Disabled rights

Story on woman and service dog a clear illustration of the need for a Canadians with Disabilities Act

Your Jan. 6 story about Tessa Hawkins and her assistance dog and the discrimination she has faced from prospective employers is a clear illustration of the need for a Canadians with Disabilities Act. What is the difference between the treatment given Ms. Hawkins and the disgusting “Chinese need not apply” signs seen years ago? The discrimination she experienced was at best ignorant and at worst small-minded meanness.

The barriers people with disabilities face are many: physical, legal, bureaucratic, communication, technological and, above all, attitudinal. In Canada, we continue to treat inclusion of people with disabilities as a privilege rather than a right. We are one of the few countries which do not have a national Disabilities Rights Act.

Canada has no comprehensive legislation protecting the rights of people with disabilities. What we have instead are vague principles and tame enforcement. Although we have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act and some provincial and municipal codes, a Canadians with Disabilities Act would be proactive, forcing governments and private businesses to remove barriers or face sanctions. People with disabilities would have the legal means to go after changes.

There are roughly four million Canadians now living with a physical, psychiatric or developmental disability. That number is expected to rise to about nine million by 2030. Disability is found in all ages, genders, nationalities, cultures and religions. Canada should catch up to the rest of the world.

Cynthia Tansley

Saanich

 

Just Posted

Over 200 lives saved in first year at Victoria’s supervised consumption site

The Harbour celebrates its first anniversary with a report of zero deaths on site

Greater Victoria group helps low-income, at-risk seniors stay safe

Victoria chapter of 100+ Women Who Care donate $30,300 to Eldercare Foundation

Views, brews and food on Gulf Islands craft beer cruise

Five day cruise from Sidney to Gulf Islands, includes chef and beer historian

Saanich Mayor says ‘no costs asked of municipality’ for proposed film studio

Mayor Fred Haynes made that comment after questions from watchdog group

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

U.S. tug firm to be sentenced for 2016 spill in B.C. First Nation’s territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

Asylum figures show overall slower rate of irregular crossings into Canada

Between January and June 2019, a total of 6,707 asylum seekers crossed irregularly into Canada

Wolves not gnawing into Island’s prey population

Forestry practices, not predation, blamed for reduced numbers in prey animals

Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

Most Read