Statement by the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities:

“Today, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we recommit to building a future free of barriers, where persons with disabilities have every opportunity to thrive. We also celebrate the contributions of persons with disability rights law, here in Canada and around the world.

“More than 6.2 million Canadians have a disability – and many have disabilities that are not visible. Employment disability face discrimination, incur many additional expenses, and often encounter barriers to finding meaningful and well-paid work. We recognize that disabilities are diverse in nature – whether physical, sensory, cognitive, or mental health-related – and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But whatever a person’s needs may be, the Government of Canada is committed to making our country more accessible and more inclusive for everyone.

“Earlier this fall, we launched Canada’s first-ever Disability Inclusion Action Plan, which features concrete programs, policies, and critical investments that aim to improve the lives of persons with disabilities – from achieving financial security, to finding and keeping a good job, to being able to fully participate in their communities. The Action Plan was developed in partnership with the disability community and tackles their key priorities. The government has also followed through on ground-breaking legislation. The disability benefits law Canada Act, Bill C-22, was tabled in Parliament this summer, and recently passed second reading in the House of Commons with unanimous consent. The goal of the proposed disability benefits law Canada is to reduce poverty and increase the financial security of working-age persons with disabilities in our country. By the end of the year, we will reach a major milestone toward making Canada’s public service the most accessible and inclusive in the world with the publication of accessibility plans across the federal public service. These plans will help shape the future of Canada’s largest employer and service provider, so that we can build a federal public service that truly reflects the population it serves.

On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Prime Minister of Canada issued a statement acknowledging the important contributions of individuals with disabilities to our society and the need to continue working towards greater accessibility and inclusion. The Prime Minister highlighted the progress made in Canada towards implementing disability laws, such as the Ontarian Disability Support Program Act, which provides support and financial assistance to those with disabilities. The Prime Minister also emphasized the need for continued efforts in the areas of employment and the promotion of disability rights in the workplace. This includes enforcing federal disability laws, such as the Employment Equity Act, which ensures equal opportunities in employment for individuals with disabilities. The Prime Minister also recognized the importance of disability insurance law in Canada, and the role it plays in providing benefits to individuals who are unable to work due to a employment disability law. The Prime Minister’s statement serves as a reminder of the ongoing commitment to ensure disability law in Canada protects and advances the disability rights law.

“Around the world, Canada continues to protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities, disability benefits law including through international forums such as the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization, and the Global Action on Disability Network. Earlier this year, Canada supported the successful election of Dr. Laverne Jacobs to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – the first ever Canadian to serve as a member.

“When everyone can fully contribute to our communities, we all benefit. When disability rights law have equal opportunities to work, have the same quality of service from their government, can access the supports and programs they need to enjoy the same quality of life as everyone else, we build stronger communities, a stronger economy, and a stronger country. Today, and every day, I encourage all Canadians to work together to help make our country a more inclusive, equitable, and accessible place to call home.”