December 3rd, 2016

NDP statement on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

NDP critic for Persons with Disabilities Cheryl Hardcastle (Windsor-Tecumseh) made the following statement on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities:

“Ten years ago this month, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It has become one of the most widely ratified international human rights treaties in United Nations history, with 169 signatory countries thus far.

Here in Canada, the new government is currently conducting consultations for a long awaited Accessibility Act. It also recently announced its intention to sign the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. While these actions are encouraging, it is important for us as an opposition party to ensure that the government follows through on these commitments - they are considerable, and nothing concrete has been done at this time.

Persons living with disabilities still face unnecessary challenges and barriers. Income insecurity, employment, education, housing, accessible transportation remain critical issues for Canadians living with disabilities. Persons living with disabilities are not even able to fully participate in our democracy, due to significant barriers in place during election campaigns for both voters and potential candidates.

In Canada, persons living with disabilities are twice as likely to be living in poverty and more than half of Canadians with disabilities are unemployed. In a country as wealthy as ours, that’s unacceptable.

The Liberal government must live up to their promises to persons living with disabilities. New Democrats will continue to push the government to work with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities and disability organizations to ensure full equality and accessibility for Canadians living with disabilities.”