Chairperson's Update: July-August 2009

 . . . And into the Fall

Predicting Politics Can Be A Fool’s Game

Trying to predict what will happen in politics is something of a fool’s game. Nevertheless, we at CCD have been playing that game. During July and August, CCD laid the foundations for a fall program of initiatives that are in support of our National Action Plan. We have been making our plans with the awareness that there may be an election this fall. If there is a federal election this fall, CCD will just add one more activity to its already full roster.

Addressing Poverty

Our Message to Finance—CCD submitted a brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, presenting CCD’s recommendations regarding Canada’s next budget. CCD is seeking to appear before the Committee on Finance. CCD’s key message: the Government of Canada, in its budget, must take steps to protect those who are economically vulnerable.

Developing Strategies to End Poverty—On October 1, 2009, in Ottawa, leaders from the disability community, the poverty community, and other equality seeking sectors will be participating in an End Exclusion roundtable discussion of strategies to eliminate the poverty experienced by a disproportionate number of people with disabilities. CCD, the Canadian Association for Community Living and Canada Without Poverty are the organizers of this event.

Building An Inclusive and Accessible Canada

Accessible Library Services—On behalf of CCD, Jim Derksen will be participating in a discussion on accessible library services, which is being hosted by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) in Toronto in September.

Researching Poverty—The Disabling Poverty/Enabling Citizenship research project team will be meeting on November 5 and 6, 2009 to plan for the third phase of the research.

Improving Canada’s Immigration System—CCD’s Social Policy Committee has been undertaking research focused on how to remove barriers faced by immigrants with disabilities who want to come to Canada. In the fall, CCD will be undertaking more work on this issue.

Submission to CRTC—In the summer, CCD submitted a brief to the CRTC on network neutrality, which is about how the internet is governed. CCD’s objective is to ensure that no new barriers are created which would hamper the disability community’s access to the internet.

Accessing Canada’s Culture—On behalf of CCD, John Rae will be presenting at the conference “Connections, Collections, Communities: Making Museums and Galleries Accessible”, which will he held in Ottawa, October 1-4, 2009. The conference is organized and hosted by the National Gallery of Canada.

Promoting Human Rights

New Interventions—CCD is seeking to intervene in two new cases: the Hughes case, which focuses on an inaccessible polling station and the Morton case, which is another transportation case, where an airline challenged a passenger’s determination that he could fly without an attendant. CCD is also monitoring the Tranchemontagne case, which focuses on the definition of disability.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities—CCD will continue to promote ratification of the Convention by Canada.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights to Hold Roundtables—CCD is encouraging people with disabilities to participate in these Roundtables and to tell their human rights stories. The stories collected during the Roundtables will influence the Museum’s future programming. CCD wants the human rights story of people with disabilities to be an integral part of message conveyed by the Museum. To find out more about the Roundtables, visit the Museum’s web site. There will be roundtables in the following cities:

  • St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador: September 21, 2009
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia: September 23, 2009
  • Quebec City, Quebec: October 5, 2009
  • Chicoutimi, Quebec: October 7, 2009
  • Whitehorse, Yukon: October 27, 2009
  • Yellowknife, Northwest Territories: October 29, 2009
  • Moncton, New Brunswick: November 3, 2009
  • Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: November 5, 2009
  • Edmonton, Alberta: November 17, 2009
  • Calgary, Alberta: November 18, 2009
  • Toronto, Ontario: December 1, 2009
  • Thunder Bay, Ontario: December 3, 2009
  • Vancouver, British Columbia: December 7, 2009
  • Montreal, Quebec: January 13, 2010
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba: January 26, 2010

We at CCD hope that you and yours enjoyed a restful holiday over the summer. As usual we look forward to a busy year - with or without an election, we have many messages to translate to policy makers and we must continue to be vigilant in that regard. We are an important voice which must be heard and we must work to ensure we are.