Annual Report: 2002-2003

How fast this year has gone - and what a busy year for all involved. Through the Council of Canadians with Disabilties, CCD's affiliates, Committees, Board members and Staff we have been active on all fronts: internationally - most notably in our work towards the development of an International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and our efforts to support Disabled People's International; federally - through our linkages with the political and bureaucratic levels; and provincially - as we maintain our connection to the grassroots communities on whom we depend for information, input and insight, and to whom we are ultimately accountable.

In spite of our on-going efforts, at times it is disappointing to see that we are expending our energies fighting to maintain the ground we have conquered, instead of moving forward on issues which significantly impact our citizenship. The message we take from this is not that our efforts are fruitless, but that they are valuable to maintaining our place in Canadian society.

Despite some disappointments, there have been successes. For example, CCD's ability to engage the disability community, federal politicians and to some degree, through our media efforts, the general public in the battle to prevent erosion of the DTC benefit was significant. Further, we have put the central issues of disability related supports - the foundation of our Canadian citizenship - on many agendas and at all levels, with the result being it is recognized that we seek and expect movement on this overriding issue.

At the Federal level, a leadership change is upon us and with it, hopefully, comes a renewed interest in the issues that persons with disabilities face daily. We look forward to practical discussions not only on our barriers which have been well documented and are known by all - but on solutions. As well, we seek federal recognition that leadership at this level is required to advance our cause.

Also, at the national level CCD continues to work closely with other organizations of and for persons with disabilities - we are many voices with common cause and purpose and so our message is strong: as Canadians with disabilities we demand equality in all activities accessible to citizens of our country. CCD will continue to foster the partnerships and networks needed to achieve this ultimate goal.

Every year we are faced with many challenges and presented many opportunities, and no doubt this next year will prove no different. Our success in this upcoming year, as in past years, therefore, depends on our collective strength of character, our flexibility in approach, and our ability to make informed choices reflective of the needs and interests of those with whom and for whom we work.

It is important to note that the success of any organization is defined to a large extent by the ability, quality and dedication of its staff - and CCD finds all of this and more in its staff, with particular note of the tireless work done by Laurie Beachell. A sincere thanks to all of you in your efforts to inform and support us.

Respectfully submitted by
Marie White

The Ground Work Has Been Done

What an incredible year. Looking back at the work the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) has done, briefs presented, political meetings held, legal interventions, press coverage, and just plain old talking to people about our issues I do believe CCD should be proud. CCD has done the necessary ground work and we are now in a holding pattern waiting for the results of this hard work.

For someone who is perpetually a glass half empty type of person I do have a sense that we are on the verge of some new and important steps forward. The one exception I see is in the area of transportation access. While we have done good work there appear to be few opportunities to move forward and in many instances we are seeing an erosion of access. In other areas such as disability supports, tax reform, new employment initiatives and renewed interest in disability and international development I think there may be some positive initiatives around the corner. CCD members should take some pride in the fact that we have helped to create a climate where new opportunities may be forthcoming.

That is not to say the world will change overnight, but rather it appears that the pendulum may be swinging toward a renewed focus at the federal level on social issues. Clearly there is a need and we have made that need known to decision makers and to some extent to the broader public as well. The hard task ahead of us will be in setting priorities for action and finding ways of phasing in new initiatives.

CCD priority remains investment in disability supports that will empower individuals to take greater control of their lives and participate more fully in community life. The Federal/Provincial/Territorial In Unison process must now deliver with action not principle statements. It has taken far longer than we would like to get to a point of agreement on principles and good practices and now is the time for a commitment to new initiatives.

CCD has hoped that this year's budget would be a turning point. We were disappointed but there is an opportunity to address tax fairness and persons with disabilities and the child disability benefit is an important new initiative. We are moving closer to identifying mechanisms and the necessary structures to move our issues forward. Federal leadership, so critical to addressing disability issues, appears to be a possibility again, something frankly that has been lacking for since the mid 90's.

Clearly CCD must continue to deliver its message related both to the need as well as to the solutions. The need is well documented. The solutions that CCD identifies include mechanisms to offset the additional costs of disability and to ensure appropriate disability related supports are in place to make possible going to school, getting training, getting a job, participating in community, etc. Tax reform, which includes refundability can address some of this need but additionally a programmatic initiative that includes federal/provincial/territorial governments will be required. Couple with this is the need for an employment strategy for persons with disabilities and a significant step forward would be in the works. On the employment front one of the places to start would be to make the Government of Canada a model employer, coupled with a national summit within two years hosted by the Prime Minister inviting employers to commit to a more inclusive labour force. Truly this would help turn the page into a new era.

Windows of opportunity as they say appear to exist, only continued advocacy efforts of Canadians with disabilities will ensure opportunity becomes reality.

Respectfully submitted by
Laurie Beachell

Treasurer's Report
Under Construction

Human Rights Committee Report

The Committee reviewed the Faulkiner case, which is sometimes referred to as the "spouse in the house" case and agreed to move forward with this case. However, it will not proceed forward until the next fiscal year. This case is important to people with disabilities because of Charter s.15 issues and implications to caregiver relationships. The case would challenge the "spouse in the house" rule that renders a person ineligible for family benefits if the person (typically a single mother) is perceived to be in a spousal relationship, notwithstanding the financial independence of the persons. Two companion cases went to the Ontario Court of Appeal. One case involved an unemployed man with a mental health disability who lived with a female friend who served as a caregiver. The other case involved a group of single women who were living with men. Both sets of claimants were denied social assistance benefits because their relationships were considered co-habiting spouses. The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the definition of spouse was overly broad, capturing many non-spousal relationships and that being a recipient of social assistance was an analogous ground under section 15 of the Charter. The "recipient of social assistance" and definition of spouse issue are important issues for person with disabilities; because of the over representation of persons with disabilities in need of social assistance. The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is seeking to have discriminatory practices brought to an end that would prevent people with disabilities having access to an important form of disability support-a live-in personal support person. It is important that a disability analysis be presented to the Supreme Court when the Faulkiner case goes forward.

