Individual supporters

Below are the supporters who agreed to have their names listed.

Irene Lambert
Karin Godin
Dawn Lambert
Peter Sharp
Sandra Hobson
Dana Levanto
Paula Kilburn
Katherine Jaconello
Gordon Hein
Louis Pereux
Nancy Newton
Michelle Bruneau
Synove Gelinas
Gary Stockden
Yvette Gelinas
Danielle Bruneau
Anita Squire
Wilma Houston
Bonnie Sherr Klein
Gordon J. Hein
Scott Hunter
Patrice Philion
John Ohberg
David Best
Roger P Gervais
Dan Shire
Suzanne Santyr
Kate Chung
Daryl Thomas
Cavita Sharma
Jerry Ford
Victor Schwartzman
sarah moore
Penny Leclair
Karen Bell
Brian Kon
Sue Morgan
Derek Giberson
Lorin MacDonald
Anne and Dave Marsden
Jim Hamilton
Edward Rice
Stephen Trumper
Cindy Ferguson
Robert Gaunt
Shane Holten
Catherine Roy
Jason Tomesch
Johnny To
Lauri Sue Robertson
Josephine (Joey) Hewitt
adam cohoon
David Layton
JOYCE MAIN
Omar Burey
Alicia Jarvis
Sandra Kinder
Marisa Page
Pierre Nadeau
Lucienne Lehouillier
Karen Fleck
Lisa Rocha
Deborah MacGillivray
Nicole Stefaniszyn
Jennifer & Darryl Hoskins
Nicole Borthwick
Michael Hannan
Colleen Henriksen
Paul Belhumeur
Brad Dunn
Debra Hinksman
Meaghan Lawrence
Frances Miller
Marian Alexander
Nora Gallagher
Janis Thompson
Laurel Pearse
Dale Odberg
Jodi Marsh
LINDA NEARING
Dianne Scrivens
NOREEN PYLATUK
Melissa Nickerson
William Hopper
Karen mohr
Taylor Hyatt
Patricia Storteboom
Sandy Wheeler
Pamela Gignac
Vera Peters
Jeannie Privet
Michelle Shalinsky
Rachelle Chiasson-Taylor
Shara Grice
Bobbie King
Jeff McBride
Brenda Mac Farlane
Mandy Sky
Melissa Graham
Lorna Barrett
Tracey mcPhail
Camella Ross
Adreanna Dollman Downing
marg Priebe
Peggy Kennard
Brenda Chinn
Michele Gardner
Joanna Pohl
Grant De Boer
Kasey Aiello
Mike Jennings
Nadine Badry
Tim Varro
Spring Hawes
Barbara Maynard
Susan Moore
Claire Cram
Nicolle Guillen
Terry Foster
Sarah Mitchell
Sabina Cragg
Dave Davis
Brian Martin
Chelsea Sharkey
Harmanie Taylor
Rachel Nelson
Andrea Dodsworth
Tammy DaSilva
Karen Cavalier
Nicole Nys
Letitia Hinkley-Roach
Nadia Olynyk
Ian MacLaine
Marie Soudre
Gail Ashuk
Arista Haas
Adam O’Neill
Helen Berarducci
Geoff Ryan
Susan McKenzie
Jamie M. Hicks
Melanie Telford
Barbara Dearden
Joanne Odjick
Tracey Roetman
Stephen Cull
Wendy Hansen
Daniel Rosen
Arvid Kuhnle
Casey McNally
Jeff Bourne
Jake Beaton
Jo Kelly
Shannon Gowans
Kevin Harvey
Deborah Kennard
D. Abraham
David Ramsden
Kyle Vose
jonda Hopper
Steven Wessels
Tyler muller
Sarah Kozoriz
amber B
Lana Phillips
Cara Crawford
jason pleaddafith
Carol S. stringer
Darren Mackay
Glyn Ganong
Robin Artemis
Jurgen Wiechmann
Jurnee
Sharon McBride
tracy curley
Cheryl White
Darlene Jay
Kyle Jay
Patricia Denneny
Sandra Paluc
Jacqueline Waybrant
Sheryl Ann Wilson
Sarah Nixon-Suggitt
Diane Morrell
Lynn Dunkley
Jo-Anne Nykilchyk
Tiffany Schier
Diane Ladouceur
Kent Oxford
Carrie Lapensee
Peter Beam
Janice Laurence
Lisa Boynton
Sandra J. Yetman
Mark Nicoll
Brenda Lush
carolyn kassinger
Jennifer Elizabeth Macdonald
Lynn Clark
Gillian Burns
Dawn Campbell
mike barrett
Sharon Kilkenny
Jeff May
Liz Allchin
tia sweeney
Roland Hengst
sherry palmer
Jacquie Munro
Russ Weaver
Mike Grady
Juliana Lepoutre
Wayne and joy reycraft
Heather Crossman
Sean VanHorne
Denise Sheedy
Lisa Bendall
Bilha Nativ
Phil McKenzie
Rebecca Therrien
Patti wheeler
Wendy Beckett
Jade Fraser
Kevin Steele
Carolyn Hirschfeld
Martha Russell
Lisa McCallen
Dalten Campbell
Jodi Fisher
Tracey Walshaw
Christina Chasty
Nicole Morley
debra Mcdonald
Hertha Shalinsky
Candyce Virgin
Kim Angell-McCormick
Radical Access Mapping Project
Cheryl Webster
Kelly-Lyn Webster
Doug Webster
Sue Beare
Sharon Shalinsky
Dawn Stinson
marty newstead
Lois harris
Theresa H Beard
Jamie Lauzon
Desiree Bauer
Derek Belbin
luc perron
Naomi Glenvad Teramoto
David Berman
Jason Dyok
Patrick Fougeyrollas
Nic deGroot
Chantelle Bernardo
Angela Finkbeiner
Dean Fey
marilyn stratton-zimmer
Cornelia Bryant
Marcel Matte
Bruce A Johnson
Judith Flatt
Stacey Upson
Lacey Fontaine
Christine Flynn-James
Philip Bobawsky
Susan Wagar
Dawn Howell
Sabrina Gould
Laura farres
Amie Kiddle
Jason Finkbeiner
Cheryl Benson
Colleen Davis
Pauline Fraser
Jacki Andre
Aaron Broverman
Taylor Short
Laurel Ryan
Brittany Lang
Bill Hopper
Sam Fulton
Paula Swirla
Geoffrey Olsen
Pamela Shelton
Megan Turpin
Pamela Kent
Ian A. Greaves
Susan Bowman
D Veglia
Diana Veglia
Anchel Krishna
Geoff Egan
meghan nugent
Bonnie S. Manning-Jones
Suzanne Nurse
Kimberly Prattis
Jeffrey Preston
Sandra Yetman
Jaimie Smith-Windsor
William Cowie
Cindy Kennedy
Kathryn Bremner
Thea Kurdi
Mike Cocteau
Gerry harris
Sarah Smith
Aislinn Burkholder
Stephen Higham
Dan Angell
Amelia Murphy-Beaudoin
Jeff Stark
Jamie Burton
Jennifer Miller
Michael Racette
Michael Hughes
kimberly m murphy
Majid Turmusani
Roger B Jones
Ida Fong
David Chojnacki
S Fong
Miguel Aguayo
Melissa mailman
Sean Bouffard
Mylee Nordin
Faith Bodnar
Peter Busciglio
NAN MARKS
Tony Marrelli
Judy Hemming
Luke Anderson
P. Campbell
Anna Hlinomaz
Jessie Coaten,
Gerry Gill
Bjorg Mathiessen
Elizabeth Nimijean
Rene Coloucci
Sandra watts
Phillip McCorkell
Julie Perez
Alan Dean
Mark Smith
Nahla Bechara
Sandra Johnston
Shirley Skilling
Gordon Crann
Pauline Walsh
Muriel Hill
Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario
Heather Rupert& Michel Ciarciello
Maria Friozzi
William Rudkin
Kenneth Southall
Diane Aubin
Dianne McLeod
Lisa Figge
Walter Wittich
Kat Clarke
Beulah Aubin
Ron Pelletier
Lauri Brunner
Robert Trudel
Brian Heaney
Jeanette Poulsen
Louise Russo
Philippa Wrobel
Yvonne Kalybaba
Bradley Pottinger
Chris Webster
Jon Polley
Marguerite Rose Larade
PROF ALAN LEVY
Amanda Cape
Bet Tuason
Kim Gill

