KELOWNA, BC, July 8, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport and the Honourable Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna–Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, announced improved access for Canadians with disabilities to programs and services in Kelowna.
The City of Kelowna is receiving $50,000 through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) to improve accessibility for Canadians with disabilities.
With this funding, the City of Kelowna will create an inclusive playground at Rutland Centennial Park by building an accessible playground structure.
Under this latest EAF rollout, the majority of projects will enhance access for children with disabilities (e.g. playgrounds and recreational facilities), Veterans with disabilities or seniors with disabilities.
Today's announcement is one example of what the Government is doing to help Canadians. 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 EAF commits $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada.
- Since the creation of the EAF in 2007, the Government of Canada has funded over 2,200 projects, helping thousands of Canadians get better access to their communities' facilities, programs and services.
- In recent years, the Government of Canada has taken concrete action to support programs for people with disabilities:
- The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities has helped 40,000 people with disabilities across Canada to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment or self-employment.
- So far, Canadians have opened over 100,000 Registered Disability Savings Plans and have benefitted from over $1 billion in bonds and grants deposited by the federal government.
- Representing an investment of $222 million per year in the provinces and territories, Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities are the single largest federal government investment in helping Canadians with disabilities get jobs.
- The Government is also increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), providing direct benefits to 100 percent of families with children under the age of 18, including those who have children living with disabilities.
- The UCCB will increase from $100 to $160 per month, totalling up to $1,920 per year, for children under the age of 6, and parents will receive a new benefit of $60 per month, up to $720 per year, for each child aged 6 through 17.
"Organizations like the City of Kelowna are making a real difference in helping improve the lives of Canadians. Through our investments in the Enabling Accessibility Fund and our Family Tax Cuts and Benefits plan, we are continuing to support Canadian families and individuals to improve accessibility and create opportunities for all Canadians."
– The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport
"Together with the hard work of numerous volunteers and organizations like the City of Kelowna, we are supporting families and children to make Rutland Centennial Park's playground accessible to all. Through our Enabling Accessibility Fund, we are making a real difference in helping improve the lives of Canadians right here in Kelowna–Lake Country."
– The Honourable Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna–Lake Country
"The City of Kelowna is excited about the future of Rutland Centennial Park and we're so pleased the Government of Canada shares our enthusiasm for this revitalized neighbourhood park. The Enabling Accessibility Grant ensures children and families in Rutland will enjoy this new playground and park for generations."
– Colin Basran, Mayor of Kelowna
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. Economic Action Plan 2013 extended the EAF on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to continue to help improve community and workplace accessibility for Canadians with disabilities.
The community accessibility stream of the EAF provides funding to eligible recipients for capital cost projects that improve accessibility. To be considered eligible for funding, projects have to be directly related to removing barriers and increasing accessibility for people with disabilities in Canadian communities. All projects must also respond to specific eligibility criteria identified in the call for proposals, including support from the community.
For this call for proposals, which closed on April 27, 2015, priority was given to projects that enhance access for children with disabilities (e.g. outdoor playgrounds), Veterans with disabilities or seniors with disabilities.
For further information on the EAF, please visit http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/eaf/.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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