The Human Rights Committee also considered an intervention in the Deol case, which was a challenge to Canada's immigration practices that discriminate against applicants with disabilities. The immigration system confused disability with illness and refuses to grant immigrant status with disabilities because it is wrongly assumed that people with disabilities place an undue burden on the health and social service system. The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the appeal in the Deol case, therefore CCD was unable to advance its barrier removal objectives through this case.

In November, CCD, the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD), ACL Manitoba and ACL Winnipeg, and People First of Canada formed a coalition in order to gain standing in the inquest into the death of Cory Moar. Mr. Moar was hard of hearing and labeled mentally handicapped. He died as a result of the cumulative effects of beatings inflicted upon him by family members over a long period of time. A nephew and a half-brother were sentenced to prison terms in this case. An inquest provides an opportunity to look into the circumstances of a death and then make recommendations for changes to prevent other similar tragedies. CCD became involved to ensure that the judge had the benefit of a disability rights framework that would assist in the development of recommendations that support the human rights and independent living aspirations of people with disabilities. In cases of horrific violence and abuse, there is always the danger that people who are unfamiliar with the social history of people with disabilities will fall back on medical model approaches to disability, such as institutionalization, that purport to keep people with disabilities safe, rather than strive to devise new solutions that promote full citizenship. Jim Derksen, Chairperson of CCD's Human Rights Committee, was called as an expert witness to explain the evolution of disability services and ableist attitudes. Yvonne Peter, a former Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee, was co-counsel for the coalition, along with another lawyer, David Wright, who has been involved with the ACL network in Manitoba.

The Human Rights Committee continues to monitor the United Church of Canada, because the Saskatchewan Conference has recommended that the United Church seek clemency for Robert Latimer. CCD has written to the Moderator of the United Church explaining why it is important that Robert Latimer not be given clemency. CCD believes that the Supreme Court of Canada made the right decision and that in this case a denunciatory sentence is appropriate and, indeed, even essential. While working on the Latimer case, volunteers have been told by other parents that they were monitoring the Latimer case, as they intended to kill their own disabled children if Latimer were allowed to go free.

The Committee also monitors the Canadian Human Rights Commission's performance. In the winter, Jim Derksen and Laurie Beachell meet with Bob Ward Acting Director General of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Respectfully submitted by
Jim Derksen

Social Policy Working Group Report

The October 2002 Throne Speech and the February Budget highlight the need for persons with disabilities to remain vigilant in the quest for equality. As the community continues to move forward in a committed and organized manner on issues such as income support, disability supports and employment-the building blocks of citizenship-the Federal Government has responded only very marginally to our issues. Despite the fact that the Government did renew the EAPD program and the Social Development Partnership Program, initiated a review of the Disability Tax Credit and committed to an expansion of the Credit, and establish a disability benefit for children, for many in our community, there were no direct benefits. Under the Liberal Government, we have witnessed an erosion of access for persons with disabilities. Many in our community are suggesting that people with disabilities are rapidly becoming worse off. The Social Policy Working Group has been seeking to develop strategies that will put an end to the withering away of the gains that were made in the 80s and will lead to new innovations in programs and services that will advance the equality of persons with disabilities.

The Social Policy Working Group manages a number of portfolios for CCD:

* Labour Market Issues,
* Disability Supports and Benefits to Persons with Disabilities,
* Income Security,
* Taxation,
* Federal Budget, and
* Issues of federal/provincial/territorial jurisdiction.

This report describes our activities in these areas. The Social Policy Working Group has also been collabourating with the Health Reform Committee on the topic of home supports, as home supports is a vital component of disability supports, one of our priority issues.

Labour Market Issues

On 16 April 2003, Laurie Beachell and Chloé Serradori appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Human Resources Development hearings on the Employment Equity Act. CCD presented the brief "Employment Equity Has Failed Canadians with Disabilities." CCD delivered the message that:

* Employment Equity has failed because it does not have effective enforcement mechanisms.

* The representation of people with disabilities in the labour force has not significantly increased in the 14 years that the Act has been in effect.

Marie White, Mary Ennis and Mary Reid attended a Federal/Provincial/Territorial consultation on Labour Market Best Practices in Ottawa on 24-25 June 2002. CCD organized a consumer consultation on the evening of 24 June 2002. Marie and Mary also presented an overview of the DRS plan and the essential link between access to supports and labour market strategies.

CCD has been advocating the expansion and renewal of the EAPD program, as this program enables people with disabilities to access the training that is necessary to be competitive in the labour market. There was no expansion of the Program in February's Federal Budget. The Social Policy Working Group is concerned that this failure to increase investment will hamper the In Unison process. The Provinces have been very clear that they are waiting for the Federal Government to put dollars on the table. Once again it is grassroots consumers who are left without.

Disability Related Supports and Benefits for Persons with Disabilities

On 25, 26, 27 April 2002, the Social Policy Working Group brought representatives from the national disability groups together to look at how to build the capacity of organizations to contribute to policy development, to identify opportunities and barriers to moving policy issues forward, to share information on key issues identified by the community and to identify mechanisms for continued dialogue among disability organizations. One of the outcomes of this meeting was CCD's proposal for a National Disability Supports Plan, which was endorsed by the CCD National Council of Representatives in June.

