Canada's New Government highlights the importance of accessible transportation



    OTTAWA, June 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Mr. Brian Jean, Parliamentary Secretary to
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, today addressed the 11th International Conference on Mobility and
Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED). Hosted by Transport
Canada, the conference is being held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal
from June 18-22, 2007.
    "The TRANSED Conference provides the most comprehensive record of
accessible transportation developments," said Mr. Jean. "Delegates are in
Montreal this week to share best practices and to continue to build a solid
foundation of research that will benefit people around the world for many
years to come."
    "Transport Canada's top priority is to provide the best transportation
system for Canada and Canadians - one that is safe, efficient, accessible,
affordable, integrated and environmentally friendly," said Minister Cannon.
"Hosting TRANSED helps us fulfill that mandate."
    The conference, the second to be held in Canada in TRANSED's 30-year
history, brings together over 600 delegates from more than 50 countries to
review advances in research, profile international breakthroughs and explore
technological innovations designed to help eliminate barriers for seniors and
persons with disabilities.

    During his remarks, Mr. Jean focused on two key areas:

    
        - The Government of Canada's role in providing policy leadership to
          improve accessibility and remove undue obstacles from the national
          transportation system in an effort to provide the best
          transportation system for Canada and Canadians.

        - The Canadian Transportation Agency's recently released Code of
          Practice: Passenger Terminal Accessibility, which applies to a
          range of terminals, including small ferry terminals, rural and
          urban train stations, and Canada's airports. For the service
          provider, the Code offers solutions that are practical, functional
          and deal with the realities of operations. For travellers with
          disabilities, it will offer solutions that are service-oriented and
          designed to meet their needs. The Agency has the lead in Canada for
          improving accessibility in the national transportation system.
    

    Mr. Jean also took this opportunity to launch Transport Canada's new
disability awareness training program. The Getting on Board program will be
offered free of charge to small transportation service providers, such as
small airports or airlines, who might not be in a position to develop their
own training programs.
    Under the theme "Benchmarking, Evaluation and Vision for the Future," the
goal of TRANSED 2007 is to review past achievements and share accessible
transportation and travel solutions for the future. The program includes a
series of stimulating technical sessions, complemented by technical tours of
local accessible transportation facilities, interactive tutorials, and a
social program for delegates.
    A two-day exhibition, opened to the public on June 18 and 19, showcases
products and services that promote inclusive design and strategies for people
living with accessibility challenges.

    The TRANSED conference is held every three years in different countries -
the last two were held in Japan and Poland - and is an exceptional opportunity
for the accessible transportation sector, because it attracts researchers,
decision-makers, and other specialists from around the world to share
innovations and best practices. TRANSED is also an opportunity to identify
challenges and work together to address them. The 12th TRANSED will be held in
Hong Kong.

    For more information on TRANSED 2007, please visit
    www.tc.gc.ca/TRANSED2007.




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Robin Browne, Communications, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613)
993-0055; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/and keep up-to-date on the
latest from Transport Canada; This news release may be made available in
alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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