This article was last updated on December 4, 2023
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities:
“Building a fair, inclusive, and accessible world starts with action right here at home. Today, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we recommit ourselves to working toward a future free of barriers, where all persons with disabilities are treated with dignity and respect, and are provided with equal opportunities to thrive.
“One in four Canadians have a disability – many with disabilities that are not visible. Canadians of working age with a disability are nearly twice as likely to be living on a low income. That is unacceptable – and that is why, last year, we launched the historic Disability Inclusion Action Plan, a blueprint for change to make Canada more inclusive and to improve the lives of persons with disabilities. With concrete programs, policies, and critical investments, the plan will help those with disabilities get financial security, find and keep a good job, and be able to fully participate in their communities.
“We are working on the Canada Disability Benefit, which will provide direct support to low-income, working-age Canadians with disabilities. Disabilities are diverse in nature – there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and that is why Canadians can share their unique perspectives using the Canada Disability Benefit Regulations Online Engagement Tool. We also created the Disability Inclusion Business Council, to prioritize accessible and inclusive workplaces and to ensure that employees with disabilities can fully participate on the job. We will continue to work in partnership with disability communities, provinces and territories, and organizations across Canada to make Canada more accessible and to ensure that no one is left behind.
“This idea – of leaving no one behind – is also at the heart of Canada’s role in promoting a more just and inclusive world. Disability rights are human rights, and Canada will continue to take ambitious action to champion disability rights at international forums, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
“We are committed to ensuring persons with disabilities have equal opportunities to fully participate, succeed, and get ahead. Today, and every day, I encourage Canadians to learn more about how they can promote inclusion and equality in their own communities, and across the country. Let’s continue working together to make our country better and more inclusive for everyone.”