A music lover and human rights activist, David Cohen’s greatest legacy might be his hand in the creation of a Registered Disability Savings Plan, which will benefit an estimated 740,000 Canadians with disabilities.
When David was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in the fall of 2005, his friends rallied to his support. His days in hospital and later in a hospice were filled with company, with tears and with laughter. As his friends celebrated his life, they caught the attention of a CBC producer who was captivated by their devotion to David.
When Sean Moore, a partner at Gowling Lafleur Henderson, saw David’s Legacy on CBC’s The National in March, it prompted him to call PLAN. Sean had supported PLAN’s efforts to advance a Registered Disability Savings Plan in Ottawa over the previous three years. Sean suggested that PLAN meet with the newly elected Conservative Government which was in the last stages of preparing its spring budget, “…and”, he said, “I think I can arrange a meeting with folks in the Prime Minister’s Office.
In his first budget less than two weeks later Finance Minister, James Flaherty, announced his intent to create an expert panel to study the issues faced by families faced with the concern of securing the future for their relatives with disabilities. Less than a year later, on March 19th, 2007 Minister Flaherty made Canada the first nation to create a Registered Disability Savings Plan.