JDRF welcomes Government’s decision to end RDSP clawbacks when DTC status lost, but says opportunity missed to support Canadians with diabetes through a national diabetes strategy

Toronto, ON – March 20, 2019 – JDRF Canada, the leading global funder of type 1 diabetes research, welcomed the news in this year’s federal budget that the government intends to end the practice of clawing back contributions to Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) for those whose eligibility status for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) has changed.

“We’re pleased the government has recognized the unfairness that was inherent in clawing back funds, in some cases amounting to tens of thousands of dollars, that vulnerable Canadians used to cover their extraordinary medical expenses, says Dave Prowten, President and CEO at JDRF Canada. Canadians with type 1 diabetes spend up to $15,000 annually in out of pocket costs managing their disease. The move to end the RDSP clawback is welcome; though the government has missed an opportunity in not moving forward with a national diabetes strategy.”

JDRF had made a number of recommendations to the Government of Canada in its pre-budget submission– that Canada develop a national diabetes strategy, fix problems with the Disability Tax Credit and the Registered Disability Savings Plan, introduce a National Diabetes Registry, and include all types of insulin under any National Pharmacare Plan that’s introduced.  

JDRF Canada along with Diabetes Canada and other groups had been urging the government to commit to funding a national diabetes strategy in Budget 2019 before the burden of diabetes gets worse for Canadians, the health care system and the economy.

“Canada is in desperate need of a measurable outcome-focused national strategy,” adds Prowten. “Without a coordinated, national approach to tackling diabetes the incidence rate in Canada will continue to escalate.”

Diabetes prevalence in Canada is not only skyrocketing, but is already among the worst of developed countries. Canada now has the sixth highest incidence rate of type 1 diabetes (T1D) in children age 14 years and younger in the world. With T1D increasing faster in Canada than in many other developed countries (effectively doubling every 20 years), and type 2 diabetes increasing at an even faster rate, there is an urgent need to address what many now refer to as the diabetes epidemic.

For this reason, JDRF Canada made support for a national diabetes strategy one of five key recommendations in our 2019 Pre-Budget Submission. JDRF will continue to advocate for our other recommendations. For example:

  • Including insulin amongst the drugs covered by any national pharmacare program that’s developed. Noting the government’s intention to move forward and develop a national pharmacare program, including a new national formulary of prescription drugs, JDRF will continue to express the need for all types of insulin to be covered for all Canadians with T1D.
  • Changes to the Income Tax Act aimed at fixing problems that Canadians with T1D encounter in qualifying for the Disability Tax Credit and the Registered Disability Savings Plan. We remain hopeful that these recommendations might still be addressed and look forward to the Disability Advisory Committee’s first report this spring.

Considering the difficulties that Canadians with T1D still encounter in qualifying for the Disability Tax Credit, more consideration should have been given to the simple and practical amendments JDRF had proposed for the Income Tax Act and Canada Disability Savings Regulations.

We will continue to strongly advocate that Canada develop a national diabetes strategy, a type 1 diabetes registry of patients and for all other recommendations from JDRF’s pre-budget submission not included in today’s budget.


About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research. Our goal is to raise funds to support the most advanced international type one diabetes research and progressively remove the impact of this disease from people’s lives – until we achieve a world without type 1 diabetes. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure type 1 diabetes. JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of type 1 diabetes research. For more information, please visit jdrf.ca.         


Media contact
Arielle Nkongmeneck
Bilingual Marketing and Communications Specialist
JDRF Canada




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