A National Disability Related Supports Plan would equalize supports and ensure the mobility rights of persons with disabilities. It should be governed by a framework agreement developed jointly by federal, provincial, territorial governments, First Nations and disability organizations. The components of a National Disability Supports Plan are:

A long-term commitment to improving disability supports is required (minimum 5 years). The disability community recognizes that resource allocations cannot be achieved in one year and that progress will need to be staged.

1. Disability supports fall primarily within provincial and territorial jurisdiction. Any plan must be based on agreed upon priorities established at provincial and territorial levels through a process of consultation with the disability community. Municipal governments often play a critical role in service delivery and means of involving them must be found. The community seeks to ensure comparable services across Canada that will ensure mobility rights.
2. A commitment to a Plan requires a commitment to identifying targets and measurable outcomes and the establishment of reporting mechanisms for monitoring progress. Such tools must be developed jointly by representatives of both levels of government and the disability community. Service investments must address those who face significant barriers and not simply address the needs of those who are easily accommodated.
3. Investment must also address disability across the life cycle and assist children, youth, adults and seniors.

CCD and CACL have been working in partnership on a project called Connecting People to Policy - supported by VSI in collabouration with HRDC. This 18 month project is designed to build the capacity of the disability community to participate in and contribute to the policy process. It has a particular focus on the realization of In Unison Principles and Blueprint in the area of Disability Related Supports.

On 2-4 March 2002, CCD and CACL sponsored a national meeting to further the development of the national disability supports plan. Disability community representatives from the national and provincial level and government officials from the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Working Group on Benefits and Services to People with Disabilities attended the event. At the meeting it was decided to develop research papers addressing the following topics:
? Mobility Rights,
? Transfer Payments,
? Tax Initiatives, and
? Accountability Mechanisms.

The objective of this research is to develop tools and mechanisms for advancing reinvestment in disability supports. For example, we are seeking to determine whether the mobility rights guarantee in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms can be used to promote an investment in disability supports that would equalize supports across the country or allow consumers to take supports with them when they move across jurisdictions. Another question that is being examined by the research is how far the tax system should be pushed to address the lack of disability supports.

Income Security

On 21 May 2002, Mary Ennis and Laurie Beachell attended a round table consultation on CPP Disability Benefits, conducted by Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Chair of the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Disability Issues. On 29 May 2002, Laurie Beachell participated in another consultation on CPP Disability that was held by HRDC's CPP-D administration. These consultations addressed the application and appeal processes.


During this fiscal year, a great deal of work has been done on the Disability Tax Credit. The Disability Tax Credit is an attempt by Ottawa to recognize that with disability comes extra costs. It is a small program, providing tax credits up to $960.00 year to individuals who meet the rigorous qualifications. Only those with "severe and prolonged" disabilities qualify for the Disability Tax Credit. The program costs the Federal Government $390 million a year.

CCD has been raising the following concerns with regard to the Disability Tax Credit:

The DTC does not recognize significant variations of cost for individuals with disabilities.? The DTC offsets only a small portion of the extra costs, which does not create tax fairness for people with disabilities.? The DTC does not benefit the majority of Canadians with disabilities who live in poverty and do not have taxable incomes.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency's 2002 review of 106,000 DTC claimants suggests that the Government is attempting to reduce the number of persons eligible for the DTC.

On 2 December 2002, Marie White and Laurie Beachell met with Eleanor Caplan the Minister responsible for Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. CCD offered to serve in an advisory role to the CCRA on the interpretation and implementation issues related to the Disability Tax Credit.

Jane Stewart, the HRDC Minister. CCD encouraged the HRDC Minister to play a lead role in bringing together Finance, CCRA, HRDC and the disability community to discuss mechanisms for addressing the Throne Speech's commitment to low income families with children with disabilities. This would be another step in offsetting the additional costs persons with disabilities encounter because of their disabilities.

Social Union

On 30 September 2003, Marie White participated in a consultation on the Social Union Framework Agreement. CCD is concerned that the Agreement has been in place for 5 years and there have been few outcomes for people with disabilities. The research project that is being undertaken jointly by CACL and CCD is geared toward developing new innovations and strategies for public policy development in the federal/provincial/territorial framework. At the end of process we are hopeful that we will have new tactics for making the Social Union more responsive to consumers.

CCD has provided analysis on national and provincial fronts about how social policies have resulted in erosion of services. While there have been tremendous energies expended in the development of vision papers and blueprints for change, the reality for many people who have disabilities is a significant erosion of services. It is essential that this erosion tide is turned, that services are reinstated and that we concretely move towards implementing the wonderful vision statements and blueprints.

The SPWG is committed to improving access to disability related supports. This is clearly a priority of CCD, its membership and the disability community. It is only through the clear and adequate access to DRS that people who experience barriers will start to see a difference in having these barriers eliminated and opportunities equalized. We are encouraged by the endorsements throughout the country for the document framework for a national plan for disability related supports.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as cochair of the SPWG. Your support and guidance has been so very much appreciated. In particular, the incredible knowledge, commitments and guidance demonstrated by CCD staff continues to be outstanding. Thank you so very much for your patience and dedication.

