Canada reaffirms its commitment to people with disabilities at the 12th session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
June 13, 2019 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
From June 11 to 13, 2019, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, represented Canada at the 12th session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In her address to State Parties to the Convention, Minister Qualtrough outlined how the Government of Canada is delivering on the implementation of its obligations under the Convention, and working with international partners on building a stronger and more inclusive society. Additionally, the Minister emphasized the Government’s recent National Summit on Disability that brought together international and domestic leaders from the disability community, business, academic and policy sectors, to explore opportunities for achieving a broader vision of an accessible Canada.
Minister Qualtrough provided an update on the proposed Accessible Canada Act, which has been adopted by Parliament and the Senate, and is awaiting royal assent. The Act would set the stage for a barrier-free Canada by promoting broad organizational and cultural change, while proactively identifying, removing and preventing barriers to inclusion.
The Minister took the time to highlight the recent release of the Public Service Accessibility Strategy, a first-ever guide to building an inclusive federal public service that reflects Canada’s diversity and outlines the framework to identify, prevent and remove barriers for persons with disabilities in the federal workplace.
While at the conference, Minister Qualtrough attended a number of roundtables and events, and was a panelist for the session entitled “Inclusion of persons with disabilities in society through participation in cultural life, recreation and sport.” Minister Qualtrough also participated in a meeting of women with disabilities in political leadership and co-hosted a session on intersectional barriers of persons with disabilities with Ecuador and Sweden.
In recognition of their impressive achievements and leadership in the disability community, Minister Qualtrough invited youth leaders to join Canada’s official delegation. Karina Scali from Oakville Ontario, Tara Everett from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Hannah MacLellan from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, have all demonstrated leadership for people with disabilities in their communities. The delegation also included Lora MacEachern, Associate Deputy Minister, Justice, Government of Nova Scotia, as a representative of the provinces and territories.
The Conference provided an opportunity for the Canadian delegation to exchange best practices and learn from the experiences of other countries, highlight Canada’s achievements, and reaffirm the Government’s commitment to the full inclusion of persons with disabilities.
“As the Minister responsible for Accessibility, it was an honour to represent Canada at the Conference of States Parties where I had the opportunity, not only to share with international partners about Canada’s leadership in creating a barrier-free society, but also to learn from the successes of other countries.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
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