Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) expresses our sincere and deep appreciation to Jim Flaherty for his enduring efforts as Finance Minister to launch and advance the world’s only Registered Disability Savings Plan.

Over 12 years ago, PLAN secured funding and began to conduct a multi-year, national campaign before proposing the Disability Savings Plan to the Canadian government. It was our pleasure to see Minister Flaherty establish an expert panel in his 2006 budget to examine how such a savings plan could help parents save for the long-term financial security of their children with significant disabilities. In 2008, families across the country remember with great fondness seeing the RDSP become a reality.

Since then, we have witnessed time and again how the savings tool, with its generous government contributions, exemptions and tax-assisted savings, has provided hope and security for thousands. Now Canadians with disabilities, many for the first time, are able to imagine a good life, open an account and save for a more financially safe future.

Over the years, PLAN has appreciated the opportunity to continue working closely with the Ministry of Finance to see the savings plan improve and be made more accessible for people with disabilities and their families. In the extensive review of 2010, many barriers were removed or greatly reduced.

As the torch is passed to the next Finance Minister, know that PLAN, and many others will continue to diligently work to promote the prolific savings vehicle, provide support for potential beneficiaries and their families, and advocate to make any necessary plan improvements.

Again, we commend the passion and tireless efforts of Minister Flaherty towards improving the lives of Canadians with disabilities, and wish him and his family all the best for the future.