I thank you for your really important question.
People with disabilities have faced and are facing extraordinary expenses specific to COVID and additional barriers to getting the support and services they need. We wanted to ensure that we provided a supplement as opposed to an employment income replacement, as we did with seniors, that would ensure that these extraordinary expenses were the focus of this assistance.
We knew there was a gap in terms of.... We were able to provide...children with disabilities through CCB, seniors, students, low-income Canadians with disabilities through the GST, but there were significant cohorts.
What this pandemic has revealed is a gap in our system and a weakness in our policy and programs. We can't easily identify a group of Canadians with disabilities to connect with directly. The best group we had was disability tax credit claimants, but we needed legislation to allow the DTC data to be shared with my department in order to deliver this benefit. That's what the legislation would have done, unlock that data to allow us to deliver this supplement.
As I said in my opening remarks, I'm not in any way going to let this go. We are going to find a way to deliver this. I'm baffled, given the all-party support we had for the Accessible Canada Act, that we couldn't get all-party support, even when we took the disability piece out and tried to put it forth on its own, but I am no less committed. In fact, we are more resolved to deliver this, and we're going to find a way, hopefully, through legislation. That's the most inclusive and accessible way. If not, we're working on other options.