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What could the Canada Disability Benefit mean for poverty and food insecurity?

October 11, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EDT

Join us for a panel discussion with leading advocates from the disability community about the forthcoming Canada Disability Benefit.

This is an opportunity to engage, share perspectives, and connect with folks who are passionate about ending poverty and food insecurity among people with disabilities in Canada, including people with lived experience, community advocates, and Members of Parliament (MPs). All are welcome!

Guests will have time to socialize and informally discuss the learnings from the panel over light refreshments.

Daily Bread Food Bank is committed to ensuring our events are accessible to all members of the community. The venue has fully accessible seating and washrooms, and an ASL Interpretation will be provided. If you require any accommodations or have questions about the event’s accessibility, please let us know when you register OR reaching out to research@dailybread.ca

Doors open at 6:15PM, panel starts at 6:30PM, and the event will end at 8:30PM.

Transit & parking information can be found below.

Panel Moderator:

Amanda MacKenzie – National Director of Public Affairs, March of Dimes Canada

Amanda MacKenzie joined March of Dimes Canada in August, 2020 with a varied background in advocacy, public affairs and government and stakeholder relations. At March of Dimes Canada, Amanda has led the development of a full-service Public Affairs and advocacy program, raising March of Dimes Canada’s profile as both and with federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments and stakeholders, with a focus on advocating with and for Canadians with disabilities on income security and independence at home and community. Amanda’s professional experience is coupled by a deep personal connection to March of Dimes Canada’s mission, as she was legal guardian for her little brother, Graham, who lived with intellectual and physical disabilities. Prior to joining March of Dimes Canada, Amanda built and led grassroots advocacy and multifaceted public affairs programs at the Ontario Dental Association and The Arthritis Society. Amanda began her career in Ontario provincial politics as a policy advisor to then-Minister of Natural Resources, followed by working on the development of supports for small- and medium-size enterprises, Ontario trades workers, and municipal recovery in the office of Premier Dalton McGuinty. Amanda is a Toronto native whose son, Grant, is an apprentice carpenter in Calgary. Amanda, her partner and two bonus young teens live in central Toronto, accompanied by their boisterous dogs, Sprocket and Pippa.

Featured Speakers:

Margaret Eaton – National CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association

Since January 2020, Margaret has served as National CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the most extensive and established community mental health network in the country. In her time there, Margaret has championed universal mental health care and the role of community mental health organizations in delivering care to Canadians. Prior to her time at CMHA, Margaret held leadership roles in social service organizations, publishing and the performing arts. She has volunteered as a mentor and as a board member for many not-for-profit organizations in immigration, literacy and the arts. In 2012, she was awarded a Diamond Jubilee medal for contributions to literacy and culture. In 2021, Margaret was named one of the Hill Times’ Top 100 Lobbyists.

Rabia Khedr – National Director, Disability Without Poverty

Rabia Khedr is dedicated to equity and justice for persons with disabilities, women, and diverse communities. Rabia most recently served as a Director on the Accessibility Standards Canada board and a Commissioner on the Ontario Human Rights Commission. She sits on the Minister’s Disability Advisory Group. She is the National Director of Disability Without Poverty and CEO of DEEN Support Services. A founder of Race and Disability Canada, she is also a board member of the Muslim Council of Peel and the Federation of Muslim Women. A motivational speaker and documentary commentator, Rabia draws on her lived experience of being blind and advocating for siblings with intellectual disabilities. Rabia has received numerous awards for her humanitarian services, including a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Metal and the Daniel G. Hill Human Rights award. Rabia holds a Bachelor of Arts (University of Toronto) and a Master of Arts (York University).

Jonathan Lai – Executive Director, Autism Alliance of Canada

Jonathan Lai (PhD) is the Executive Director at Autism Alliance of Canada. He also holds an Adjunct Faculty position in Health Services Research at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Previously, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at York University, examining predictors of changes in service use for people with developmental disabilities. He led a series of TEDx talks and other integrated knowledge translation projects. This was followed by a CIHR Health System Impact Fellowship at McGill University and the Centre for Innovation in Autism and Intellectual Disabilities, where he led the development of a program evaluation of a specialized medical-dental primary care clinic for people with developmental disabilities, led federal government engagement of evidence-use in policy dialogues, and reports at the United Nations Convention on research evidence used in rights-based approaches for children with disabilities in Canada. His graduate training in Neuroscience at Guelph and McMaster focused on gene-environment influences on the developing brain, funded consecutively by Ontario Mental Health Foundation and a CIHR Vanier Scholarship.

Trevor Manson – Secretary Co-Chair, ODSP Action Coalition

Born in Nova Scotia, Trevor Manson started playing drums at age 12 and by age 15 had started playing with other local musicians. In 1990 at age 22, he relocated to Toronto, playing in numerous bands over the next couple of decades, blessing him with the opportunity to travel to many parts of Canada collecting memories that will last a lifetime. Simultaneously, starting in 1995, Trevor spent over two decades in market research, working his way up to senior project and resource management roles until developing a debilitating neuromuscular condition that unceremoniously ended both careers. Following release from hospital when Trevor started learning about the draconian and mind-boggling rules associated with our so-called social ‘safety net’ in 2015-16 — particularly regarding ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) — he transferred his attention and skills to advocating for himself and others, and now participates in various grassroots advocacy groups as a co-chair with ODSP Action Coalition. Music is still an integral part of Trevor’s life as he still enjoys noodling on his electronic drum-kit in his 400sq ft. bachelor apartment, and he has a small but impressive collection of Hot Wheels.


October 11, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm EDT