Respectfully Submitted by
Mary Reid

Health Reform Committee

The 2002-03 year kicked off in a high profile way for the Health Reform Committee, as we were called upon to present before the Romanow Commission on 15 April 2002 in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Committee Chairperson Mary Ennis, together with Marie White, Chairperson of CCD, and Mary Reid, Chairperson of CCD's Social Policy Working Group, presented our recommendations for health reform to Mr. Romanow. The CCD delegation emphasized the following:

* That people with disabilities must not be made worse off by health care reform;
* The need for a national home supports program for persons with disabilities;
* The need for a national pharmacare program, improved access to generic drugs, and increased research and education on the effects of pharmaceuticals on persons with disabilities;
* That, where we are under-represented, the health care sector has a responsibility to reach out to our community and recruit qualified persons who have disabilities to serve on decision-making bodies;
* The need for the development of a disability lens for the health sector;
* The need for all components of the health care system to be governed by the intent of the Eldridge decision;
* The need for improved education for all workers in the health care system on disability, disability issues, and the potential impact of the health care system of persons with disabilities;
* The need for decision makers at all levels of the health care system to take responsibility for meeting the basic health care needs of persons with disabilities.
* That consumer values are part of the Canadian value system and Canadians value diversity.

During the summer months, the Committee prepared a number of Health Inspectors that provided consumers with summaries of the issues being focused upon by the Commission. On behalf of the Committee, Mary Ennis and Margot Brunner-Campbell guided the development of this series of Health Inspectors. Formal responses to the Romanow Commission on issues it put forward for public input were included in the Health Inspectors.

Mr. Romanow released his report in November 2002 and CCD was disappointed by the stance taken by the Commission on home supports for persons with disabilities. We pointed out that for people with disabilities home supports are critical for facilitating our active and full inclusion in Canadian society. The report's emphasis on acute care home supports suggests that we will need to work for the type of home supports that are needed by people with disabilities through a national disability supports program.

We were pleased, however, that the report did recommend home supports for consumers of mental health service. This group of people with disabilities has been under served in this area for too long a time. We have written to the Minister of Health encouraging that these services be developed according to the principles of independent living and in collabouration with consumers of mental health services.

In its letter to the Minister of Health, CCD also called upon the Government of Canada to attach to any universal home care program, the stipulation that monies freed up by the provinces and territories through federal home care initiatives be invested in a home support or a disability-related supports plan (which includes home supports) for persons with disabilities and that the Minister meet with CCD to discuss these issues.

The Committee also developed and submitted a proposal for a National Project on Home Support. The HRDC approved the Committee's proposal in December 2002 and work began in earnest. The purpose of this project is to develop a snapshot of home supports that are available to consumers in Canada in 2003, so that comparisons can be made across jurisdictions. The Research Team for this project consists of Dr. Kari Krogh (Principal Researcher), Mary Ennis, Chairperson of the Health Reform Committee, Laurie Beachell, National Coordinator, Maureen Colgan, Contract Project Staff, Paul Gauthier and Joe Theriault. Dr. Krogh is a Canadian Institutes of Health Senior Research Fellow at the School of Disability Studies Ryerson University in Toronto. Paul Gauthier and Joe Theriault are with the Home Support Action Group, which has done research work on home supports in British Columbia. On 24 March 2003, CCD's Provincial Coordinators, or their designates, met in Winnipeg to work on the development of the information gathering tools and other documents for the Project.

CCD has prioritized disability supports as a key issue for action, and home supports are an essential component of disability supports. The information that is gathered by this project will assist people with disabilities to educate provincial and federal decision-makers about what changes are needed in public policy in the area of home supports.

In May, Mary Ennis presented CCD's issues related to health reform at a Public Service Alliance of Canada conference. The Health Reform Committee also facilitated workshops on the Romanow Commission and the Home Support Project during each of CCD's Council meetings during the year.

One of the Committee's long-term priorities has been to improve CCD's networks within Health Canada. The Committee recommended that Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator, seek a position on the Steering Committee for Health Canada's Voluntary Organizations working in Health Innovation and Policy Development. Laurie was appointed to the Committee by Health Canada in August 2003.

Members of the Health Reform Committee are: Mary Ennis, Chairperson, Kathy Marshall, Doreen Demas, Lucie Lemieux-Brassard, Margot Brunner-Campbell and Marilyn Warf.

Respectfully submitted by
Mary Ennis

Transportation Committee

The CCD Transportation Committee is alarmed by the increasing number of barriers that persons with disabilities are encountering when they attempt to use transportation services in Canada. For some time now the Transportation Committee has been witnessing an erosion of accessible transportation services and as a result the mobility rights of persons with disabilities are being violated. CCD members are repeatedly encountering the same barriers when traveling and frankly our community is encountering more not fewer barriers. CCD has written to the Minister of Transport expressing the concern that the Canadian Transportation Agency is ineffectual and does not have the capacity to protect access for persons with disabilities. In its communication to the Minister of Transport CCD has suggested that part of the erosion of access is due to the move to voluntary codes of practice rather than the development of regulations and standards. CCD has put the Minister of Transport on notice that CCD will no longer discuss voluntary codes as a means to improve access to federally regulated transportation.

The Committee's first activity of the fiscal year occurred on 8 April 2002, when Pat Danforth, Chairperson of the CCD Transportation Committee, David Baker, CCD's legal counsel, and Sarah Goodwin, a member of Baker Law, appeared before the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) in Toronto for a hearing of CCD's complaint against VIA, concerning the Crown Corporation's purchase of inaccessible rail cars. Committee members Ron Ross, Eric Norman and Bill Crawford and Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator, were able to follow the proceedings by a telephone hook up. CCD's submission to the Agency focused on the major obstacles that the Renaissance cars present for people with disabilities. Mr. Baker explained why CCD finds these obstacles to be "undue" and how these cars fall below the standards set by the voluntary rail code. VIA's counsel chose to challenge the CTA's jurisdiction to even deal with CCD's application, repeating VIA's losing argument in the Federal Court of Appeal.