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update

United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

Breaking News in the Campaign for a Barrier-Free Canada – Federal NDP Announces It will Support Enactment of the Canadians with Disabilities Act – Will the Liberals, Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois Do So Too?

September 29, 2015

We are pleased to share with you the latest Update from Barrier-Free Canada, set out below.

Barrier-Free Canada/Canada sans Barrières

www.barrierfreecanada.org
info@barrierfreecanada.org

A Non-Partisan Campaign for a Barrier-Free Canada for All Persons with Disabilities

Federal New Democratic Party Promises to Pass a Canadians with Disabilities Act  – and – Listen Live Online If You Cannot Attend the September 29 2015 Federal All Candidates Forum on Disability Issues

September 29, 2015

SUMMARY

1. Federal New Democratic Party Promises Canadians with Disabilities Act

On September 29, 2015, the federal New Democratic Party became the first of the three major federal parties in this election to pledge to enact a Canadians with Disabilities Act. Specifically, the NDP promised to:

“Introduce a comprehensive Canadians with Disabilities Act to eliminate barriers and to promote accessibility, effective participation, and equality of opportunity for persons living with disabilities.” 

We set out the NDP’s September 29, 2015 news release and backgrounder below. Until now, only the federal Green party had promised a Canadians with Disabilities Act. We will make public any commitments we receive from any other parties.

Barrier-Free Canada congratulates the federal NDP for making this important commitment. Barrier-Free Canada heartily endorses the important goals of eliminating systemic barriers that Canadians with disabilities face, and of promoting accessibility, effective participation and equal opportunity.

Barrier-Free Canada calls on the federal Conservative, Liberal and Bloc Quebecois parties to meet or exceed this promise. It calls on all parties to endorse the 14 principles for a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act that Barrier-Free Canada has put forward.

The federal Conservative party promised a national Disabilities Act in 2006. It has not passed this law or introduced it into Parliament for debate.

The goal of the non-partisan Barrier-Free Canada is to get all federal parties to pledge in this election to support passage of a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act that fulfils the 14 principles for it that Barrier-Free Canada has established. To learn more about Barrier-Free Canada’s proposal for a Canadians with Disabilities Act, and its 14 principles for that law, visitwww.barrierfreecanada.org

We encourage one and all to:

  • Widely publicize this new commitment by the federal NDP.
  • Urge the federal Liberal, Conservative and Bloc Quebecois party leaders and candidates to meet or exceed the NDP’s commitment.
  • Let your local media know about this new development.

