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

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

Mike Sullivan NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP

“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 make sure that Canadians with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce and everyday life.”

“This is a significant announcement on disability rights and citizenship, said Michael J. Prince, Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy, University of Victoria, and author of Absent Citizens: Disability Politics and Policy in Canada. “The NDP propose substantial initiatives that will advance a fuller measure of dignity, opportunity and equality for Canadians with disabilities.”

The United States recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Canada has no similar equality legislation.

An NDP government will:

  • Introduce a Canadians with Disabilities Act which will seek to end systemic barriers that Canadians with disabilities face;
  • Develop a National Action Plan to carry out 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,” said Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, NDP Candidate in Hochelaga and past deputy Critic for Disability Issues.

“Only Tom Mulcair is ready to replace Stephen Harper, and start repairing the damage the Conservatives have done to Ottawa.”

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 carry out 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.

The NDP commit to support Canadians with disabilities, Tom Mulcair and the NDP will:

  • Introduce a comprehensive Canadians with Disabilities Act to end barriers and to promote accessibility, effective participation, and equality of opportunity for persons living with disabilities;
  • Develop a National Action Plan to carry out 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.

Source – NDP