Social Policy Reform and Systems Change

Systems Change:  

PEI ACL is committed to working on removing barriers to well-known systems of exclusion, poverty and discrimination faced by families and/or individuals across Prince Edward Island.

Priority areas include:

1.  Changes to the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).  We are asking that the Social Assistance Policy Manual Section 7 Subsection 22. The section states: “There is an exemption on RDSP income up to the point that combined RDSP income and Departmental benefits meet the provincial low income rates. There is also complete exemption of RDSP assets, until they are converted into income to the disabled person”.

The PEI ACL is actively seeking an amendment to the policy to FULLY exempt the RDSP for all persons with disabilities with no reflection or analysis on the Low Income Cut Off Level and as a result, no negative impact on their supports and services.

2. The Government of Canada allows $7,899 as a base amount for non-refundable Disability Tax Credit to eligible Canadians while PEI base amounts remain at $6,890 for the same credit eligible to Islanders.   We are asking our provincial Government to amend the PEI Tax Act to bring the base amount equal to the Federal Income Tax Act.

3.  Supported Decision Making Legislation.

The legal term for being able to make decisions is “legal capacity”.  The UNCRPD Article 12 recognizes that persons with disabilities have the right to recognition everywhere as persons before the law; that persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life; that States Parties shall take appropriate measures to provide access by persons with disabilities to the support they may require in exercising their legal capacity.

Currently we only have Guardianship (Substitute Decision Maker) on PEI through the Department of the Public Trustee and Guardian.  This method of support assumes that some people do not have the capacity to make legally binding decisions and put in place substitute decision maker who make decisions on behalf of the person.

For people with intellectual disabilities self-determination and full citizenship are fundamental principles that underlie the potential enjoyment of human rights.  PEI ACL, for the last 15 years, has been working towards Supported Decision Making Legislation on Prince Edward Island.  It is our position that every person with an intellectual disability has the right to have their decisions legally recognized and to receive the support they require in making those decisions.

What is Supported Decision-Making?  Watch this video

We are actively seeking Supported Decision Making legislation on Prince Edward Island to ensure people have access to supports and reasonable accommodation they require to make decisions in their own lives.

Social Policy Reform: 

PEI ACL promotes the rights and values in keeping with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

For the last 60 + years we have taken a leadership role in the area of law reform and social policy. Working with governments at all levels and the community, we promote policies and programs that support people with intellectual disabilities in every aspect of life and work to break down barriers in the systems.

With the varying policies and systems that are affecting families/individuals, the PEI ACL has been focussing on the compliance within the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

With rates of disability growing across PEI and around the world, due in part to aging populations, we can no longer afford the cost of exclusion. Good public policy creates a society in which people – in all their diversity – are equally valued, free, safe and respected for their presence and contribution in social, political, cultural and economic life in their community.

Our information cards on Articles 12, 19, 24, 27 and 28.


Human Rights Cards