We thank everyone who has helped at the grassroots to press this issue. Please keep it up as the election campaign continues. For great ideas on how you can help with this non-partisan campaign, check out Barrier-Free Canada’s Election Action Kit, which is available at http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/08262015.asp 

You can also download, print, and distribute Barrier-Free Canada’s handy 1-page leaflet on the need for the Canadians with Disabilities Act, which is available at http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/barrier-Free-Canada-Election-leaflet-dated%20Sept-16-2015.docx 

2. Follow the September 29, 2015 Toronto All Candidates Forum on Disability Issues Online If You Cannot Attend In Person

We are delighted that the organizers of the September 29, 2015 Toronto All Candidates Forum on Disabilities Issues will be streamed live online. If you cannot attend in person, be sure to follow it online. The link for the online feed of the September 29, 2015 Toronto All Candidates Disability Forum from 6 to 8 pm EST is http://accessfef.eventbrite.ca 

If you want to tweet about this event, or follow live tweets about it, be sure to go onto Twitter and follow the hashtag (search term) #AccessFEF  

Below we set out the news release from the Candidates Forum’s organizers. As of this time, the federal Conservative party has not indicated a candidate that it will send to this Forum.

New Democratic Party news Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 29, 2015

NDP RELEASE PLAN FOR SUPPORTING CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES

Mulcair will launch National Action Plan and introduce Canadians with Disabilities Act

TORONTO — NDP Candidate Mike Sullivan, York South-Weston, released the NDP Plan for Supporting Canadians with Disabilities.

“Under Stephen Harper, more than half of Canadians with disabilities are unemployed and the waits that Canadians with disabilities face for CPP Disability appeals are longer than ever,” said Sullivan who, prior to the election, served as the NDP Critic for Disability Issues. “Our plan will make Canada more accessible and ensure that Canadians with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce and everyday life.”

An NDP government will:

  • Introduce a Canadians with Disabilities Act which will seek to eliminate systemic barriers that Canadians with disabilities face;
  • Develop a National Action Plan to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • Work with provinces, territories, indigenous communities and disability organizations to review and coordinate income supports; and
  • Defend the rights of Canadians with disabilities by reinstating the Court Challenges Program and fixing the CPP disability appeals process.

“Nearly 15% of Canadians have some form of disability. Two million Canadians with disabilities do not have access to the supports they need. In a country as wealthy as Canada that’s unacceptable,” continued Sullivan. “Only Tom Mulcair is ready to replace Stephen Harper, and start repairing the damage the Conservatives have done to Ottawa.”

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For more information, please contact:

New Democrat Campaign Headquarters:

NDP Press Office: (613) 369-6078 or media@ndp.ca

New Democratic Party Backgrounder (Footnotes Omitted) Press Release

September 29, 2015

Supporting Canadians with Disabilities

The challenge:

  • One in seven Canadians over the age of 15 has a disability that limits their daily activities.
  • Only 47% of working age adults with a disability are employed, compared to 74% of all working age adults.
  • Working age Canadians with disabilities are twice as likely to be living in poverty compared to Canadians without disabilities.
  • According to the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, two million Canadians do not have access to the supports that they need to fully participate in their community.

Harper’s plan just isn’t working:

  • Nine years after the Conservatives first promised to introduce a National Disability Act, Canadians are still waiting for them to keep their promise.
  • The Conservatives have failed to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Their own progress report to the UN stated that “”there continues to be challenges, including barriers to language and communication, learning and training, and safety and security.”
  • The Conservatives have completely broken the appeal process for Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits, resulting in a huge backlog and wait times of more than five years.

Our commitment:

To support Canadians with disabilities, Tom Mulcair and the NDP will:

  • Introduce a comprehensive Canadians with Disabilities Act to eliminate barriers and to promote accessibility, effective participation, and equality of opportunity for persons living with disabilities;
  • Develop a National Action Plan to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including:
    • Ending Canada’s reservation on Article 12, which addresses legal capacity, and developing mechanisms for supported decision-making; and
    • Ratifying the optional protocol and creating a complaints mechanism;
  • Work with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, and disability organizations to conduct a review of existing income support programs for persons living with disabilities in order to coordinate benefits and increase accessibility;
  • Reinstate the Court Challenges Program;
  • Fix the broken appeal process for Canada Pension Plan disability appeals.

Quote:

“This is a significant announcement on disability rights and citizenship. The NDP propose substantial initiatives that will advance a fuller measure of dignity, opportunity and equality for Canadians with disabilities.”

Michael J. Prince, Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy, University of Victoria, and author of Absent Citizens: Disability Politics and Policy in Canada.

September 29, 2015 News Release for Disability Issues Candidates Forum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Federal Parties encouraged to show leadership on disability issues at upcoming forum

Toronto, ON – On Tuesday September 29, 2015, community partners invite persons with disabilities, their friends and families to the Federal Election Forum on Accessibility and Disability.

Each party will be asked questions regarding: anti-poverty strategies, accessible housing strategies, physician-assisted dying, record of seeking candidates with disabilities, creation of a Canadian Disabilities Act, commitment to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and other topics.

The moderator for the forum will be disability rights advocate David Lepofsky.

The following candidates/representatives are confirmed to attend: the New Democratic Party – Mike Sullivan, York South—Weston, the Green Party – Sharon Danley, Spadina-Fort York, the Liberal Party –  Arnold Chan, Scarborough-Agincourt. 

Organizers are still waiting for confirmation from the Conservative Party.

Some interesting facts about people with disabilities in Canada:

  • In 2012, about 3.8 million people, or 13.7% of Canadians aged 15 and older, reported being limited in their daily activities because of a disability.
  • 50% of adults with disabilities have an annual income of less than $15,000.
  • While 30.8% of people with disabilities live in rental housing, 44% of renters with disabilities live on low incomes compared to 24.7% of their renter counterparts without disabilities.
  • People with disabilities rarely enter politics. Even though 13.7% of the Canadian population has some form of disability, only 0.01% of candidates in the past three elections in every province had a disability.

