Introduced by the Government of Canada in 2008, the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) was the first of its kind in the world. It helps individuals with disabilities and their families plan and save for the future.

Last week, the Standing Committee of Banking, Trade and Commerce —one of the two committees that I serve on—heard from several groups about the RDSP. Below is more information on the RDSP, courtesy of the Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN).

  • The RDSP allows anyone eligible for the Disability Tax Credit to invest up to $200,000 in savings tax-free until withdrawal, and to spend the money in whatever way will benefit them most.
  • Family members and friends can contribute to someone’s RDSP, and help plan for that person’s long-term financial security.
  • The federal government matches contributions through Canada Disability Savings Grants and Bonds.
  • To date, more than 46,500 RDSP have been taken up.
  • The Big 5 Canadian banks offer the RDSP, as well as several credit unions.
  • For more information on the RDSP, visit PLAN’s webpage

Through its committees, the Senate conducts valuable work and helps to improve legislation and programs like the RDSP.  The Committee of Banking, Trade and Commerce is now working on a report that examines the ability of individuals to establish a RDSP. It is my hope that our committee work will make this valuable savings tool more accessible to individuals with disabilities and their families.

By Senator Doug Black


Senator Doug Black was appointed to the Senate on January 25, 2013, and serves on the Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce and the Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. He is Senior Counsel at Dentons Canada LLP, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002. Deeply involved in his community, Senator Black was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 in recognition of his many contributions. He has served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Calgary, Chair of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, is Governor Emeritus of the Banff Centre, and was Founder of Lake Crest School in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Senator Black was founding president of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada, a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the development of a Canadian energy framework. He lives in Alberta with his wife Linda, and they have two adult children.

Read Senator Black’s blog at