Throne Speech Leaves Blind Canadians Behind Again

For Immediate Release
November 23, 2021

Ottawa–“While the members of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians / l’Alliance pour l’Ãgalité des Personnes Aveugles du Canada (AEBC) support such issues as continuing to fight the pandemic, amendment of the Broadcasting Act, dealing with the climate emergency and giving greater priority to reconciliation for all indigenous peoples, we were dismayed that the 22% of Canadians who are blind or otherwise disabled received so little attention in today’s Speech From the Throne,” said Marcia Yale, National President of the AEBC. “The fact that the Speech failed to address any of our substantive issues leaves me fearful that our community is being left behind once again,” added Yale.

“At a time when all Canadians are looking forward to returning to a more active community life, as Canada talks about the need to “build back better”, there was no mention that employing more Canadians with disabilities will be a priority for this Parliament,” commented Dean Steacy, Co-Chair of AEBC’s Government Relations Committee. “We were also very disappointed there was no mention of new financial assistance to help blind and otherwise disabled Canadians who received a mere $600 while so many other Canadians qualified for the CERB at up to $2,000 a month,” added Steacy.

“While we believe in making housing more affordable and fighting homelessness, why was there no mention of the need for more accessible housing?” asked John Rae, Co-Chair of AEBC’s government Relations Committee. “This is a priority issue for many Canadians who are disabled or elderly, who are having great difficulty finding accessible housing in communities all across Canada,” added Rae.

“We are hoping that the Prime Minister’s Mandate Letters to his Cabinet ministers will direct them to develop new initiatives to make meaningful progress in the implementation of the Accessible Canada Act,” added Yale.

For interviews, please contact:

Marcia Yale, AEBC National president: president@blindcanadians.ca, 705-789-1546

Dean Steacy, Co-Chair, AEBC Government Relations Committee: nd.steacy@gmail.com, 613-724-9358

John Rae, Co-Chair, AEBC Government Relations Committee: thepenguin@rogers.com, 416-941-1547

The AEBC is a national charitable organization of primarily blind, deafblind and partially sighted members. We are committed to increasing awareness of our rights, to ensure that we can participate equally in all aspects of Canadian society.

The AEBC is a leader in leveling the playing field for members of our community. Since 1992, the AEBC has participated in working groups and committees at the national, provincial and municipal levels.

The AEBC advocates for accessibility, equality and the elimination of barriers in the manner in which organizations and businesses deliver products, programs and services across Canada.

AEBC members have made submissions in connection with the Accessible Canada Act and other legislation.