The forum will be held on Tuesday September 29, 2015 from 6:00p.m. until 8:00p.m. at Ryerson University’s Student Learning Centre at 341 Yonge St (at Gould St.) in Toronto. American Sign Language interpretation, real-time captioning, Deaf interpretation, augmentative communication facilitation and attendant services will be among the services available to ensure full accessibility for participation in the event. Live tweet us your questions using #AccessFEF, Follow us on Twitter: @CIL_Toronto @AccessRyerson @ARCHDisability . Live webstream the forum at:https://ryecast.ryerson.ca/72/live/1173.aspx

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For more information and to arrange an interview, please contact:

John Mossa, Independent Living Skills Coordinator, Centre for Independent Living in Toronto, at 416-599-2458 ext.238 or ilskills@cilt.ca

David Meyers, Community Development Manager, Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre, 416 396-7606 or david@bbnc.ca

Barrier-Free Canada – Canada Sans Barrieres: Canada’s Largest Disability Organizations Endorse Barrier-Free Canada’s Call for a Canadians with Disabilities Act

Canada NewsWire, TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2015

The leaders of Canada’s largest disability organizations serving upwards of four million Canadians with disabilities are urging government leaders, influencers and the public to support a new non-partisan campaign to introduce federal legislation to ensure accessibility, inclusion and equal opportunity for Canadians with disabilities, and to fulfill Canada’s commitments to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

They collectively endorse Barrier-Free Canada and a call to action to create a Canadians with Disabilities Act.

Barrier-Free Canada is an initiative to advocate for enactment of a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act, a law that will enable people with disabilities to live to their full potential. The Canadians with Disabilities Act would apply to all persons in Canada with disabilities whether visible (physical) or invisible (learning and/or intellectual, mental, sensory or mental health) and whether episodic or permanent.

Today, more than four million Canadians live with some form of disability. Due to the aging population, this number will grow to more than nine million over the next 15 years. Aging is the biggest cause of disability. That means that by 2030, 1 in 5 people will have a disability.

Rick Hansen Foundation, CNIB, March of Dimes Canada, Canadian Hearing Society, Spinal Cord Injury Canada, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Canadian Disability Policy Alliance, Every Canadian Counts, ARCH Disability Law Centre, Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, Canadian Association for Community Living, and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities together have called on Canada’s political leaders in this federal election to commit to creating a Canadians with Disabilities Act.

David Lepofsky, a member of Barrier-Free Canada’s steering committee, and a lawyer who is blind says, “We live in a world that’s not designed for us; we live in a society that’s full of barriers, legal, bureaucratic and attitudinal. We need to get rid of those barriers so that we can all fully participate. Twenty five years ago the U.S. enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s time for Canada to catch up!”

“We strongly urge all parties to support the enactment of legislation to make accessibility and inclusion a reality throughout Canada for the benefit of Canadians with disabilities, their families and a stronger Canada. In this hotly-contested and close election, every issue and every voter counts,” says Lepofsky.

On September 29th there will be a Federal Election Forum where a Canadians with Disabilities Act will be discussed, starting at 6pm at the Ryerson Student Learning Centre, 341 Yonge Street, Toronto

SOURCE MARCH OF DIMES CANADA

Notice of Motion

(This Notice can also be downloaded as a Word document here.)

City Council support efforts by Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrieres (BFC/CSB) to urge the new Parliament of Canada to enact The Canadians with Disabilities Act (CDA) – Councillor Jim Karygiannis, seconded by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam

Recommendations:

Councillor Jim Karygiannis, seconded by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, recommends that:

1. City Council support efforts by Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrieres (BFC/CSB) to urge the new Parliament of Canada to enact a Canadians with Disabilities Act (CDA).

Summary:

Many of the more than four million Canadians with disabilities face far too many barriers to accessibility and equality including government services; employment; housing; and, public information.

Barrier-Free Canada/Canada Sans Barrieres (BFC/CSB) is a non-partisan, grassroots movement that is advocating for The Canadians with Disabilities Act, as a catalyst towards Canada becoming fully accessible to all people with disabilities.

The purpose of The Canadians with Disabilities Act is to achieve a barrier-free Canada for persons with disabilities. According to the (BFC/CSB), The Canadians with Disabilities Act would not replace The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act but would complement the provincial legislation.

In its set of principles with respect to the proposed Act the organization states:

‘The Canadians with Disabilities Act should apply to all persons with disabilities whether they have a physical, mental sensory, learning and/or intellectual disability or mental health condition, or are regarded as having one, whether their condition is episodic or permanent, and whether their disability is visible or invisible to others.

It should apply to all accessibility barriers, for example physical, legal, bureaucratic, information, communication, attitudinal, technological, policy or other barriers. It should apply to the Parliament of Canada as well as to all federal government entities, federally-owned public premises and facilities, federally-regulated companies and organizations, recipients of federal grants, subsidies, loans or other funds, and any other persons or organizations to whom the Government of Canada can apply it.’

September 30 and October 1, 2015

Durham federal election candidates on inclusiveness for people with disabilities

Originally posted at the Durham Region website.

DurhamRegion.com asked Durham Region candidates in the Oct. 19 federal election to supply their party’s policy in 20 areas of interest. Weekdays from Sept. 7 to Oct. 2 we will explore federal party policies.

What help can our political parties give persons with disabilities to live comfortable and inclusionary lives in Canada?

