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



Just Posted

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Scorpion found in B.C. woman’s kitchen finds new home in Victoria

The Victoria Bug Zoo welcomed the scorpion on Saturday

B.C. getting less bang for its buck

B.C.’s CPI topped 2.7 per cent in April 2019, compared to two per cent for all of Canada

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read