October 21st, 2013

Protect persons living with disabilities from hate crimes

NDP MP Mike Sullivan (York South-Weston) introduced a Private Member’s Bill today to protect persons living with disabilities from hate crimes.

“As a father and grandfather, I was appalled to hear about the family of a 13-year-old boy with autism who received a letter telling them to move, or have their son euthanized,” said Sullivan. “I was even more shocked to learn that hateful actions like this are not prohibited under the Criminal Code. My bill corrects that oversight and protects all persons living with disabilities.”

Sullivan was joined by Karla and James Begley, whose son was the target of the letter.

“This legislation is long overdue,” said NDP critic for Persons with Disabilities Manon Perreault (Montcalm). “Persons living with disabilities are vulnerable and have to overcome enough obstacles in life without the added burden of hatred and discrimination.”

Sullivan’s bill is endorsed by Richard Burelle, Executive Director of the Autism Society Canada.

“As Canadian citizens, persons with disabilities deserve to be protected from hate crimes,” said Burelle. “They have the right, just like you or me, to live free from worry about persecution. We wholeheartedly support Mr. Sullivan’s initiative.”