We need a comprehensive strategy for persons with disabilities: support for affordable housing, transportation and increased income security. New Democrats are dedicated to improving the quality of life for persons with disabilities in Canada. We’ll remove existing barriers and ensure that further barriers to being equal, contributing citizens are not built up in their place. We are committed to fully implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and calling on the UN Special Rapporteur on Disability to officially visit Canada to assess the progress made and provide advice on additional actions to be taken.

— Stephanie Brown, NDP candidate Ajax riding


The Green Party would convert Disability Tax Credit (DTC) to a refundable credit to create a national Basic Income program, redesigning the Canada Pension Plan/Disability Benefit (CPP/D) test to incorporate the DTC definition of disability and permit employment rather than the CPP/D definition as well as a national standard including social housing programs that will adapt to people’s individual needs.

— Anthony Navarro, Green Party candidate Pickering-Uxbridge riding


The Liberal Party is committed to and has a strong record of supporting Canadians with disabilities. Canadians with disabilities face significantly higher rates of poverty; unemployment; and, unequal access to goods and services, including government services. The federal government must work with the provinces and territories, as well as Canadians with disabilities and their advocates, to build a truly equal society without barriers.

— Corinna Traill, Liberal candidate Durham riding


We believe that introducing specific initiatives that help create employment opportunities for Canadians with disabilities is one of the key ways to ensuring they can live comfortable and inclusive lives. We are enhancing skills training opportunities for Canadians with disabilities through a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities. And we are helping connect persons with developmental disabilities with jobs through the Ready, Willing and Able initiative of the Canadian Association for Community Living. Our government will continue to provide opportunities for Canadians with disabilities, through these programs and many more.

— Pat Perkins, Conservative candidate Whitby riding

Individual supporters

Below are the supporters who agreed to have their names listed.

Irene Lambert
Karin Godin
Dawn Lambert
Peter Sharp
Sandra Hobson
Dana Levanto
Paula Kilburn
Katherine Jaconello
Gordon Hein
Louis Pereux
Nancy Newton
Michelle Bruneau
Synove Gelinas
Gary Stockden
Yvette Gelinas
Danielle Bruneau
Anita Squire
Wilma Houston
Bonnie Sherr Klein
Gordon J. Hein
Scott Hunter
Patrice Philion
John Ohberg
David Best
Roger P Gervais
Dan Shire
Suzanne Santyr
Kate Chung
Daryl Thomas
Cavita Sharma
Jerry Ford
Victor Schwartzman
sarah moore
Penny Leclair
Karen Bell
Brian Kon
Sue Morgan
Derek Giberson
Lorin MacDonald
Anne and Dave Marsden
Jim Hamilton
Edward Rice
Stephen Trumper
Cindy Ferguson
Robert Gaunt
Shane Holten
Catherine Roy
Jason Tomesch
Johnny To
Lauri Sue Robertson
Josephine (Joey) Hewitt
adam cohoon
David Layton
JOYCE MAIN
Omar Burey
Alicia Jarvis
Sandra Kinder
Marisa Page
Pierre Nadeau
Lucienne Lehouillier
Karen Fleck
Lisa Rocha
Deborah MacGillivray
Nicole Stefaniszyn
Jennifer & Darryl Hoskins
Nicole Borthwick
Michael Hannan
Colleen Henriksen
Paul Belhumeur
Brad Dunn
Debra Hinksman
Meaghan Lawrence
Frances Miller
Marian Alexander
Nora Gallagher
Janis Thompson
Laurel Pearse
Dale Odberg
Jodi Marsh
LINDA NEARING
Dianne Scrivens
NOREEN PYLATUK
Melissa Nickerson
William Hopper
Karen mohr
Taylor Hyatt
Patricia Storteboom
Sandy Wheeler
Pamela Gignac
Vera Peters
Jeannie Privet
Michelle Shalinsky
Rachelle Chiasson-Taylor
Shara Grice
Bobbie King
Jeff McBride
Brenda Mac Farlane
Mandy Sky
Melissa Graham
Lorna Barrett
Tracey mcPhail
Camella Ross
Adreanna Dollman Downing
marg Priebe
Peggy Kennard
Brenda Chinn
Michele Gardner
Joanna Pohl
Grant De Boer
Kasey Aiello
Mike Jennings
Nadine Badry
Tim Varro
Spring Hawes
Barbara Maynard
Susan Moore
Claire Cram
Nicolle Guillen
Terry Foster
Sarah Mitchell
Sabina Cragg
Dave Davis
Brian Martin
Chelsea Sharkey
Harmanie Taylor
Rachel Nelson
Andrea Dodsworth
Tammy DaSilva
Karen Cavalier
Nicole Nys
Letitia Hinkley-Roach
Nadia Olynyk
Ian MacLaine
Marie Soudre
Gail Ashuk
Arista Haas
Adam O’Neill
Helen Berarducci
Geoff Ryan
Susan McKenzie
Jamie M. Hicks
Melanie Telford
Barbara Dearden
Joanne Odjick
Tracey Roetman
Stephen Cull
Wendy Hansen
Daniel Rosen
Arvid Kuhnle
Casey McNally
Jeff Bourne
Jake Beaton
Jo Kelly
Shannon Gowans
Kevin Harvey
Deborah Kennard
D. Abraham
David Ramsden
Kyle Vose
jonda Hopper
Steven Wessels
Tyler muller
Sarah Kozoriz
amber B
Lana Phillips
Cara Crawford
jason pleaddafith
Carol S. stringer
Darren Mackay
Glyn Ganong
Robin Artemis
Jurgen Wiechmann
Jurnee
Sharon McBride
tracy curley
Cheryl White
Darlene Jay
Kyle Jay
Patricia Denneny
Sandra Paluc
Jacqueline Waybrant
Sheryl Ann Wilson
Sarah Nixon-Suggitt
Diane Morrell
Lynn Dunkley
Jo-Anne Nykilchyk
Tiffany Schier
Diane Ladouceur
Kent Oxford
Carrie Lapensee
Peter Beam
Janice Laurence
Lisa Boynton
Sandra J. Yetman
Mark Nicoll
Brenda Lush
carolyn kassinger
Jennifer Elizabeth Macdonald
Lynn Clark
Gillian Burns
Dawn Campbell
mike barrett
Sharon Kilkenny
Jeff May
Liz Allchin
tia sweeney
Roland Hengst
sherry palmer
Jacquie Munro
Russ Weaver
Mike Grady
Juliana Lepoutre
Wayne and joy reycraft
Heather Crossman
Sean VanHorne
Denise Sheedy
Lisa Bendall
Bilha Nativ
Phil McKenzie
Rebecca Therrien
Patti wheeler
Wendy Beckett
Jade Fraser
Kevin Steele
Carolyn Hirschfeld
Martha Russell
Lisa McCallen
Dalten Campbell
Jodi Fisher
Tracey Walshaw
Christina Chasty
Nicole Morley
debra Mcdonald
Hertha Shalinsky
Candyce Virgin
Kim Angell-McCormick
Radical Access Mapping Project
Cheryl Webster
Kelly-Lyn Webster
Doug Webster
Sue Beare
Sharon Shalinsky
Dawn Stinson
marty newstead
Lois harris
Theresa H Beard
Jamie Lauzon
Desiree Bauer
Derek Belbin
luc perron
Naomi Glenvad Teramoto
David Berman
Jason Dyok
Patrick Fougeyrollas
Nic deGroot
Chantelle Bernardo
Angela Finkbeiner
Dean Fey
marilyn stratton-zimmer
Cornelia Bryant
Marcel Matte
Bruce A Johnson
Judith Flatt
Stacey Upson
Lacey Fontaine
Christine Flynn-James
Philip Bobawsky
Susan Wagar
Dawn Howell
Sabrina Gould
Laura farres
Amie Kiddle
Jason Finkbeiner
Cheryl Benson
Colleen Davis
Pauline Fraser
Jacki Andre
Aaron Broverman
Taylor Short
Laurel Ryan
Brittany Lang
Bill Hopper
Sam Fulton
Paula Swirla
Geoffrey Olsen
Pamela Shelton
Megan Turpin
Pamela Kent
Ian A. Greaves
Susan Bowman
D Veglia
Diana Veglia
Anchel Krishna
Geoff Egan
meghan nugent
Bonnie S. Manning-Jones
Suzanne Nurse
Kimberly Prattis
Jeffrey Preston
Sandra Yetman
Jaimie Smith-Windsor
William Cowie
Cindy Kennedy
Kathryn Bremner
Thea Kurdi
Mike Cocteau
Gerry harris
Sarah Smith
Aislinn Burkholder
Stephen Higham
Dan Angell
Amelia Murphy-Beaudoin
Jeff Stark
Jamie Burton
Jennifer Miller
Michael Racette
Michael Hughes
kimberly m murphy
Majid Turmusani
Roger B Jones

