CCD Chairperson's Update - June 2013

CCD Celebrates Canadian Leaders Working for an Accessible and Inclusive Canada

“Once again, we have come to that time of year when the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) proudly announces the recipients of the CCD Award,” stated Tony Dolan, CCD National Chairperson.  “The CCD Awards celebrate the contributions of those who have pushed the ableist boundaries of Canadian society to make this country more accessible and inclusive.”

With the 2013 CCD Awards, CCD honours the following award winners and their achievements:

BCCPD - John Simpson
ACCD - Ron Wickman
MLPD - Valerie Wolbert
NS-LEO - Linda MacRae Triff
PEI Council of People with Disabilities - Ray Mahar
COD NL - Ray McIsaac
CAD - Roger Carver
DAWN-RAFH Canada - Bonnie Brayton
NNMH - Jean Beckett
TVAC - Judith Pilote
People First of Canada - Cathy O’Donnell
CWD – O - Pat Seed
AEBC - Paul Thiele
NWT Disabilities Council - Pooja Chugh

2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

CCD’s Council meeting and AGM took place in Winnipeg on 7 and 8 June 2013.  Angela Cassis of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights attended the Council meeting to update CCD about the Museum’s commitment to access for persons with disabilities.  The Museum has committed to surpassing the universal design standards set by the Smithsonian Museum, located in Washington, DC.

CCD Participates in MLPD AGM

Marie Ryan, CCD Past Chair, Vangelis Nikias, CRPD Project Manager and Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator, attended the  Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities’ (MLPD) AGM, which occurred on 6 June 2013 in Winnipeg.  Vangelis Nikias was the keynote speaker, presenting an overview of the CRPD. 

Marie White presented the CCD Award to MLPD member Valerie Wolbert, who is also a member of the research team undertaking CCD’s Disabling Poverty/Enabling Citizenship project, which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Meeting with Foreign Affairs

Steve Estey, CCD Vice Chair, and Vangelis Nikias, CRPD Project Manager, met with an advisor to the Hon. John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Minister Baird has stated, “As citizens of a global community, we have a solemn duty to defend the vulnerable, to give voice to the voiceless, to challenge the aggressor, and to promote and protect human rights and human dignity, at home and abroad.”  In response to the Minister’s interest in vulnerable persons and human rights, CCD sought the opportunity to share CCD’s perspective on concrete actions the Government of Canada can  undertake.  CCD suggested that the issues of people with disabilities should be included in the human rights agendas put forward by Canada internationally and that Canada should participate actively in the high level meeting to take place in September at the UN in New York and at the CRPD Conference of States Parties.  The CRPD includes articles on international cooperation and Vangelis participated to provide background on the CRPD.

Disabling Poverty/Enabling Citizenship

Marie White, Michael Prince, Laurie Beachell, Michael Bach, Cam Crawford, Yves Vaillancourt met by conference call on 25 May 2013 to review a number of working papers developed by the project.  These working papers will be used by Michael Prince to develop a synthesis paper which will summarize the project’s major findings.

CPP-D Consultation

Laurie Beachell participated in a series of consultations held by the administrators of the Canada Pension Plan Disability benefit about functional assessment models and how they could be used in determining eligibility for CPP-D.

Toujours Vivant-Not Dead Yet launches euthanasia education initiative

On 12 June 2013, Toujours Vivant-Not Dead Yet announced an initiative to respond to Québec's proposed law to allow euthanasia of people with disabilities, whether or not they have a terminal illness.  The initiative is designed to educate the disability community and the general public about the potential dangers of euthanasia for elders and people with disabilities.

Toujours Vivant-Not Dead Yet (TVNDY) is a project of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

The education initiative will include making more articles and publications by disability rights scholars and activists available in French via the group's website (, online discussion sessions, outreach to disability groups, and conducting a survey of the experiences of people with disabilities related to end-of-life issues.

Passing of an Ally – Andy Scott

The Canadian disability community was saddened this month to learn of the passing of a long-time supporter and ally, Andy Scott, a former Member of Parliament.  In 1996, Mr. Scott chaired a Federal Task Force on Disability Issues, which released the report, “Equal Citizenship for Canadians with Disabilities: The will to act.”