on a monthly income of $1169.
During a time of unprecedented hardship and stress, people with disabilities have been forgotten by this government. Speaker, please listen to what they are saying.
'It seems everyone has help with this difficult time except people with disabilities. I am so saddened by the dignity we must lose once we are disabled in this province.'
'Disabled is not lazy or stupid, and disabled people can't just get up and get a job.'
'Why does Ontario pride itself on keeping those who are unable to work held to a life of poverty?'
Speaker, this government had an opportunity to improve supports for people with disabilities, but chose not to, tabling a budget that included no increase to social assistance rates, and cutting the meagre pandemic top-up benefit after just four months — a benefit that required an application process few people with disabilities knew about.
It is devastating and gut-wrenching to hear of the increasing number of people with disabilities choosing medical assistance in dying because they have lost the will to live.
Speaker, this government can, and must, do better."