To: MP Marco Mendicino and Hon. Raymond Sung Joon Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
CC: Honorable Minister Ahmed Hussen, IRCC
Date: May 15, 2019
OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is the collective voice of the immigrant and refugee-serving sector in Ontario, and has 230 member agencies across the province. We are a registered charity founded in 1978. At OCASI we are committed to building and strengthening the capacity of the immigrant and refugee serving sector. Through our Accessibility program, we work with the immigrant and refugee sector to identify, remove and prevent further barriers to accessibility for immigrants and refugees with in/visible disabilities in Ontario.
Yesterday (May 14th, 2019), the Senate of Canada passed Bill C-81- the proposed Accessible Canada Act on Third Reading. We commend the federal government for the progress that has been made with Bill C-81. We join organizations across Canada in urging the House of Commons to vote to pass Bill C-81 with the suggested amendments to ensure that the work towards proactively removing barriers to accessibility for all people with disabilities is put into law. We believe that the amended bill will drastically improve outcomes for people with in/visible disabilities living in Canada.
The amended bill has set 2040 as the deadline to make Canada fully accessible and recognizes the importance of addressing systemic barriers that continue to negatively impact people with disabilities across Canada. This is the time for us to come together and act in accordance with our commitment to ensuring that all people can live a barrier free life in Canada.
A vote yes on Bill C-81 is a vote for all.