Government of Canada funds projects that improve accessibility and inclusion for everyone through Canada’s built environment
May 31, 2019 Moncton, New Brunswick Employment and Social Development Canada
Today, as part of National AccessAbility Week, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, announced support of more than $14 million as of April 1, 2019, to 88 organizations and municipalities across Canada under the small and mid-sized projects components of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF). In the Atlantic provinces, over $2.2 million of this funding is going to eight accessibility projects.
Grand Bay-Westfield and Sussex are among New Brunswick’s recipients of EAF support this year. Grand Bay-Westfield will use the funding to install automated doors, while Sussex will use it to make accessibility renovations to its town hall. Two other recipients of EAF support this year are Mi’kmaq Holdings in P.E.I. and the city of Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador. Mi’kmaq Holdings will use the funding to build an Indigenous Urban Services Centre and ensure the facility is accessible for persons with disabilities, while Corner Brook will use it to purchase two all-terrain wheelchairs and a beach wheelchair.
The EAF is a federal grants and contributions program that supports community-based projects across Canada aimed at improving accessibility and safety in public spaces and workplaces. The EAF small and mid-sized projects components provide grant funding to support the construction, renovation or retrofit of facilities or venues, creating more opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in community activities, programs and services, or access employment opportunities.
Today’s announcement took place at a luncheon hosted by Ability New Brunswick, an organization that supports people working to be as independent as possible following a spinal cord injury or the onset of any mobility disability. Ability New Brunswick is a long-time partner of Employment and Social Development Canada and its social programs, receiving government funding for projects supporting quality of life for seniors, summer jobs for youth, and true accessibility and inclusion for persons with disabilities.
In her remarks, the Minister spoke of Bill C-81, adopted earlier this week, that will receive Royal Assent by the end of the current parliamentary session. The proposed Accessible Canada Act is another concrete step the Government of Canada is taking to break down barriers to accessibility. This proposed legislation is meant to promote broad organizational and cultural change, while proactively identifying, removing and preventing barriers to the realization of a truly accessible Canada.
While in Moncton, Minister Qualtrough also opened the Picnic in the Park and Disability Awareness Closing Ceremony hosted by the New Brunswick Premier’s Council on Disabilities and the Neil Squire Society in Riverfront Park.
“As National AccessAbility Week 2019 comes to a close, it is clear that our country is at its best when everyone has an opportunity to participate on an equal basis. Through programs like the Enabling Accessibility Fund, the Government is leading the way in encouraging an important cultural change in our society, one that ensures that everyone is included. Together, we are building a more accessible and inclusive Canada.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
Budget 2017 provided $77 million over 10 years, starting in 2018–19, to expand the activities of the EAF, allowing the program to support even more small and mid-sized projects and to launch the new Youth Innovation Component, so that Canadians of all abilities have better access to their community spaces and workplaces.
The EAF received additional funding as part of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. Through this plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
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