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This paper adopts a fiscal contract approach to examining the design of the Canada Disability Benefit and advocates using the CCB as a design model. It argues that a fiscal contract underlies the Income Tax Act which collects taxes as well as spends public money on poverty-reduction programs. In a tax state, the government’s spending is tied to taxing. The current fiscal contract reflects key Canadian values, such as equity and fairness, ability to pay, work, family and the rule of law. The CCB, which is implemented through the Income Tax Act, is a superior design model to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for designing the new benefit.


Submitted for publication in Osgoode Hall Law Journal (2023)

The author recognizes the funding support from SSHRC and research assistance by Osgoode JD students: Shelley Zhang, Zhongan Zhang, Michayla Wolf and Alex Qanbery. She thanks Michael Prince for his comments on an earlier draft and the participants of the Workshop “Women with Disabilities: Income Security and Tax Policy” for their illuminating discussions that enriched this paper. She remains responsible for all views and errors in this paper.