CCD Chairperson's Update - April 2015

With the month of April, CCD's new fiscal year began.  Due to changes that had been announced to the SDPP funding program, CCD had been preparing for its federal funding to come to an end on 30 March 2015. However, the Hon. Candice Bergen made the decision to extend the SDPP funding for the 2015-16 fiscal year.  CCD priorities continue to be: poverty alleviation, increased labour force participation of people with disabilities, creating greater inclusion and access.  This Update summarizes the activities taken during the month of April in support of a Canada barrier-free.

In February, the Supreme Court of Canada lifted the ban on assisted suicide.  Assisted suicide threatens the human rights of persons with disabilities.  It is now critical for people with disabilities to speak about safeguards needed so we are not offered assisted suicide as an option when services and supports are lacking. CCD has been undertaking a number of activities in preparation for the conversation on safeguards.

The CCD Ending of Life Ethics Committee met by conference call on 8 April 2015 to plan a workshop about assisted suicide and safeguards for the CCD Council meeting which will take place in June. 

CCD assisted Citizens with Disabilities Ontario (CWDO) with its webinar on assisted suicide, which took place on 26 April 2015.  Some of the guest speakers were: Catherine Frazee, former Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission; Jim Derksen, member of CCD's Ending of Life Ethics Committee; and Amy Hasbrouck, activist and founder of Toujours Vivant/Not Dead Yet. People with disabilities from across Canada gathered online to discuss this important topic. 

The CCD National Council met by Conference Call on 22 April 2015.  The National Council addressed the following topics: the 2015 Federal budget, a values and principles paper prepared by Catherine Frazee on assisted suicide, planning for the AGM and staffing at CCD.

The University of Victoria nominated Michael J. Prince for a SSHRC Partnership Award for his work on the Disabling Poverty, Enabling Citizenship research project.  The Partnership Award recognizes a SSHRC funded partnership for its outstanding achievement in advancing research, research training or knowledge mobilization, or developing a new partnership approach to research and/or related activities. It is awarded to a formal partnership that, through mutual co operation and shared intellectual leadership and resources, has demonstrated impact and influence within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community.  The award, if successful, would bring $50,000 towards furthering the goals of this alliance.