Lots of good reasons for seniors to file their taxes
April 18, 2016
The B.C. Seniors Advocate says there are at least nine good reasons why seniors stand to gain a lot from filing their income taxes. Isobel McKenzie has issued a press release explaining why it is important for seniors in the province to file tax returns, even if they do not think they make enough income to file. “There are many subsidies available to seniors that are based on income tax information,” said Isobel Mackenzie. “If seniors don’t file their taxes, low-income seniors in particular may be giving up opportunities to access subsidies which can make significant differences to their lives.”
Full article here
Dec 2 - 3: 4th Annual Artists with Disabilities Showcase
Show: Friday & Saturday , December 2-3, 2016 from 10am – 5pm
Where: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1040 Moss Street in Victoria
Cost: Entry is free to the public
Held at the most prestigious venue for art on the Island, the 4th Annual Artists with Disabilities Showcase is continuing to break down barriers.
This event is organized each year on December 3rd in conjunction with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Supported by a CRD Arts Grant, the event is organized by VDRC board members and volunteers from the community.
“This was not a disabled art show, it was an art show,” said art critic Robert Amos.
“We were not showcasing disabilities—we were showcasing abilities,“ said Les Chan. “People were very appreciative. The calibre of the work was outstanding.”
“There’s another art community out there, the disabled art community, a different, untapped, underappreciated community.” said Les.
We look forward to seeing you there!
ENTER OUR CHRISTMAS TREE CONTEST
You could WIN a one-night stay at the Inn at Laurel Point, including your choice of breakfast or dinner at Aura!
All you need to do is use the hashtag #BuildingAnAccessibleFuture to Facebook and if you want to take it a step further -- post a picture of our tree in the comments section you will receive an EXTRA entry!
*Contest ends January 3rd
Organizer Lauren Moline was interviewed on Ocean 98.5 today about the upcoming Artists with Disabilities Art Showcase! Have a listen below.
RDSP’s: Major financial benefits for little or no investment
Jessica Humphrey, parent of a child with a disability, and Jason Holmes, a financial advisor, cannot understand why more people have not taken advantage of a government program that helps people with disabilities save for their future by giving them money:
• For persons on low incomes, the program gives up to $1000 per year, for 20 years, with no investment required (translation: FREE MONEY) in the form of a federal savings bond.
• The Registered Disability Savings Program (RDSP) also offers generous 3 to 1 grants (3 dollars given by the government for every 1 dollar invested) up to $3500 per year. This adds up to total grants and bonds per year of up to $4500.
• On top of that, the program will grant money retroactively. Anyone with a disability that was registered before 2016 is entitled to additional grants for previous years, back to the beginning of the program in 2008.
These points came out at an information session in Victoria on Oct 25, organized by Jessica and the Garth Homer Society, along with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre and Desjardins Financial Security.
Jessica said that in 2008 her family started her 7-year-old daughter in an RDSP with a contribution of $1500, and has since seen that grow many, many times over. She spoke of the psychological value for her daughter and for others that comes from the growth of financial security through this program. She said that a young man with an intellectual disability that she knows, whose RDSP has now has grown to a major asset, finds it "hugely empowering" to have that security.
Jason Holmes of Desjardins Financial Security noted that RDSP savings and withdrawals do not affect federal and provincial income-tested benefits. He added that in order to maximize financial gains it can be helpful to strategize with a professional on how to best contribute to an RDSP.
RDSPs will be discussed in the upcoming series of Financial Literacy to be held at our offices on Fort Street on Nov 15, 16, 22, 23. See the notice immediately below for further info. Also, more coverage of RDSP's is planned on this website in the near future.
Albert Ruel of Barrier Free BC speaks at AGM
In the keynote speech at the VDRC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sept 28, Albert Ruel of Barrier Free BC (BFBC) explained why his organization is working with other groups to encourage the BC government to adopt a British Columbians with Disabilities Act.
He said that about 600,000 British Columbians with disabilities face unfair accessibility barriers in areas under Provincial Government control. He spoke of the need to bring barrier-free regulations to public transit, education, public parks and playgrounds, library services, health care, retail outlets, restaurants, recreation facilities, entertainment venues and workplaces.
Albert, a member of the steering committee of BFBC, is a long-time advocate for people with visual impairments and rehabilitation.
He encouraged the audience to take time to review the 13 principles behind the British Columbians with Disabilities Act, and to support their calls to enact the new legislation.
The campaign is driven entirely by volunteer supporters from across British Columbia. They, along with disability organizations, business enterprises and other sectors, are presenting a collective, unified voice in Victoria.
Barrier-Free BC began in November, 2015, when a small group of people with various disabilities ratified 13 principles upon which a British Columbians with Disabilities Act should be based. They developed a “Just Say Yes” Action Kit from which supporters could learn more about how a disability Act would benefit British Columbians with disabilities, why one was needed, and how supporters could assist in various ways to promote the campaign.
Click here for more info and to add your voice to this campaign
The Independent Living Canada’s Annual General Meeting, and 30th Anniversary Celebration, took place in beautiful downtown Ottawa on September 30th and October 1st. This two-day event was jam-packed with information sharing, exciting updates and valuable networking with others from the 25 Independent Living Centres across Canada.
We were fortunate to meet the new National Manager Denis Boileau, listened to a message from Minister Qualtrough, heard a song created specifically for IL Canada and viewed a commercial developed for Empower – The Disability Resource Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Commercial can be viewed on their webpage: http://www.empowernl.ca/
or on YouTube: https://youtu.be/emICEnPU7L4.
Song can be heard here:
IL Canada provided many informative and useful presentations to help IL Centre’s across Canada deliver programs to their community members.
Happy Anniversary IL Canada!
A call for a British Columbians with Disabilities Act
At the VDRC’s annual general meeting, September 28, 2016, Albert Ruel talked about the grassroots organizing to get the provincial government to pass accessibility legislation with teeth. Albert is a member of the steering committee of Barrier Free BC which is leading the campaign. The legislation would be called the British Columbians with Disabilities Act and would be designed to make BC a fully accessible province.
Prime Minister Trudeau is currently following through on his commitment to enact a Canadians with Disabilities Act that will remove and prevent the creation of new barriers in areas under federal jurisdiction. Now would be the time for BC to adopt such legislation regarding areas under provincial jurisdiction.
The purpose of a British Columbians with Disabilities Act should be to:
• set the goal of making BC a fully accessible and barrier-free province for all people with disabilities by a designated date;
• require the Government of BC to lead BC to this goal;
• require the Government of BC to create and enforce accessibility standards that will let organizations know what they must do to remove and prevent barriers against people with disabilities;
• ensure that the Government of BC and provincially-regulated organizations never use public money to create or perpetuate barriers against people with disabilities;
• encourage BC companies to develop fully accessible goods and services for sale in domestic and international markets, based on principles of universal design.
The Victoria Disability Resource Centre supports Barrier-Free BC’s call for the enactment of a strong, effective and enforceable British Columbians with Disabilities Act.
For more information:
In the 2015 federal election, Justin Trudeau promised to pass a Canadians with Disabilities Act. The Federal Government is consulting Canadians on what to include in this new national disability accessibility law. Some points you might make when giving the Federal Government feedback on its online questionnaire can be found here.
PWD application process to be streamlined for some British Columbians with disabilities
The Ministry of Social Development recently introduced legislation that will streamline the Persons with Disabilities Benefit (PWD) application process for people with disabilities in the following programs:
Community Living BC
The Ministry of Children and Family Development At Home Program
BC PharmaCare Plan P – Palliative Care
Canadian Pension Plan – Disability