Statement by the Prime Minister on National AccessAbility Week

OTTAWA, ON, May 26, 2024 /CNW/ – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on National AccessAbility Week:

“Today, as we mark the beginning of National AccessAbility Week, we celebrate the many contributions of persons with disabilities to our country, and renew our commitment to building a fair, inclusive, and accessible Canada for everyone.

“Eight million Canadians have a disability that impacts their daily lives. Unfortunately, many face barriers when it comes to pursuing an education, growing their careers, or getting opportunities to succeed. That’s why, almost five years ago, we passed the Accessible Canada Act – a landmark piece of legislation that aims to create a barrier-free Canada by 2040. And we’ve been moving forward with a lot more.

“Through our historic Disability Inclusion Action Plan, we’ve made our communities more inclusive and fair – from increasing job opportunities to reducing financial barriers. In the spirit of ‘Nothing Without Us’, a key principle of the Action Plan, we are working in partnership with Canada’s disability community to develop and implement their priorities. That’s why we’re launching the Canada Disability Benefit, which will provide direct financial support to over 600,000 low-income persons with disabilities. The initial design of the benefit ensures that it will be delivered to persons with disabilities who need it the most, as quickly as possible. The Canada Disability Benefit is an important initial step forward to improving the financial security of persons with disabilities, but we also recognize that more must be done. As a government, we will continue to work steadfastly to remove barriers, including financial barriers, for persons with disabilities.

“Budget 2024 made meaningful investments to support persons with disabilities, including to cover the cost of the medical forms required to apply for the Disability Tax Credit. This will help enable thousands of persons with disabilities to not only access the Canada Disability Benefit, but other important programs and services, such as the Canadian Dental Care Plan. And we are making legislative changes to make more expenses eligible for the Disability Supports Deduction, including for service animals, alternative computer input devices, work chairs, and bed positioning devices, to further reduce the barriers to accessing the supports that persons with disabilities need.

“Earlier this month, we hosted the first-ever National Air Accessibility Summit, which brought together partners from the disability community and the air sector to discuss solutions to make air travel accessible and inclusive for all Canadians. The industry agreed to adopt a common intake form for passengers with disabilities to simplify their travel preparation, and to enhance data collection and sharing. Canada will also work with international partners, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, to ensure that transportation is accessible and barrier-free so that everyone with a disability has an inclusive, comfortable, and dignified experience when travelling by air.

Canada wins when we are all included. This week, I encourage Canadians to reflect on the ways we can work together to remove barriers, promote accessibility, and secure fairness for every generation.”

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SOURCE Prime Minister’s Office