Federal Budget Includes New Funding for Type 1 Diabetes Research, National Diabetes Framework and Expanded Access to Disability Tax Credit

JDRF Canada is thrilled that federal budget 2021 includes new funding for type 1 diabetes research, as well as support for a national diabetes framework and improvements to the Disability Tax Credit (DTC).   

Of the $35 million investment to honour the centenary of the discovery of insulin,  JDRF is awaiting further details to better understand how this investment will support the renewal of the JDRF-CIHR Partnership to Defeat Diabetes, as JDRF had recommended a renewed research investment of $15M to be matched by JDRF and its donors for a total research impact of $30M.  

In fall 2020, our youth ambassadors took to the Hill virtually as part of our Kids for a Cure lobby day. Our delegates met with Members of Parliament and Senators to raise awareness about the daily challenges faced by those living with T1D and the need for more Canadian research in this field – specifically through the Partnership. 

The JDRF-CIHR Partnership to Defeat Diabetes is a landmark collaboration between the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and JDRF Canada to support transformative type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. This unique partnership ensures that T1D remains a priority in Canadian health research and is based on a shared vision of improved care, treatment, outcomes and cures for those living with T1D.  

Continued investment in diabetes research and care will ensure those living with the disease can live healthier, safer and easier lives. It will also ensure that Canada continues as a world leader in T1D clinical trials and translational research.  

Federal budget 2021 acknowledges the importance of investing in diabetes care by including funding to establish a national framework for diabetes. The federal government appears poised to take on the work proposed by Liberal MP Sonia Sidhu in her Private Member’s Bill C-237, National Framework For Diabetes Act, which recently passed second reading in the House of Commons. Inspired by Diabetes 360 initiative first proposed by Diabetes Canada with support and input from JDRF Canada and other diabetes organizations, Diabetes 360 aims to develop meaningful targets designed to stem the rising tide of diabetes based on an innovative model that was used globally to tackle HIV/AIDS. 

The need for a comprehensive diabetes strategy is becoming increasingly important given the rising costs of complications associated with diabetes and the rapid rise in incidence over the past decade.   

The federal budget has also made changes to the eligibility criteria for the DTC, making key activities such as exercise, carbohydrate counting, medical appointments and time spent recovering from high or low blood sugars eligible to be counted against the 14 hours per week requirement. These changes are positive and should make it easier for more people with T1D to qualify.  

As we mark the centenary of the discovery of insulin this year, it’s fitting to continue investing in crucial partnerships and strategies that will ensure those living with diabetes can stay healthy until a cure is found. We are grateful for this commitment by the Government of Canada. 

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