CCD Chairperson's Update- September 2010

CCD Addresses Challenging New Opportunities


In the voluntary sector, the summer tends to be a slow time with the pace speeding up in the fall and true to form this has happened once again at CCD. Our National Council, Committees, volunteers and staff have been fully engaged this month developing some exciting new future opportunities and tackling some long-standing issues. This edition of the Chairperson’s Update presents the highlights of both new and long-term projects being undertaken by CCD.


Executive Committee/Social Policy Committee/International Committee—Representatives of these three CCD Committees met together in Ottawa at the end of the month to craft a fall agenda for CCD. It was decided that CCD will be using the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as the focal point for its messaging to government. Disability-related supports, poverty, barrier removal and citizenship continue to be our priorities and the CRPD lends greater strength to our call for improvements in these areas.


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)—Developing an appropriate Canadian response to the CRPD will be CCD’s focus for years to come. In September, on behalf of CCD, Steve Estey attended the Conference of States Parties at the United Nations. Once it ratified the CRPD, Canada became eligible to attend this meeting and HRSDC supported the participation of two community representatives as observers at this meeting. Steve was on hand to monitor the interventions made by Canada. As Canada only ratified the Convention in March, it is understandable that Canada did not take the lead at this meeting. The disability community is working to encourage greater engagement by Canada.


Elections Canada—As a result of its intervention as an "interested party” on inaccessible polling stations (the Hughes Case), CCD has been developing a closer working relationship with Elections Canada. Elections Canada approached CCD to be a consultant on a project which will test an accessible voting terminal which will be an alternative to marking the traditional paper ballot. CCD will be undertaking this work in cooperation with the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD), Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) and People First Canada. Jim Derksen will be assisting CCD with this work.


Data CollectionLaurie Beachell, Marie White and others have been participating in conference call meetings with officials at  HRSDC addressing the Department’s new data collection strategy on disability issues. The Minister promised the community that the new strategy would result in better data. CCD will hold the Department to that commitment. HRSDC has agreed to a one-day consultation with national disability organizations in advance of End Exclusion to inform the disability community about its plans with regard to data collection.


Litigation Update—CCD, along with a collation of other groups, has been granted intervener status in the Mowat case, which focuses on the awarding of interim court costs. The court has allowed CCD to file a 10 page factum and a decision on oral arguments is pending.  Lawyers David Baker and Paul Champ are acting as legal counsel to CCD for this intervention.