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Statement by Minister Hehr on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 3, 2017                    Gatineau, Quebec             Employment and Social Development Canada

“Today Canada and the world celebrate the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This is a day for us to reflect on how far we have come in making Canada a truly accessible and inclusive country. We also know how far we still have to go. We mark this day by highlighting the talent and contributions of people with disabilities and by celebrating and renewing our commitment to make this country truly accessible and inclusive.

Today, one in seven Canadians reports having a disability. And that number will only increase as our population ages. Here in Canada, we are planning to introduce new federal accessibility legislation which will help improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities in areas under federal jurisdiction. The fact remains that people with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed, to live in poverty and to earn less than people without a disability.

As part of Canada’s roadmap to inclusion, the new legislation will get us closer to the accessible Canada we all want. Over time, this new legislation will mean real change for Canadians with disabilities—as users of services, as clients, as travellers and as employees in areas of federal jurisdiction.

A few days ago, the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was tabled in the House of Commons. The Convention protects and promotes the rights and dignity of people with disabilities without discrimination and on an equal basis.

We’ve taken some great strides towards improving our country. Together, we can create a Canada where all Canadians have an equal opportunity to succeed, to build their lives and to follow their hopes, their dreams and their aspirations.”

Associated Links
Consultation on Accessibility Legislation
Creating a new national accessibility legislation: What we learned from Canadians
The Government of Canada tables the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Twitter: @AccessibleGC / Facebook: Accessible Canada

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Jane Almeida
Director, Communications
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
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

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