The Barrier Free Canada August 2015 newsletter

Table of contents

  1. A special request to our readers
  2. Summary for the month of August
  3. Next steps
  4. How you can support us
  5. Contact info

A special request to our readers

We would like to start with an important appeal to our readers. From now until October 19, we are asking you to please help our cause by taking to social media.

We need as many of you as possible to start tweeting and retweeting. You can either make up your own tweets or retweet any tweet that you come across with the hashtag #canadiansdisabilitiesact. Or write to us at info@barrierfreecanada.org and we will be pleased to provide you with sample tweets.

Every voice and every tweet counts and it is only like this that we will convince our next Canadian Parliament to implement a Canadians Disabilities Act. Use Twitter and Facebook and let’s share each other’s tweets and posts!

We are counting on you!

Summary for August

Welcome to the Barrier Free Canada August newsletter and we’ll start with our summary for August. This month continued to be a very hectic one for us as we prepare to launch an all out offensive on social media as well as to encourage more organizations to express their support on our website.

Our list of yes supporters continued to grow at a fast clip and our social media efforts are coming along as more people are retweeting our tweets and liking our Facebook page as well as sharing our links.

On Aug 11, Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières received an important endorsement from well known newspaper columnist André Picard of the Globe and Mail newspaper. The text of his column follows.

EQUALITY: It’s past time for our own Disabilities Act

The Globe and Mail August 11, 2015

By ANDRÉ PICARD

Twenty-five years ago, the United States adopted a momentous civil liberties law, the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The purpose of the law was four-fold:

  • to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities;
  • to provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities;
  • to ensure that the federal government plays a central role in enforcing the standards; and
  • to regulate commerce, in order to address the major areas of discrimination faced day-to-day by people with disabilities.

In short, the ADA gave people legal rights to be full participants in everyday life, and it has had a revolutionary effect.

The most visible impact is the tearing down of physical barriers: Schools, stores, sports stadiums, government buildings, public transit systems that are accessible to people with mobility-impairments are now the norm.

The law has been used by thousands with psychiatric, development and physical disabilities to leave institutional care in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities and receive care in the community.

Discrimination against those with disabilities is no longer tolerated in the workplace, and employment rates have improved, though the jobless rate among people with disabilities remains stubbornly high with about two-thirds out of work (compared with about one-quarter of those without disabilities.)

