News Release Article from  Employment and Social Development Canada

Canadians have their say on an Accessible Canada in Vancouver and Ottawa

Public sessions in Charlottetown and Halifax are next

December 8, 2016         Ottawa, Ontario        Employment and Social Development Canada 

In the past two weeks, the Government of Canada held public sessions in Vancouver and Ottawa, as part of the consultation process to inform planned accessibility legislation. The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, is leading consultations on the accessibility barriers Canadians face in their daily lives, as well as listening and engaging with Canadians on what the Government of Canada can do to address these issues. 

Next stops for public sessions include Charlottetown on December 8; Halifax on December 9; and Toronto on February 8. Canadians can pre-register at accessible-canada@hrsdc.gc.ca, or just present themselves at the time and place of the public session.

All Canadians are encouraged to participate in the consultation by attending an in-person session near them, or by completing the online questionnaire. More information on in-person locations and a link to the questionnaire can be found at Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada. Canadians are also encouraged to follow @AccessibleGC on Twitter, Accessible Canada on Facebook and the #AccessibleCanada hashtag. The consultation process will run until February 28, 2017.

Quotes

“I am thrilled to hear from Canadians first-hand about their vision for an Accessible Canada. The Government of Canada is working hard to ensure that all Canadians have equal opportunity in their communities and workplaces, and it is energizing to hear Canadians’ suggestions for how we can do just that. This is an incredible opportunity and one that will have a historical impact on millions of Canadians living with a disability. I encourage all Canadians to get involved in this consultation.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities  

“It was a great honour to be the champion for the Ottawa community consultation. Powerful messages were forcefully delivered by so many people who have experienced the frustrations that come with unnecessary barriers and exclusion, but who, at the same time have experienced the joys of inclusion when obstacles and barriers are removed forever. The citizens of Ottawa have strongly expressed their feelings, attitudes, wishes and desires for full accessibility and inclusion—and they did so in both official spoken languages, as well as in text and signed languages (ASL and LSQ). I am confident that the new legislation will be a powerful vehicle for implementing the high hopes and concrete actions that were raised and so eloquently discussed in this historic meeting. As the nation’s capital, the Ottawa region is in a unique position to become a model for accessibility and full inclusion for all of Canada.”
– Dr. James MacDougall, C. M., PhD, C. Psych.  

“It was a great honour to be the local champion at the public consultations in Vancouver. It was an amazing afternoon of hearing passionate stories of the barriers that persons with disabilities are facing along with innovative ideas on how this legislation might be able to address them for a more inclusive and accessible Canada. Clearly the voices were heard, and I could feel that this process is real opportunity for positive change.”
– Gary Birch, Executive Director of the Neil Squire Society 

Associated Links

Consultation on Planned Accessibility Legislation
Twitter: @AccessibleGC
Facebook: Accessible Canada

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Contacts 

Ashley Michnowski
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
819-934-1122 / TTY: 1-866-702-6967 

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter                         

 


Backgrounder



Consultations to inform the development of accessibility legislation

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Canada’s first Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, was mandated by the Prime Minister to lead an engagement process with stakeholders—including Canadians with disabilities, provinces, territories and municipalities—that would inform planned legislation to transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility. Starting in September until February 28, 2017, Canadians across Canada will be able to participate in the in-person consultation engagement process. The next in-person public consultations are planned to take place in the following cities:

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island / December 8, 2016 (4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. AT)
Murphy’s Community Centre
200 Richmond Street, Charlottetown

Halifax, Nova Scotia / December 9, 2016 (3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. AT)
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
1055 Marginal Road, Halifax

Toronto, Ontario / February 8, 2017 (4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET)
Location TBD

Any Canadian who would like to pre-register for an in-person session, or to notify us of accommodation needs, can contact the Office for Disability Issues:

Consultation – Federal Accessibility Legislation
c/o Office for Disability Issues
Employment and Social Development Canada
105 Hotel-de-ville Street, 1st floor, Bag 62
Gatineau QC  K1A 0J9

For the most up-to-date information on in-person venues and dates, and to participate online, please visit Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.

Minister Qualtrough will also participate in roundtable discussions, as well as a National Youth Forum that will engage Canadian youth with disabilities in the policy discussion.


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