In November 2012, Canada 2020’s leadership met with the faculty and staff of the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) with the goal of engaging their students in our marquee project The Canada We Want in 2020. We created a prize essay contest, with gracious financial support from the administration of GSPIA, where students were asked to write a short paper on a policy challenge facing the federal government, and what a progressive policy solution would look like.
This is the winning submission, entitled ‘Re-evaluating the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit and its Return-to-Work Incentives’
In her paper, second-year student Nicole Agbayani picks up on a number of different strands Canada 2020’s work – from reducing income disparities and polarization, to increasing productivity, as well as our more recent foray into skills training and development.
At present, those who are injured or disabled are at the tail end of an extreme income polarization in this country. What caught our attention, though, was her assertion that in order to remedy this, governments should construct policy not around disability – but rather, ability. It’s a simple idea, but one that – if enacted properly – would be transformative.
Canada 2020 would like to thank Nicole Agbayani for her hard work and thoughtful submission to the contest. We would also like to thank the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) for their support of this initiative. In particular, we would like to thank David Zussman, the School’s Director, and Miles Corak, Professor of Economics, for their support and promotion of the contest and our work. Lastly, we would like to thank all of the students who submitted work to the contest.
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