This is a reminder that anti-discrimination laws, while important, are not enough; a supportive social safety net is also required to ensure inclusion and full citizenship.

But back to the law: As the United States celebrates the ADA, it’s worth reflecting how Canada compares.

In this country, there is no comprehensive legislation protecting the rights of people with disabilities. What we have instead is a mish-mash of vague principles and tame enforcement bodies.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees persons with disabilities the right to “equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination based on … mental or physical disability.” The Canadian Human Rights Act also prohibits discrimination, as do provincial human rights codes.

The fundamental difference in approaches is that, in the United States, the ADA was proactive – it forced governments and private businesses to tear down barriers or face punishing sanctions, and it gave people with disabilities legal tools to demand change.

In Canada, we continue to treat inclusion of people with disabilities as a privilege rather than a right.

That needs to change.

It’s well past time for a Canadians with Disabilities Act.

The non-partisan group BarrierFree Canada is calling on all the federal parties to make a commitment to this approach. And despite some high-profile support, such as that of disability activist Rick Hansen, the campaign has not received attention in the mainstream political discourse.

What better time is there for our political leaders to take a stand for a barrier-free and inclusive Canada than during a federal election campaign?

There are roughly four million Canadians now living with a physical, psychiatric or developmental disability. That number is expected to rise to about nine million by 2030. (Let’s not forget that aging – not injury or genetics – is the principal cause of disability.)

The barriers people with disabilities face are many: physical, legal, bureaucratic, communication, technological and, above all, attitudinal.

We don’t have an inclusive society because of deep-rooted fears about those who are “different.”

We also tend to have erroneous beliefs that accommodation is expensive when, in fact, the biggest economic and social cost comes from excluding people from participating in society to the full scope of their abilities.

Change has happened in Canada but it has been painfully slow.

The purpose of a Canadians with Disabilities Act would be essentially the same ones as laid out in the ADA a quarter-century ago – to speed up the march toward equality and inclusion.

What Barrier-Free Canada is calling for, in a nicely articulated statement of principles, is legislation that moves beyond the rhetoric of breaking down barriers to creating a structure in which plans to do so will actually be devised and implemented, and the rules enforced.

Aspirations, values and bons mots – like those in our cherished Charter of Rights and Freedoms – are not enough. There needs to be concrete action to give values life.

As Barrier-Free Canada states: “The Canadians with Disabilities Act must be more than mere window-dressing. It should contribute meaningfully to the improvement of the position of persons with disabilities in Canada. It must have real force, effect and teeth.”

We also created a new page on our website called Election 2015 and this page will give you some very helpful tips on how you can support our initiative to have the next Canadian Parliament enact a Canadians Disabilities Act.

We have included an election action kit along with letters that we have mailed and emailed to the party leaders with regard to our request for equal access for Canadians with disabilities to candidates forums. We encourage you to visit this page at http://barrierfreecanada.org/election-2015/ and check back regularly as we may be including new content as we go along.

Letters from all of the supporting organizations are now posted to our website. Our five founding organizations are: 
CNIB, March of Dimes, the MS Society of Canada, the Canadian Hearing Society, and Accessible Media Inc. A list of our supporting organizations is listed below along with the date on which they signed on.

April 02
Irene Lambert
(Past president, program director)
The Low Vision Self-Help Association
West Island, Montreal Quebec

June 01
Kim White, Manager of Strategic Initiatives
On behalf of Kelly White, Executive Director
The Coalition of Persons with Disabilities – NL

June 12
Louise Gillis
National President, Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB)

June 15
Dar Wournell
National President, Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC)

June 16
Shane Holten
President, SPH Planning & Consulting Limited

June 21
The Rick Hansen Foundation

June 22
Lucio D’Intino
President, Quebec Federation of the blind

June 26
Barbara Collier Reg. CASLPO. F. ISAAC
Executive Director, Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC)

July 14
Karen Bell
Manager Policy & Stakeholder Relations
Community Living Toronto

July 21
Roxanna Spruyt Rocks
Chief Executive Officer
Deaf Blind Ontario Services

July 31
Jerry Dias
Unifor National President

We continued to work hard to increase our presence on Facebook and on Twitter and our efforts are starting to pay off as more visitors are coming to us on Facebook and the number of our followers on Twitter are steadily climbing. For the month of August the number of persons signing up as supporters increased markedly. We thank everyone for their support and ask that you continue to help us by spreading the word.


Next steps

From now until Election Day, we will be doubling our efforts to garner support from as many organizations and individuals as possible and for the month of September we will be working to make ourselves better known in the media.

If you would like to join our growing band of volunteers who have taken to social media to tweet and post to Facebook on our behalf, then please send us an email to info@barrierfreecanada.org and we will provide you with samples of tweets and twitter handles that you can include in your posts and tweets.

In like manner; If you would like to receive our election action kit which you can use to help you spread the word then please send your email to info@barrierfreecanada.org and we would be delighted to send you a copy. Or you can also access our election action kit at http://barrierfreecanada.org/election-2015/.

We are also looking for volunteers who can help us to translate our newsletter from English to French. Please, email us at info@barrierfreecanada.org if you can be of assistance.

We have already started to attract some international attention as some time in September we are going to be interviewed by the Royal National Institute of the Blind’s radio station. The RNIB radio station is a UK based entity.

Also in September and in October, we will be making appearances on the Welcome to my World program of the 93.1 Ottawa based radio station CKCU www.ckcufm.com.

In September we will be interviewed by the Association de sphina-bifida et d’hydrocéphalie du Québec and the issue is called “Le spinnaker”.

