Canadians have their say on an Accessible Canada in Regina, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Thunder Bay and Calgary

Public sessions in Moncton, St. John's, and Victoria will take place in early November

OTTAWA, Oct. 14, 2016 /CNW/ - Over the past two weeks, the Government of Canada held public sessions in Regina, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Thunder Bay and Calgary as part of the consultation process to inform planned accessibility legislation. The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, is leading consultations on the accessibility barriers Canadians face in their daily lives, and listening to Canadians on what the Government of Canada can do to address these issues.

Next stops for public sessions include Moncton on October 20; St. John's on November 3; and Victoria on November 7. Canadians can pre-register at accessible-canada@hrsdc.gc.ca, or simply present themselves at the time and place of the public session.

All Canadians are encouraged to participate in the consultation by attending a session or by completing the online questionnaire. The consultation process will run until February 28, 2017. More information on consultation locations and a link to the questionnaire can be found at Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada. Canadians are also encouraged to follow @AccessibleGC on Twitter, Accessible Canada on Facebook and the #AccessibleCanada hashtag.

Quotes

"I am thrilled to hear from Canadians first-hand about their vision for an Accessible Canada. The Government of Canada is working hard to ensure that all Canadians have equal opportunity in their communities and workplaces, and it is energizing to hear Canadians' suggestions for how we can do just that. This is an incredible opportunity and one that will have a historic impact on millions of Canadians living with a disability. I encourage all Canadians to get involved in this consultation."
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

"Society becomes more inclusive when we remove barriers. Sometimes attitudes are the hardest barrier to break. Talking about inclusion and accessibility certainly raises awareness. But sharing our real-life experience often changes attitudes. And attitudes can shift culture towards inclusion and accessibility.
Kory Earle, President, People First of Canada

"I appreciate the opportunity that we in Regina have been given to discuss and express our concerns regarding accessibility in all areas of our lives. Accessibility is critical to improving the quality of lives of people with disabilities. The greatest barrier, in my opinion, is the negative attitude society too often has towards people with disabilities. We have so much to contribute if given the opportunity. We want to experience life as equals, with dignity and as fully participating, contributing citizens in an accessible, inclusive society. We have to get away from the medical model and the charity model; we are capable of living independent lives with the proper supports. We want above all to be seen, to be recognized for our unique selves rather than as a societal problem that needs to be solved. But that recognition, that acceptance as full citizens, remains in the unknowable future.  We as individuals, organizations, governments and society have a big task ahead of us to achieve our goal for a truly accessible society."
Georgina Heselton, Provincial and Local Chairperson of DisAbled Women's Network (DAWN)

"It was a sincere honour to be involved in today's discussion in Edmonton. I have no doubt that today was a game changer for those with disabilities of all types. The kind of feedback received was candid, well-educated and even quite emotional. I have no doubt that Edmontonians were heard loud and clear. The amount of positivity and passion for implementing accessibility legislation was incredible and inspiring. It is days like this that are recorded in history that we will one day be able to look back on and be proud of."
Zachary Weeks, Communications Coordinator, Spinal Cord Injury (Alberta)

"Recognizing that accessibility impacts how Albertans access health care, economic and social opportunities, education and employment opportunities, the use of transportation services, and choosing where to live—it highlights the importance of the connectivity between a variety of spaces, and the surrounding context in the built environment. Therefore, as a community we are thrilled to have an opportunity to participate in these consultations, and to speak about the importance of accessibility and inclusion in daily life. While today's conversation is focused on the federal jurisdiction, there is a real opportunity for collaboration among individuals and organizations in the private and public sectors to create a paradigm shift whereby diversity, choice, flexibility, convenience and innovation are incorporated in the design process of inclusive and vibrant communities throughout Canada. Together, through collaboration, as Canadians we can ensure that everyone has access to equal opportunities in order to reach their full potential."
Nabeel Ramji, Manager, Strategic Atlantic and Real Estate Finance at Strategic Group

Associated Links

Consultation on Planned Accessibility Legislation 
Twitter: @AccessibleGC 
Facebook: Accessible Canada

 


Backgrounder


Consultations to inform the development of accessibility legislation

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Canada's first Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, was mandated by the Prime Minister to lead an engagement process with stakeholders—including Canadians with disabilities, provinces, territories and municipalities—that will inform planned legislation to transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility. Canadians will be able to participate in consultation sessions in the following cities:

Moncton, New Brunswick / October 20, 2016 (4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
Moncton Lions Community Centre
473 St. George Street, Moncton

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador / November 3, 2016 (4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
The Hampton Inn
411 Stavanger Drive, St. John's

Victoria, British Columbia / November 7, 2016 (4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
Location TBD

Québec, Quebec / November 10, 2016 (4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, 179 Grande Allée Ouest, Québec

Montréal, Quebec / November 16, 2016 (4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
Palais des congrès,1001 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal

Vancouver, British Columbia / November 26, 2016 (2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.)
1055 Canada Place, Vancouver

Ottawa, Ontario / November 30, 2016 (4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place (LeBreton Flats), Ottawa

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island / December 8, 2016 (4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
Murphy's Community Centre
200 Richmond Street, Charlottetown

Halifax, Nova Scotia / December 9, 2016 (4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
1055 Marginal Road, Halifax

Toronto, Ontario / February 8, 2017 (4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
Location TBD

To pre-register for a session, or to notify us of accommodation needs, contact the Office for Disability Issues:

  • Phone: 1-844-836-8126
    TTY: 819-934-6649
    Fax: 819-953-4797
    Email address: accessible-canada@hrsdc.gc.ca
  • Mailing address:
    Consultation – Federal Accessibility Legislation
    c/o Office for Disability Issues
    Employment and Social Development Canada
    105 Hotel-de-ville Street, 1st floor, Bag 62
    Gatineau QC  K1A 0J9

For the most up-to-date information on venues and dates, and to participate online, please visit Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.

Minister Qualtrough will also participate in roundtable discussions, as well as a National Youth Forum that will engage Canadian youth with disabilities in the policy discussion.

Follow us on Twitter

 

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Ashley Michnowski, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, 819-934-1122 / TTY: 1-866-702-6967; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca


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