Action, not words needed to help Persons with Disabilities

OTTAWA - December 3rd marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, with a
theme for 2011 of "Together for a better world for all."  

there has been much media coverage on the problems of poverty and inequality,
not only in developing countries but also here in Canada. Canadians with
disabilities and their families live with even grater levels of poverty and
exclusion. The United Nations recently advised that approximately 1 billion of
the 7 billion people on Earth have a disability. 

“In spite
of the seminal Obstacles report published by Parliament in 1981, the process of
implementing the recommendations after 30 years has been painfully slow,"
said Joe Foster, Green Human Rights Critic.   

Although Parliament had unanimously agreed to eliminate child poverty by the
year 2000, we are still far from that goal.

As we
know, key causes of disabilities are poverty, war and the impacts resulting
from climate change for which our Federal governments is showing little or no
leadership ," said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada.

The problem is exacerbated for young people.  While most  Canadian
youth are struggling to find jobs, the problem for disabled youth is magnified.
Poverty rates of Canadians with disabilities result in large part from the lack
of needed disability supports, which enable access to education, training,
employment, and community participation. Canadians with disabilities are too
often exiled to inadequate, stigmatizing and ineffective systems of welfare
that were never designed to address the real income needs of Canadians with disabilities.

"Lacking access to treatment and support, too many mentally challenged
Canadians end up in jails.

Instead of building unwanted and unneeded prisons, the government should be
addressing poverty as a key national program," said Foster. ”Canada has signed the
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Canadians now expect
action not words.”



Media Contact:

Rebecca Harrison