STONEWALL, MB, July 13, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, joined James Bezan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Selkirk–Interlake, to announce support that will improve access for Veterans and community members with disabilities in Stonewall.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 52 is receiving $19,500 through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF), which improves accessibility for Canadians with disabilities. The Legion is receiving the funding for its project to install accessible doors, allowing it to offer its programs and services to Veterans with disabilities in Stonewall.
This project is one of over 430 new EAF projects across Canada, which represent a total investment of nearly $13 million. The 2015 EAF call for proposals for these projects was open March 16 to April 27, 2015. Under this call, organizations could receive up to $50,000 towards 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.
In addition to this announcement, Minister Bergen and Mr. Bezan reiterated the Government's commitment to put money back in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families. This commitment includes increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) from $100 to $160 per month (totalling up to $1,920 per year) for every child under the age of 6 and introducing a new benefit of $60 per month (up to $720 per year) for each 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.
- 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 benefited 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 increases to the UCCB will provide direct benefits to 100 percent of families with children under the age of 18, including those who have children living with disabilities.
"Our Government is committed to ensuring that Canadians of all abilities have the chance to contribute to our communities and be included in all aspects of society. 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 Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development
"The Government of Canada is creating opportunities for Canadians with disabilities through Enabling Accessibility Fund support to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 52's project. Thanks to organizations like yours that care about accessibility, we see first-hand how these kinds of projects make a real difference in our communities."
– James Bezan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Selkirk–Interlake
"The Executive and Membership of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 52 are excited to be able to proceed with this project that we deem to be very important to the Branch."
– Tim Williams, Senior Manager, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 52
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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