Canada 2020 & uOttawa Student Prize Essay Winning Submission

Author: Nicole Agbayani
Release Date:
April 12, 2013

In November 2012, Canada 2020’s leadership met with the faculty and staff of the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) with the goal of engaging their students in our marquee project The Canada We Want in 2020. We created a prize essay contest, with gracious financial support from the administration of GSPIA, where students were asked to write a short paper on a policy challenge facing the federal government, and what a progressive policy solution would look like.

This is the winning submission, entitled ‘Re-evaluating the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit and its Return-to-Work Incentives’

In her paper, second-year student Nicole Agbayani picks up on a number of different strands of Canada 2020’s work – from reducing income disparities and polarization, to increasing productivity, as well as our more recent foray into skills training and development.

At present, those who are injured or disabled are at the tail end of an extreme income polarization in this country.  What caught our attention, though, was her assertion that in order to remedy this, governments should construct policy not around disability – but rather, ability. It’s a simple idea, but one that – if enacted properly – would be transformative.

Questions and comments can be directed to

Download (1.3 MB)

Site by Carbure