OTTAWA, Sept. 19, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities highlighted the importance of accessibility in the transportation sector while speaking at the 2016 Canadian Ferry Operators Association Conference. Minister Qualtrough focused on the benefits that people with disabilities and accessibility measures bring to Canadian businesses, both through employing Canadians with disabilities as well as ensuring that their facilities are accessible for all Canadians.
Minister Qualtrough also highlighted the consultation process she is currently leading which will inform the development of planned accessibility legislation. This planned legislation will transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility. The Minister highlighted that part of the consultation will focus on accessibility in transportation.
Canadians from around the country have already begun sharing their views on what an accessible Canada means to them. Minister Qualtrough encouraged all Canadians to have their say in the consultation process, either by attending an in-person engagement session or by participating in the online consultation. In-person consultations, including roundtables and town halls, will start in late September across Canada. Canadians are also encouraged to follow @AccessibleGC on Twitter, AccessibleGC on Facebook and to follow the #AccessibleCanada hashtag. The consultation process will run until February 28, 2017.
"There is a clear public will for business and government alike to be as open and accessible as possible. We have too long ignored and underestimated the potential and the contribution that people with disabilities can bring when they are given equal access and opportunity in their communities and workplace.
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
- Approximately 14% of Canadians aged 15 years or older reported having a disability that limited them in their daily activities. There are approximately 411,600 working-aged Canadians with disabilities who are not working but whose disability does not prevent them from doing so; almost half of these potential workers are post-secondary graduates.
- Budget 2016 provides support for the continued operation of ferry services in Atlantic Canada, including those between Digby, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick, and between Caribou, Nova Scotia and Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island.
- To improve the safety, security and efficiency of federal transportation infrastructure assets, Budget 2016 also proposes a number of new investments, such as $148.6 million for small craft harbour infrastructure improvements across Canada.
2016 Canadian Ferry Operators Association Conference
The Canadian Ferry Operators Association Conference is an opportunity for businesses in the Ferry industry to Learn from and participate in industry-specific workshops, network with colleagues and industry leaders, share best practices with other fery operators and stay up-to-date on ferry issues in Canada. The theme of this year`s conference is "Accessibility in the Ferry Sector".
Consultation to inform the development of accessibility legislation
Minister 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 would inform planned legislation to transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility.
The consultation process is now open, until February 28, 2017.
Starting in September, Canadians across Canada will be able to participate in the in-person consultation engagement process. In-person public consultations are planned to take place in the following cities:
- Whitehorse, Yukon / September 22, 2016.
- Iqaluit, Nunavut / September 24, 2016
- Yellowknife, Northwest Territories / September 26, 2016
- Regina, Saskatchewan / September 28, 2016
- Winnipeg, Manitoba / October 3, 2016
- Edmonton, Alberta / October 7, 2016
- Thunder Bay, Ontario / October 11, 2016
- Calgary, Alberta / October 13, 2016
- Moncton, New Brunswick / October 20, 2016
- St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador / November 3, 2016
- Victoria, British Columbia / November 7, 2016
- Québec, Quebec / November 10, 2016
- Montréal, Quebec / November 16, 2016
- Vancouver, British Columbia / November 26, 2016
- Ottawa, Ontario / November 30, 2016
- Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island / December 8, 2016
- Halifax, Nova Scotia / December 9, 2016
- Toronto, Ontario / February 8, 2017
For the most up-to-date information on in-person 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.
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, [email protected]