We are calling on everyone to circulate our election action kit far and wide and we will be emailing this kit to all of our founding and supporting organizations as well as to those who have requested updates from us.

We will be calling on all Canadians to lobby the next Canadian Parliament to enact a Canadians disabilities Act and would it not be a great and wonderful present for Canadians to receive a present in the form of a CDA on Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017?


How you can support us

You can support us in several ways.

First visit us at www.barrierfreecanada.org and read our founding principles.

Next visit our support us page and sign up as a supporter. You can also choose to have your name published on our website, receive updates such as these, or simply register your support by completing our online form.

If you represent an organization and you wish to register your organization’s support, you can send an email to us at info@barrierfreecanada.org and we will be delighted to post the name of your organization on our website.

We will even post your letter of support to our website if you give us permission and you will be able to see your letter of support by visiting http://barrierfreecanada.org/support/from-other-supporting-organizations/

You can also spread the message by word of mouth, write to or visit your MP, your MPP, and even write to your provincial Premier or provincial party leaders.


Contact info

To contact us, please send an email to info@barrierfreecanada.org.

To keep abreast of our updates visit http://www.barrierfreecanada.org/category/general

Visit us at www.barrierfreecanada.org
Follow us on Twitter @barrierfreeca
And like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/barrierfreeca

Yours sincerely
Donna J. Jodhan
Chair; Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières

On behalf of
David Lepofsky, Robert Pearson, Steven Christianson, Marc Workman, Jutta Treviranus (Barrier Free Canada – Canada sans Barrières steering committee)
Leo Bissonnette; admin support

Making disabilities a federal election issue

The Waterloo Chronicle, Wednesday, September, 02, 2015 – 9:09:58 AM

By James Jackson
Chronicle Staff

For Jason Tomesch, the talk surrounding the upcoming federal election has been sorely lacking one key discussion — improving the lives of the millions of Canadians who live with one or more disability every day.

Tomesch knows the struggle first-hand. The 22-year-old Waterloo resident is confined to a wheelchair due to Muscular Dystrophy, a neuromuscular disorder that causes his muscles to deteriorate.

“I’ve hardly seen disabilities being discussed in any of the federal debates or by any of the parties,” said Tomesch in an email to the ChronicleMonday. The election is set for Oct. 19, and more than four million Canadians live with a disability.

Tomesch has had two brushes with death due to his condition, most recently in 2012 when food became lodged in his lungs, leading to aspirational pneumonia. He was rushed to Grand River Hospital but his parents were told he had 24 hours to live. He spent five months recovering in the intensive care unit.

He’s calling on all parties to support the creation of a federal Canadians with Disabilities Act. The act is being promoted by the volunteer group Barrier-free Canada.

It is also being supported by disability organizations such as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and aims to “effectively ensure to all persons with disabilities in Canada the equal opportunity to fully and meaningfully participate in all aspects of life in Canada based on their individual merit.”

The United States adopted an Americans with Disabilities Act 25 years ago, but Canada has no such wide-ranging and comprehensive legislation to protect the rights of people with disabilities.

Tomesch said the creation of a federal disabilities act would help people living with disabilities more easily navigate their communities by removing barriers from their lives. That includes physical, legal, bureaucratic, information, communication, attitudinal and technological barriers, and it would supersede all other legislation, regulations or policies that provide lesser protections and entitlements to persons with disabilities.

More information is available on their website, barrierfreecanada.org.

“Despite the barriers I face, I am a person with a disability, not a disabled person,” said Tomesch.

The Chronicle reached out to the four federal election candidates in the Waterloo riding to ask their thoughts on the act and whether or not their party would help implement it if elected.

Peter Braid, Conservative Party

“It is clear that more needs to be done to support Canadians with disabilities. I support a study of this proposed legislation in the next Parliament, to hear from all stakeholders on this important issue, and to thoughtfully consider its merits.”

He noted the Conservative Government has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping Canadians with disabilities, including the creation of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) to help people with disabilities and their families save for the future and has taken steps to enhance skills training opportunities for Canadians with disabilities by transferring $222 million to provinces and territories through Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities.

Diane Freeman, NDP

“Canada has made a UN commitment to help persons with disabilities participate fully. Canadians with disabilities often face poverty and get less support than in other OECD countries. And instead of lifting barriers, the Conservatives added a new one by cancelling home mail delivery.”

She said Tom Mulcair and the NDP will live up to Canada’s UN commitments and take real action on issues like housing, poverty and labour market participation.

“Our plan will also address training and assistance devices, affordable housing, transportation, and increasing income security to help individuals reach their full potential.”

Bardish Chagger, Liberal Party

“Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada have pledged to fully implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and take substantive action to address the barriers faced by Canadians with disabilities.”

Four years after ratifying this convention, the Conservative government has yet to implement it, she said. “We need to translate words into action.”

Chagger said her party has a strong record of supporting Canadians with disabilities, and “it was a Liberal government that invested in employment and income supports for Canadians with disabilities, broadened eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit, and expanded the list of disability supports allowable under the Disability Supports Deduction.”

Richard Walsh, Green Party

“The Green Party believes in the principle of full inclusion in society. This should be a right enjoyed by all Canadians, not merely a privilege. Consequently, we Greens support a Canada Disabilities Act to encompass the entire nation … Green MPs will introduce a Canada Disabilities Act in the next Parliament, which I would fully support.”

Walsh said the Green Party proposes Canada should implement a Guaranteed Livable Income, and the government should invest more funding in social housing.

“Canadian physicians know that research shows that economic and social conditions directly affect health as well as illness and disease.

“The Green Party also recognizes this reality and shapes its policies accordingly.”