Minister Qualtrough Reinforces the Government of Canada’s Commitment to Accessibility in an Official Visit to Australia

GATINEAU, QC, March 5, 2017 /CNW/ – The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, joined world leaders at the 2017 International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL) Conference on March 2, 2017, to share their experiences, knowledge and perspectives on this year’s theme: Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities.

During her keynote address to the IIDL, Minister Qualtrough highlighted Canada’s commitment and ongoing work towards building a more accessible and inclusive society. The conference, attended by world leaders, policy makers and social service providers, along with people with disabilities and their families, provided an opportunity for collaboration and the development of international partnerships. Other participating countries included New Zealand, Sweden, Ireland and the United States.
Minister Qualtrough spoke about leading by experience and the calls to action that inspire leaders to work for the public good.

She also shared insights gained from a successful public consultation process she led this past fall with Canadians and stakeholders from coast to coast that will inform the development of planned federal accessibility legislation. This legislation will promote equality of opportunity and inclusion of people with disabilities and functional limitations in their workplaces and communities.

During her trip to Australia, Minister Qualtrough met with her Australian counterparts, including the Honourable Jane Prentice, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, and the Honourable Christian Porter, Minister of Social Services, to discuss effective initiatives to promote attitudinal and culture change towards people with disabilities and how to build partnerships with the private sector to promote accessibility leadership.

She also sat down with Kate Palmer from the Australian Sports Commission to discuss disability policies, health and anti-doping in sports, as well as innovative ways of dealing with accessibility costs.

Minister Qualtrough concluded her visit to Australia on March 3 by meeting with Therese Campbell, Chair of WorkFocus Australia, to discuss issues including workplace rehabilitation, injury management and health services.


“Having an opportunity to join the conversation with partners from across the world, where we can share perspectives and best practices, is an important step towards the goal of achieving real solutions for a truly accessible society.”
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.

“Minister Qualtrough’s presentations were a highlight of the international meeting. Her powerful and inspiring leadership journey spanned her early path as a champion Paralympic athlete, human rights lawyer and inclusion advocate, through to her ground breaking work as Canada’s first Minister for Persons with Disability. Her determination to tackle and eliminate systemic barriers to access and inclusion will be of great interest internationally and we welcome Canada’s ongoing involvement in the International Initiative for Disability Leadership.” Eddie Bartnik, Chair of the Sponsoring Countries Leadership Group for IIDL.

Quick Facts


  • The organization of sport in Australia has been largely determined by its federal system of governmentthe Australian government, six state and two territorial governments and local governments.
  • Each major sport is managed by a national sports organization, with state counterparts that manage community sporting clubs. Private sector involvement is extensive in professional sport through facilities, club ownership and financing or sponsorship.

International Initiative for Disability Leadership

The International Initiative for Disability Leadership organizes opportunities for international networking, innovation sharing and problem solving across countries and agencies. The overall aim of these opportunities is to provide better outcomes for people who use disability services and their families.

Government of Canada

  • Canada is committed to supporting the rights of people with disabilities through its interactions with other countries. We also work through advocacy in multilateral forums, and through international development assistance programming. In multilateral forums, Canada is an active supporter of resolutions relating to disability rights, including at the:
    • United Nations General Assembly;
      ?UN Human Rights Council; and
      ?World Health Organization.
  • Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2010. Parties to the Convention are expected to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities.
  • More than 800,000 Canadians live with a visual impairment and around 3 million Canadians have print disabilities. Under the Marrakesh Treaty, Canadians with print disabilities will have access to thousands of adapted works from 20 or more other treaty countries.

For further information: Ashley Michnowski, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, 819-934-1122 / TTY: 1-866-702-6967; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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