Election 2008 and Canadians with Disabilities
COUNCIL OF CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES
September 10, 2008
Canadians once again are being asked to go to the polls. For Canadians with disabilities that is a challenge in and of itself. Accessibility of the electoral process for Canadians with disabilities remains a concern. CCD calls on all Parties and all Candidates to make Election 2008 the most accessible election ever. This means:
- Polling Stations are totally accessible.
- Persons with vision impairments are able to vote independently and verify their vote.
- Sign language interpretation for the Deaf is available at public events.
- Party Platforms and Websites are fully accessible.
- Candidate offices and venues are accessible.
Building an Inclusive and Accessible Canada starts with ensuring that all, regardless of disability, are able to exercise their democratic right – the right to vote.
Election 2008 presents an opportunity for Canadians with disabilities to raise their issues. Presently, at the federal level, social policy appears to be homeless. CCD wants all Parties to present their social policy platform and vision for Canada. This vision must ensure Canadians with disabilities have equal access to the goods and services of our great country.
CCD, as Canada’s largest self help association of persons with disabilities, has identified its priorities. CCD calls on all Parties to commit to:
- Alleviating the poverty of persons with disabilities. A first step would be to make the Disability Tax Credit Refundable.
- Establishing specific participation targets for persons with disabilities within Labour Market Agreements reached with the provinces.
- Making Canada more accessible by: regulating access in federally regulated transportation services, ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, creating a Parliamentary Committee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, and funding and supporting the voices of persons with disabilities so that we are heard in social policy debates.
For more information on these issues see the National Action Plan on Disability at www.endexclusion.ca This Action Plan is endorsed by over a hundred organizations from across Canada.
Canadians with disabilities and CCD will be watching to see if Parties are committed to Building An Inclusive and Accessible Canada.
For more information contact:
Marie White, CCD Chairperson - 709-739-8233
Claredon Robicheau, CCD Executive Member - 902-769-2474
John Rae, CCD Vice Chairperson - 416-941-1547
Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator - 204-947-0303 or cel 204-981-6179