The Agency did not render a decision on CCD's VIA case until 27 March 2003, the very end of the fiscal year, when it made the unprecedented ruling confirming that VIA's Renaissance trains do not meet the Agency's voluntary Rail Code and represent serious obstacles to the mobility of Canadians with disabilities. The CTA decision found that the Renaissance cars have 14 barriers to the mobility of persons with disabilities. The barriers include:

* No movable armrests to allow transfer from a wheelchair to a seat in coach cars;
* No seating available for an attendant either beside or facing the area designated for passengers who use wheelchairs;
* Inadequate space to manoeuvre a wheelchair in the wheelchair tie-down area;
* Inadequate space in the tie-down area to accommodate both a person's wheelchair and a service animal;
* The bulkhead door is too narrow to permit safe and easy manoeuvring of a wheelchair;
* The aisle between the washrooms is too narrow;
* Inadequate space for service animals;
* The washroom door for the sleeper unit is too narrow;
* The door of the accessible sleeper is too narrow;
* There is not enough space beside the toilet to allow a person to transfer from their wheelchair to the toilet;
* Riser heights of stairs and stair depth;
* Lack of closed stair risers;
* Due to a lack of space in the accessible suite some wheelchair users may not be able to keep their personal chair with them in the suite;
* The way that the cars on the Montreal-Toronto overnight train ('consist') and the fact that there is no accessible washroom for persons using the wheelchair tie-down in economy coach cars.

In its decision the Agency stated, "It is important to note that the majority of the obstacles identified above relate to those areas of the Renaissance trains that have been specifically designed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. Considering the importance of these areas to persons with disabilities, it is clear that the foregoing obstacles have a significant impact on the mobility of persons with disabilities. In some cases, the obstacles may actually prevent some persons with disabilities from traveling on Renaissance cars." The Agency gave VIA 60 days to provide specific information with regard to structural, operational and economic implications of eliminating the obstacles being considered by the CTA before it completes its decision making on undueness.

CCD was disappointed that the Agency did not make its decision on "undueness" in its 27 March 2003 decision. VIA had its day in court and failed to make its case. The Agency had asked VIA to hold on its assembly and retrofit of the cars. VIA refused. Now it will cost many times as much to make them accessible.

Fortunately, the Agency ruled back on 3 August 2001 that VIA could not use these extra costs as an excuse for not making the changes. Following VIA's next presentation to the CTA, CCD has 30 days in which to counter any arguments against access made by VIA. The CCD Transportation Committee will continue to make a strong case for safe, dignified and accessible train travel.

On 14 August 2001, CCD filed a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency about the replacement of accessible aircraft with inaccessible aircraft. For example, on some routes accessible Dash 8s have been replaced by inaccessible Beech 1900D aircraft, eroding service. The CTA reached its decision on 14 March 2003, finding against CCD. It stated, "The Agency is not prepared to find, at this time, that the obstacle posed to the mobility of certain persons with disabilities by the general decisions made to replace larger aircraft with smaller, less accessible aircraft is undue." The rationale for the Agency's decision is as follows: "The Agency recognizes that carriers choose to use specific aircraft on specific routes for a variety of complex, internal commercial and economic reasons, including aircraft capacity and demand. In the execution of its mandate under Part V of the CTA, the Agency is not inclined to interfere with the general commercial operations of transportation service providers to the extent of indicating the general transportation equipment they must use in their operations." The decision suggests that in the minds of the CTA decision makers, the economic considerations of the airline industry trump consumers' right to safe, dignified accessible transportation options. This is indicated by the following statement made by the CTA: "The Agency finds that on the general issue of the replacement of larger aircraft with smaller aircraft on routes throughout Canada, the resulting deterioration in the level of accessibility provided by the equipment is clearly an obstacle to some persons with mobility disabilities. However, the Agency is of the opinion that air carriers must be permitted to make these general internal commercial decisions so long as they provide an appropriate level of accessibility with whatever equipment is chosen to be operated." The Transportation Committee is left wondering what is an appropriate level of accessibility according to the CTA. The CTA hints at this in the last sentence of its decision when it states, "The Agency finds that, at this time, Air Labrador is acting in good faith in its attempts to fulfill its responsibility to maintain, as far as is practicable, the level of accessibility in smaller aircraft on its commuter routes and to actively invest in improved technology." This type of decision making suggests that the Agency does not have an adequate appreciation of barriers and how they impact on persons with disabilities. Ideally, the Agency should have expertise on the social model of disability and universal design.

The Committee has been active with the media this year informing them about progress on our CTA complaints and, as a result there has been numerous articles in various publications following the developments in our VIA case. A high point this year for media coverage was when Macleans magazine included coverage of our issues with the VIA's Renaissance cars. There has also been radio and newspaper coverage of our CTA complaints.

Pat Danforth represents CCD on the Minister of Transport's Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation and on the Canadian Transportation Agency's Advisory Committee. The following issues have been raised at these forums: the need for binding access regulations rather than voluntary codes of practice, the erosion of access in the federally regulated transportation system, CTA's failure to bring redress to issues of systemic discrimination, the inaccessibility of small aircraft such as the Beech 1900D.

