WINNIPEG, MB, July 7, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, today announced investments in projects to improve access for Canadians with disabilities through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF).
Over 430 new EAF projects across Canada, representing a total investment of nearly $13 million, will receive funding to improve accessibility in community facilities. The 2015 EAF call for proposals was open March 16 to April 27, 2015. Under this call, organizations were eligible to receive up to $50,000 towards the cost of an accessibility project as long as 35 percent of the total eligible costs came from non-federal government sources. In keeping with the Government's focus on helping families, priority was given to projects that enhance access for children with disabilities (e.g. outdoor playgrounds). Projects that increased access for Veterans with disabilities and seniors with disabilities were also included as priorities.
Minister Bergen made the announcement at Actionmarguerite, a home for Francophone seniors requiring personal and long-term care services in south Winnipeg. Actionmarguerite has been approved to receive $35,000 in EAF funding for a project which will enhance access for seniors with disabilities by extending and improving the walkway and installing raised garden beds.
In addition, Minister Bergen reiterated the Government's commitment to put money back in the pockets of hard‑working Canadian families. The commitment includes enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit, which will increase to almost $2,000 per year for every child under the age of 6 and $720 for every child aged 6 through 17. The new benefit amounts are retroactive to January 1, 2015, and will be reflected in monthly payments to recipients beginning in July 2015.
Information on how to apply for EAF funding is available on Employment and Social Development Canada's website at http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/eaf/community.shtml.
- Since the launch of the Enabling Accessibility Fund in 2007, the Government of Canada has funded over 2,200 projects, helping thousands of Canadians gain better access to their communities' facilities, programs and services.
- Under this call for proposals, organizations will receive grants of up to $50,000.
- The Family Tax Cuts and Benefits Plan, combined with tax relief introduced by the Government since 2006, will provide a typical family of four with up to $6,600 in tax relief and enhanced benefits in 2015.
- Low- and middle-income families will receive two-thirds of the overall benefits provided.
"The Enabling Accessibility Fund is an excellent program that builds on our Government's family benefits by eliminating barriers and helping all Canadians to fully participate in and contribute to their communities. To help hard-working families, the Government is also enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit, introducing the Family Tax Cut and making improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit."
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development
"This will provide much better access to many frail elderly who, despite their limited mobility, can now be given the opportunity to participate in outdoor activities and events. Our ability through this grant to provide pathways and functional spaces to allow the elderly and their families to gather and benefit from the natural setting will not only improve the quality of life, but also overall wellness. Studies show that by increasing access to the outdoors, a person's mental health, vitality and self-esteem improve."
– Charles Gagné, Chief Executive Officer, Actionmarguerite & St. Joseph's Residence
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Enabling Accessibility Fund
The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) was originally announced in 2007 as a three-year, $45-million program to support community-based projects across Canada. In 2010, the EAF was extended with an additional three‑year, $45-million commitment and the creation of a new mid-sized project component. Since the first call for proposals in 2008, over 2,200 projects have been awarded funding to improve accessibility in Canadian communities and workplaces.
Economic Action Plan 2013 extended the EAF on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to continue to help improve communities and workplace accessibility for Canadians with disabilities.
All applications for EAF funding are screened against mandatory program criteria and for completeness. Recommended projects are also subject to the amount of funding available and regional representation.
At least 35 percent of the total funding for each project comes from non-federal government sources.
SOURCE Canada's Economic Action Plan
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