MPs Back to Work to Tackle Unfinished Business

3 March 2010

For immediate release

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is pleased that Members of Parliament are back to work. Now the Government of Canada can make good on a commitment made on 3 December 2009: Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The CRPD is a historic international human rights treaty that alters how the world responds to disability. CRPD directs members of the United Nations to focus on barrier removal and measures that accommodate the disability-related needs of citizens. "Canada played an important role in drafting the language of the CRPD and many key Canadian concepts, such as the duty to accommodate, are replicated in the CRPD. We are proud that the Government of Canada made its December 3rd commitment, now we want them to complete the job of ratification so that we can get on with the business of building a more accessible and inclusive Canada," stated Laurie Beachell, National Coordinator of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

CCD and other members of the disability community have provided the Government of Canada with a National Action Plan, identifying measures for addressing critical disability issues: employment, poverty, disability-related supports, citizenship and access. "As MPs get back to their jobs, we will be contacting them with regard to implementing a national strategy on disability along the lines described in the community's National Action Plan," stated CCD Chairperson Marie White.

The Government of Canada has taken bold steps to counter the recession. Sadly, Canadians with disabilities occupy the lower echelons of Canada's social and economic hierarchy. As such we are among the most vulnerable Canadians. In its deficit fighting agenda, the Government of Canada must ensure that we are not forgotten or made worse off. “Hon. James Flaherty, Minister of Finance, is aware of our concerns. We trust that he and his colleagues remember that building a stronger Canada also means ensuring that all, including persons with disabilities, are able to participate fully in Canadian society,” stated White. "Moreover, in times following a recession we are a population that will be disproportionately hurt by cutbacks and fiscal restraint."


For more information contact:

Laurie Beachell, National Coordinator, 204-947-0303
Marie White, Chairperson, 709-739-8233