The Committee made an in-depth report to the CCD National Council of Representatives in January and outlined a plan of action and the Council endorsed the Committee's plans. As a result, in the coming months work will be taking place on the McKay Panos case, which addresses the one person/one fare issue from the perspective of travelers who are obese. CCD is also undertaking a Charter challenge on the one person/one fare issue; however, Air Canada's bankruptcy problems are delaying this initiative. As per Council's wishes, the Committee will be continuing to encourage the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Disability Issues to undertaken hearings on transportation access. CCD will also continue to inform grassroots consumers about the CTA and encourage them to lodge complaints with Agency, when they have experienced barriers to mobility.

Respectfully submitted by
Pat Danforth

International Development Committee

The CCD International Development Committee worked at a fever pitch during the past fiscal year, as the Committee has lead responsibility for a number of crucially important issues:
* the proposed UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities,
* Disabled Peoples' International (DPI),
* Advocating for the mainstreaming of disability in development and foreign policy, and
* Public education on international disability issues.

On behalf of CCD, the members of the International Development Committee (Steve Estey (Chairperson), Mary Ennis, David Shannon, Angie Allard, Jim Derksen, Yutta Fricke, Jason Mitschele) worked to promote in the global context:
* Access to democratic and civil society processes by people with disabilities,
* Improved mechanisms to protect the human rights of persons with disabilities,
* A strong and vibrant international disability rights movement.

The following paragraphs provide a summary of the work that was undertaken by the Committee.

This year, while new initiatives and the emergence of new leaders in our milieu have buoyed up our spirits, we were saddened and frustrated by the failure of diplomacy that led to a war in Iraq. In January, when we were on the brink of the American-led invasion of Iraq, the Committee worked hard to make Canadians aware of Disabled Peoples' International's (DPI) Peace Statement, which was signed symbolically in Hiroshima Japan. While conflict can lead to despair, it is important for organizations, like CCD, to act boldly in support of our long-term position in favor of peace. Through our work in Cambodia with landmine survivors we have witnessed the devastation wrought by armed conflict. On 7 February 2003, Yutta Fricke and Jim Derksen participated in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) Town Hall meeting where Bill Graham sought input from citizens on Canada's priorities for international relations. Following the meeting, Laurie Beachell presented the Minister a copy of the Peace Statement. Also in February, David Shannon participated in the DFAIT consultation on Human Rights.

CCD has been campaigning, both in Canada and internationally, in support of the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. CCD has addressed this issue with DFAIT officials, HRDC officials, David Kilgour, Secretary of State for Asia Pacific, the staff of Canada's mission to the United Nations. CCD has brought the issue to the attention of Dr. Carolyn Bennett and the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Disability Issues. In June, Steve Estey participated in a consultation in Washington that explored what the international human rights community should do to provide better recognition and enforcement of the rights of persons with disabilities. At the end of July and the beginning of August, Steve Estey and Mary Ennis participated in events at the United Nations associated with the Ad Hoc Committee meeting on the Convention. While at the United Nations, Steve participated on the editorial group that produced a Bulletin that kept the international disability rights community informed of events at the UN, regarding the convention. The first Bulletin stated,

"The opening of the Ad Hoc Committee on July 29, 2002, marks the beginning of a new phase in human history for people with disabilities and their allies worldwide. This historical occasion provides an opportunity for those who reject the systemic global discrimination against people with disabilities, and the marginalization of disability as a human rights issue, to unite in pursuit of a treaty that guarantees strong rights, protections and remedies."

DPI has appointed Steve to its Task Force on the Convention.

In January, the International Committee delivered a half-day introduction to international issues to the CCD National Council of Representatives. At the end of the session, the Council passed a resolution is support of a Convention, resolving that CCD,

"Endorse the DPI Sapporo Declaration and join the countless other organizations of persons with disabilities around the world in calling for the development of a specialized international human rights convention for people with disabilities which enshrines the full range of human rights issues specific to this global population."

CCD continues to promote the mainstreaming of disability issues in development work. CCD delivers this message to both the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and development agencies. In April, to the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Disability Issues, CCD explained the need for CIDA to adopt a policy on disability and development in order to ensure equitable access to the benefits of development to the disability communities in developing countries. CCD continues to be a member of the CCIC, which brings together mainstream nongovernmental development agencies.

CCD is the Canadian member of Disabled Peoples' International (DPI). In June, CCD Council confirmed Steve Estey as its representative to DPI. Following this appointment, Steve participated in the North American Caribbean Regional meeting in St. Lucia, which elected him to the DPI World Council. DPI held its 6th World Assembly in Sapporo, Japan 15-18 October and both Steve Estey and Mary Ennis participated in this international conference. Steve presented workshops on: the UN Convention, the Commonwealth, and Bioethics. Mary Ennis concentrated upon monitoring the workshops dealing with the Convention. DPI elected Ms. Venus Illagan as its new Chairperson and CCD welcomed DPI's new chairperson to Canada in February. CCD appreciates the enthusiasm and vision, which Venus brings to DPI. CCD participated with Venus in her meetings with Canadian elected officials. Jim Derksen, a member of the Committee, and Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator, serve on an Advisory Committee, which acts as a sounding board to the DPI staff.

In January, the Committee held its first face-to-face meeting in a number of years. At this meeting, the Committee planned its work for 2003-04. In addition, the Committee heard presentations from Olga Krassioukova-Enns, CCDS's International Development Officer and Moira Jones the Acting Executive Director for Disabled Peoples' International on the development work being undertaken by both organizations. Internationally, CCD works primarily in Russia and the Ukraine and DPI has involvement in all regions of the world. Steve Estey and Mary Ennis presented a half-day workshop for the Council to inform the National Representatives about the Committee's priority issues. The Council passed a resolution supporting a UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and the Council reaffirmed CCD's commitment to the DPI Peace Statement.

