At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Canadians who received emergency pandemic support are now being asked to repay them and face claw backs for other supports, including social and disability assistance, rent supplements, worker benefits, and child benefits. Women with precarious immigration status are also completely excluded from many benefits specifically intended to alleviate poverty. Such claw backs and exclusions disproportionately affect vulnerable women and directly contradict feminist economic and social policy.
Budget 2022, allocated over $14 billion in new and advanced housing spending, demonstrating a commitment to address the housing crisis in Canada. However, the government’s strategy, which focuses on chronic homelessness, lacks a clear understanding of women’s unique housing needs, and the ways that intersectional inequalities impact individual circumstances.
As a result of pressure from disability advocates, the government followed through quickly on its promised Canada Disability Benefit Act, which is currently with the Senate. Budget 2022 also included $272.6 million over five years to implement an employment strategy for persons with disabilities, and Canada's first-ever Disability Inclusion Action Plan was launched in 2022, after significant consultation with the disability community.
The government has steadily invested in initiatives to tackle structural and systemic racism in Canada. However, it failed to launch the promised National Action Plan on Combatting Hate, or to create a federal Anti-Racism Act to build a legislative framework and foundation for the federal Anti-Racism Secretariat. Advocates want to see bolder action and stronger gender and intersectional analysis for existing commitments.