Canada a World Leader for Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    TORONTO, March 30 /CNW/ - Today in New York, Canada will be among the
first countries to sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities at the official signing ceremony at UN headquarters. At a
press conference this morning announcing Canada's intention to sign the
Convention today, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said, "By signing the
Convention, we are demonstrating our leadership and the importance we attach
to the rights of persons with disabilities... The commitment of Canada's new
Government with respect to issues of disability is clear. We have a strong
commitment to ensuring that persons with disabilities enjoy full participation
in society and can contribute to the community to their full potential."
    With great pride, the Canadian Association for Community Living will be
participating in today's ceremony to applaud Canada's commitment and bear
witness to this historic moment. It seems particularly fitting that Canada be
there because of its historic international leadership on disability - in
particular defining disability as a human rights issue.
    While the Convention was adopted in December 2006, today marks the first
day that countries can begin the formal process for making the Convention a
legally binding international treaty. To become party to a Convention a
country must both sign and ratify the Convention. This morning the Government
of Canada signalled its intention to "continue to work very closely with the
provinces and territories toward ratification."
    CACL President, Zuhy Sayeed, expressed her great pleasure about Canada's
announcement to sign today: "We know the Government does not make these
decisions lightly. It took a great deal of effort on behalf of the Federal,
Provincial and Territorial Governments to make this happen. We believe that
this is a sign of the significant commitment of this Government to the rights
of persons with disabilities."
    Michael Bach, CACL Executive Vice President, remarked: "Today is a great
day for Canada and a great day for Canadians with disabilities."

    The Canadian Association for Community Living is a Canada-wide
association of family members and others working for the benefit and to
advance the rights of persons of all ages who have an intellectual disability.

For further information:

For further information: Michael Bach, CACL Executive Vice-President at
(416) 209-7942

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