Government of Canada helps improve accessibility for people with disabilities in the Halifax area

ANTIGONISH, NS, July 12, 2013 /CNW/ - People with disabilities in the Halifax area will soon benefit from improved accessibility in their communities as a result of funding from the Government of Canada. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government is proud to help people with disabilities gain better access to community facilities, programs and services," said Minister MacKay. "We are dedicated to ensuring all Canadians have the opportunity to participate more fully in all our society has to offer."

Through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, four organizations in the Halifax area will receive funding totalling more than $114,000. The funding will help remove barriers and enhance accessibility at the First Baptist Church Halifax, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the Hillside Wesleyan Church as well as the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

To continue to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including in workplaces, the Government proposes in Economic Action Plan 2013 to extend the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year.

In addition, Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes to strengthen federal programming for people with disabilities to help them get the skills and training they need to gain better access to the labour market. This includes $40 million per year in ongoing funding for the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, starting in 2015-16, to help more people with disabilities overcome barriers to employment and train for in-demand jobs.


Backgrounder


Enabling Accessibility Fund (Small Project Component)

The Enabling Accessibility Fund was originally announced in 2007 as a three-year, $45 million program to support community-based projects across Canada. In 2010, the Fund was extended with an additional three-year, $45 million commitment and the creation of a new mid-sized component. Since the first call for proposals in 2008, over 1 000 projects have been awarded funding to improve accessibility in Canadian communities.

In Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government proposes to extend the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to continue to help improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

All applications for funding through the Enabling Accessibility Fund's 2012 call for proposals were screened against mandatory program criteria and for completeness. Successful projects demonstrated they were able to create or enhance accessibility for people with disabilities within Canada and involve community partnerships. At least 25 percent of the total eligible costs for each project will come from sources other than the federal government.


SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

For further information:

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

For further information (media only):
Jan O'Driscoll
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559
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