Over the year, the Committee has communicated diligently with Canada's elected officials on CCD's international priorities. The Committee met with: the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Disability Issues, Hon. Rey Pagtakhan, David Kilgour, Secretary of State for Asia Pacific, Dr. Carolyn Bennett MP. In addition, Committee members have been meeting with officials from CIDA and DFAIT.

With so many critical events happening in the international arena, the Committee took its newsletter "CCD International Developments" out of hiatus and re-launched it as an email publication, focusing on CCD's advocacy efforts. The Committee circulated 6 issues of its newsletters, providing information on the following topics: The Committee broke new ground for CCD by taking on the challenges of a new pubic education medium: the Internet chat room. On 6 December 2003, Committee Chairperson Steve Estey and Mary Ennis, a member of the Committee, hosted a web chat on international issues in association with Abilities. Participants expressed an interest in future international web chats. The Committee is also participating in more conventional forms of public education. For example, in November, Steve Estey addressed the North American regional body of Rehabilitation International.

This year two long time Committee members, Irene Feika and John Lane resigned from the Committee to pursue other interests. Irene was CCD's representative to DPI for many years. John directed much of our early work on the landmines initiative. The Committee wishes both Irene and John well in their new pursuits and thanks them for their contribution. The Committee welcomes two new members into its ranks: Yutta Fricke and Jason Mitschele. Yutta is a past-employee of DPI, where she served as International Development Officer. Jason is a lawyer, who did an internship in South Africa.

Respectfully submitted by
Steve Estey

CCD's Record on Public Education

8 April 2002-Pat Danforth, Chairperson of CCD's Transportation Committee, David Baker and Sarah Goodwin appear before the Canadian Transportation Agency for a hearing on CCD's complaint against VIA's inaccessible Renaissance train cars.

15 April 2002-Mary Ennis, Chairperson Health Reform Committee, Marie White, Mary Reid, Chairperson Social Policy Working Group present CCD's brief to the Romonaw Commission.

16 April 2002-Chloé Serradori, Member-at-Large on the CCD Executive Committee and Laurie Beachell present CCD's brief on the Employment Equity Act to the Parliamentary Committee on Human Resources Development.

16 April 2002-Steve Estey, David Shannon and Laurie Beachell appear before the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Disability Issues to address disability and development issues.

23 April 2002-April D'Aubin and Laurie Beachell work with the Canadian Center on Disability Studies on a World Bank research project on inclusiveness of people with disabilities in World Bank activities.

25-27 April 2002-The CCD Social Policy Working Group holds a national consultation on disability supports.

12 May 2002-Joshua Malinga, Chairperson of Disabled Peoples' International meets with CCD and names Jim Derksen and Laurie Beachell to DPI Administrative Advisory Committee.

21 May 2002-Mary Ennis and Laurie Beachell attend a Standing Committee on Finance consultation on the upcoming Federal Budget. They also participate in a roundtable consultation on CPP Disability Benefits, conducted by the Subcommittee on Disability Issues. Mary Ennis, Steve Estey and Laurie Beachell meet with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

28 May 2002-Laurie Beachell participates in a consultation with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency regarding the Disability Tax Credit.

29 May 2002-Laurie Beachell participates in a round table on CPP Disability.

12 June 2002-Steve Estey participates in a US Grassroots Organizations' Forum on the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Washington, DC.

23 June 2002-Steve Estey participates in the DPI North American Caribbean Regional meeting and was appointed to the DPI World Council.

July-August 2002-Steve Estey, CCD International Development Committee Chairperson and Mary Ennis, a member of the International Development Committee participate in the activities surrounding the meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

19-20 August 2002-Laurie Beachell attends a consultation in Toronto on the DTC held by CCRA.

September 2002-The Social Policy Working Group meet in Ottawa to develop CCD's position on disability related supports, EAPD, and disability tax credit.

26-27 September 2003-The DTC issue is a major Media Item in September.

On 26 September 2002-The Globe and Mail does a front page article on DTC. On the same day, Laurie Beachell gives 12 CBC radio interviews.

On 27 September 2002-Marie White does a Canada AM interview on the DTC.

29 September-1 October 2002-Steve Estey participates in meetings in New York to discuss monitoring mechanisms for human rights. Ambassador Gallegos from Ecuador, who is the Chair of the UN Ad Hoc Committee for the proposed convention on the human rights of persons with disabilities, participates in the meeting.

30 September 2002-Marie White, CCD Chairperson attends a meeting on the Social Union Framework Agreement in Ottawa.

6-8 October 2002-Laurie Beachell participates in the All Table Meeting of the Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI). This was a wrap up event for the Voluntary Sector Initiative.

15-18 October 2002-Steve Estey, CCD International Development Chairperson, and Mary Ennis participate in DPI's 6th World Assembly in Sapporo, Japan.

16 October 2002-Laurie Beachell meets with NDP Judy Wasylycia-Leis MP from Winnipeg North on current CCD issues.

3-4 October 2002-Pat Danforth, Chairperson CCD Transportation Committee, participates in the meeting of the Minister of Transport's Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation.

21 October 2002-Laurie Beachell participates in the Steering Committee meeting of National Voluntary Organization project on national organization engagement in health policy.

6 November 2002-Laurie Beachell attends Caledon 10th Anniversary Forum and approaches Paul Martin on disability issues. Also meets with Robin Tourangeau of the Prime Minister's Office.

19 November 2002-Jim Derksen, Chairperson CCD Human Rights Committee, appears as an expert witness in an inquest into the death of Cory Moar, a Manitoban man with disabilities. CCD is part of a disability coalition that had standing in the case.

