CCD Chairperson's Update - December 2013

In this edition, you will find some fast facts on what I and other members of the CCD team did during the month of December to promote access and inclusion in Canada. ~ Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson

Fine Tuning Our Message on Poverty

On 2 December 2013, CCD hosted a meeting in Ottawa of the team guiding the Disabling Poverty/Enabling Citizenship project and the team was joined by people active in nonprofit organizations addressing poverty and by people engaged in other research projects addressing poverty.  During the meeting, participants recommended how to make the project's final reports resonate with a broad audience.

Educating MPs

On 3 December 2013, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Ministers Kenney and Flaherty hosted a breakfast on Parliament Hill where Members of Parliament had the opportunity to meet with leaders from the disability community.  Marie Ryan, the Chairperson of CCD's Social Policy Committee, emceed the event and the speakers were Minister Flaherty, Minister Kenney, Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson, and Laurie Larson, CACL President.  At the breakfast, Ministers Flaherty and Kenney were joined by the Hon. Peter McKay, the Hon. Steven Fletcher, the Hon. Kelly Leitch, the Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Judy Sgro, Mike Sullivan, Manon Perreault and others. 

In honour of International Day, CCD shared with MPs the publication "Celebrating Our Accomplishments", which explains how the voice of people with disabilities has successfully transformed Canada to be more accessible and inclusive of people with disabilities.  (Through a media advisory, CCD informed the press about how Canada's parliamentarians were recognizing the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.)

Following the breakfast CCD representatives met with the following MPs: Hon. Candice Bergen, Stella Ambler, Niki Ashton, Mike Sullivan, David McGuinty to share with them the message of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Informing the Public about the CRPD on International Day

On 3 December 2013, direct from the House of Commons, where he participated in International Day celebrations, Vangelis Nikias did a radio interview linking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Filing a Reply at the SCC

On 11 December 2013, CCD filed with the Supreme Court a reply to the Appellant's opposition to our intervention in the leave application in the Carter case (assisted suicide).

Promoting an Accessible and Inclusive Postal Service

On 11 December 2013, the media began to contact CCD for reactions to Canada Post's announcement that it plans to discontinue door-to-door mail delivery and raise postal rates and the calls continued for many days thereafter.  Laurie Beachell and I did a number of media interviews and one of the highlights was an interview that I did with The Current.

On 18 December 2013, Bob Brown and Roy Hanes, representing the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), appeared before the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to discuss Canada Post's announced changes to services.   CCD urged the Government of Canada to preserve some form of door-to-door service so that people with disabilities do not face more exclusion and dependency.

Working for An Accessible Built Environment

With the assistance of Brian Everton, an expert on universal design, CCD participated in the online public consultation on proposed changes to the National Model Construction Codes.

Seeking an Improved Registered Disability Saving Plan

Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce - Study on the ability of individuals to establish a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) - On 11 December 2013, Brendon Pooran and Vangelis Nikias testified before the Senate Committee to explain how to improve the RDSP.  Vangelis Nikias explained how the CRPD directs States Parties to meet the income security needs of persons with disabilities.

Networking with Colleagues

On the evening of 2 December 2013, CCD, DAWN – RAFH Canada, People First and CACL hosted a reception in Ottawa where representatives from the three organizations and their guests had the opportunity to network in an informal setting.

Dialoging on Issues

CCD's Ending of Life Ethics Committee met by conference call on 9 December 2013. The meeting focused on the following topics:  legal cases (Carter), Quebec legislation to legalize assisted suicide, community education, media relations and the activities of Toujours Vivant/Not Dead Yet.

On 11 December 2013, the CCD Executive Committee met to coordinate CCD's activities for December and January.

Planning for the AGM

CCD is preparing for the June Annual General Meeting.  At the last AGM, Council directed staff to circulate to auditing firms a request for proposals about conducting CCD's audit.  CCD canvassed other disability organizations in Winnipeg about the auditing firms they use and then sent out requests to these firms for proposals.  CCD is waiting for responses.  The CCD Executive Committee decided to hold the AGM in Winnipeg as a cost saving measure.

Raising Funds

CCD undertook a successful fund raising campaign for KAMPI, bringing in $1485.00 CAD.  KAMPI is CCD's counterpart in the Philippines and the funds will go to disaster relief for people with disabilities.

Laurie Beachell and I sent out a Christmas appeal for charitable donations on behalf of CCD. You can donate to CCD through CanadaHelps.

Inputting to SDPP-D

This month, Laurie Beachell has been sharing CCD's perspective with the Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP-D) on a new competitive funding program addressing disability issues.


The Accessibility For Manitobans Act is now law in the province!  Congratulations to people with disabilities in Manitoba for this achievement.

Congratulations to Ravi Malhotra on the publication of Exploring Disability Identity and Disability Rights through Narratives.

Congratulations to the MLPD, a CCD member group, which received an award on International Human Rights Day, for its contribution to human rights in Manitoba.  CCD Human Rights Committee member Jim Dersken and Clare Simpson, CCD Comptroller, spoke at the awards ceremony.

Check out Phil McColeman's web site where you can view videos of House of Commons activity on M-430 - Strengthening Employment for Canadians with Disabilities.  M-430 states:

M-430 – Strengthening Employment for Canadians with Disabilities
That, in the opinion of the House, the government endorse the report entitled "Rethinking disAbility in the Private Sector", the report of the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and its findings, and commit to further building public-private cooperation by:

(a)     Building on existing Government initiatives, such as the Opportunities Fund; the Registered Disability Savings Plan; the ratification of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities;

(b)     Issuing a call to action for Canadian employers to examine the expert panel's findings and encouraging employers to take advantage of private sector-led initiatives to increase employment levels for persons with disabilities in Canada;

(c)     Pursuing greater accountability and coordination of its labour market funding for persons with disabilities and ensuring that funding is demand driven and focused on suitable performance indicators with strong demonstrable results;

(d)     Establishing an increased focus on young people with disabilities to include support mechanisms specifically targeted at increasing employment levels among youth with disabilities, through programs such as the Youth Employment Strategy;

(e)     Strengthening efforts to identify existing innovative approaches to increasing the employment of persons with disabilities occurring in communities across Canada and ensuring that programs have the flexibility to help replicate such approaches.