Madam Speaker, I am pleased to follow up on a question that I asked the Minister of National Revenue last fall about the disability tax credit fiasco, which had a major impact on people with type 1 diabetes. Since I have only four minutes, I would like to briefly remind the House of what happened.
Overnight, the number of people with type 1 diabetes being denied the tax credit by the Canada Revenue Agency inexplicably began to soar. Such a thing had never been seen before. A person with type 1 diabetes who had never had any trouble getting the disability tax credit before was suddenly being turned down by the CRA on the pretext that they no longer met the criteria.
That could happen in one or two exceptional cases. Last fall, however, an astounding number of people started contacting members on both sides of the House to complain about this situation, which was reaching unprecedented levels. The minister kept insisting that there had been no change in the criteria and that there was no reason to worry, even though the reality on the ground was that a staggering number of people were being denied the tax credit.
Eventually, the minister was forced to apologize, because concrete evidence, in the form of CRA emails, proved that an internal memo had been sent to agents telling them to review disability tax credit applications more closely, especially those from people with type 1 diabetes. She had to apologize because the facts were checked by the media and the opposition, who finally uncovered the truth. If the minister had to apologize, it is because something had in fact changed. This shows that she did a poor job of managing this file, to say the least. She confused everyone, as did the public servants who appeared before the committee. One message had been sent to the agents on the front lines, while the government was sending a completely different message.
As a follow-up, I would like to ask the government to tell us how many people were affected by this incredible fiasco. How many people suffering from type 1 diabetes in Canada were affected and became ineligible for the tax credit overnight? We hope that they won their case with the Canada Revenue Agency and that they have finally received their tax credit. There have been changes at the agency and we hope that other changes will be made in order to clarify the rules.
How many people were affected by the fiasco created by the Minister of National Revenue?