25 November 2002-Steve Estey provides a consumer perspective on the proposed UN Convention on disability rights at a regional meeting of Rehabilitation International held in Montreal.

3 December 2002-Marie White makes a presentation before the Parliamentary Sub-committee on Disability Issues and raised many of the issues of concern to CCD. Marie also meets with Canada Customs and Revenue Agency Minister Eleanor Caplan. A meeting is also held with the Hon. Jane Stewart Minister for Human Resources Development Canada. Mr. Reed Elly, the Alliance Party of Canada Critic on Disability Issues meets with Marie for an update on CCD's complaint to CTA, concerning the inaccessible Renaissance cars.
6 December 2002-Steve Estey and Mary Ennis host a web chat on international issues.

10 December 2002-Laurie Beachell meets with the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Working Group on Benefits and Services to Persons with Disabilities to explain to them why they should participate in the CCD Social Policy Working Group's project on disability supports, sponsored by the Voluntary Sector Initiative.

11 December 2002-Laurie Beachell meets with Paul Genest, of the Prime Minister's Office, to discuss the importance of EAPD and Social Directions Partnership Program to the disability community.

14 December 2002-Jim Derksen and Mary Ennis participate in the Philia Dialogue on Leadership.

16 January 2003-Jim Derksen and Laurie Beachell meet with Bob Ward Acting Director General of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

18 January 2003-The CCD International Development Committee meets and is joined by Dr. Olga Krassioukova-Enns, International Development Officer CCDS, Dr. Deborah Stienstra, the Royal Bank Research Chair of CCDS, and Moira Jones, Acting Executive Director DPI.

25 January 2003-CCD Council meets and is joined by Brian Bertelson, Director of PEI's Disability Supports Program, Vangelis Nikias, ODI/HRDC, Dr. Kari Krogh, and Moira Jones, DPI.

31 January 2003-Jim Derksen participates in a consultation on the World Summit on the Information Society sponsored by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

3-4 February 2003-David Shannon, member of the CCD International Development Committee, participates in human rights consultations, sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).

7 February 2003-Jim Derksen and Yutta Fricke, members of CCD's International Development Committee participate in the Winnipeg town hall meeting, where the Hon. Bill Graham consulted participants about Canada's priorities for foreign relations.
10 February 2003--Jim Derksen and Doreen Demas, a member of the CCD National Council of Representatives speak at a luncheon to welcome Venus Illagan, Chairperson of Disabled Peoples' International (DPI) to Canada.

11 February 2003-Mary Ennis and Laurie Beachell accompany Venus Illagan to meetings with Canadian officials: Hon. Rey Pagtakhan, Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Hon. David Kilgour.

12 February 2003-Mary Ennis and Laurie Beachell present CCD's position on CPP Disability Benefits to the Sub-Committee on Disability Issues.

12-16 February 2003-Pat Danforth, Chairperson of CCD's Transportation Committee, participates in meetings of the consumer Advisory Committee to the Canadian Transportation Agency.

13-14 February 2003-Laurie Beachell participates in a granting committee of the Community University Research Alliance, which is part of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

18 February 2003-Laurie Beachell participates in the pre-budget lock up and then presented CCD's analysis of the budget to the press.

18-19 February 2003-Laurie Beachell participates in a CACL forum on unpaid caregivers.

2-4 March 2003-CCD's Social Policy Working Group along with CACL sponsors a national meeting to further the development of a national disability supports plan.

24-25 March 2003-Mary Ennis, Chairperson Health Reform Committee, and Mary Reid, Chairperson, Social Policy Working Group, meet with the Provincial Coordinators of CCD's Provincial Member Groups to discuss the home supports research project that they will be undertaking on behalf of CCD.

27 March 2003-Jim Derksen, Clare Simpson, Brian Stewart, and Laurie Beachell meet with United Church of Canada officials to explain why the disability rights movement does not support clemency for Robert Latimer.

CCD Awards 2003

BCCPD-Robin Loxton

ACCD-Dodie Spittal, Ewen Nelson

Saskatchewan Voice-Donna Duxbury

MLPD-Henry Enns

PUSH NWT ON-Terry Lynch

COPHAN-Serge Poulin

NS LEO-Alan Fisher

PEI COD-Kay Reynolds

COD NFLD&LAB-Moyra Buchan

TVAC-Céline Hébert

CAD-Evelyne Gounetenzi

People First-Catherine Fortier

DAWN Canada-Barb Anello, Yvonne Peters

NFBAE-Allan Neville

NEADS-Susan Vida, Rachael Ross

NNMH-Phil Upshall

CCD Brief, Presentations
and Publications

Fundamentals of How to Deal with the Media
for Youth Advocacy Training Conference - Feb/02

Histotrical Chronology of Developments within the Disability Movement in Canada
for Youth Advocacy Training Conference
February 2002

Youth Advocacy Manual
February 2002

Consumer with Disabilities Speak Out on Health Issues
CCD Presentation to the Romanow Commission
April 2002

Employment Equity Failed Canadians with Disabilities
CCD Presentation to the Standing Committee on HRDC
Re: Employment Equity Act Review
April 2002

Human Rights Development & International Situation of Disabled People
April 2002

Environmental Overview
April 25-27, 2002

CPP Presentation
May 2002

Consumer Speak Out on Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits
May 2002

Chairperson's Update 2002
A Voice of Our Own 2002
Equality Matters 2002
Health Inspector 2002
Horror Gazette 2002
Latimer Watch 2002
Transportation File 2002
40 CCD Annual Report 2002/2003

CCD Annual Report 2002/2003 1