Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities First Report of Canada

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  First Report of Canada
Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities
First Report of Canada
Publication également disponible en français
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Canadian
Heritage and Official Languages, 2014
Catalogue No. CH37-4/19-2013E-PDF
ISBN 978-1-100-21419-1
Table of Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................1
Part I – General Overview .......................................................................3
Part II: Specific Measures Adopted by Federal, Provincial and Territorial
Governments ..........................................................................................9
Government of Canada .............................................................................. 9
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................... 18
Prince Edward Island ............................................................................... 21
Nova Scotia .............................................................................................. 25
New Brunswick ......................................................................................... 27
Québec..................................................................................................... 31
Ontario ..................................................................................................... 34
Manitoba .................................................................................................. 37
Saskatchewan .......................................................................................... 41
Alberta ...................................................................................................... 45
British Columbia ....................................................................................... 48
Nunavut .................................................................................................... 52
Northwest Territories ................................................................................ 54
Yukon ....................................................................................................... 56
Annex 1: Offices Responsible for Disability Issues ............................ 61
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
INTRODUCTION
1.
Canada is pleased to present to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities its initial
report under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the “Convention”).
Canada ratified the Convention on March 11, 2010 and it entered into force for Canada on
April 12, 2010.
2.
Canada is committed to upholding and safeguarding the rights of persons with disabilities and
enabling their full participation in society. The rights of persons with disabilities are provided for
in Canada’s Constitution, in federal, provincial and territorial (F-P/T) human rights legislation
and in specific laws in a variety of social and economic areas. The Canadian Bill of Rights (the
“Bill of Rights”) was the first federal law to specifically set out fundamental human rights for all
Canadians.
3.
Governments at all levels are responsible for implementing the Convention. All jurisdictions in
Canada have a broad range of policies, programs and initiatives aimed at providing support to
persons with disabilities and their families and promoting their inclusion and full participation in
Canadian society. Canada’s federal structure allows governments to work together to find
innovative and practical solutions to challenges and to adopt policies and programs tailored to
local needs and circumstances.
Preparation and structure of the report
4.
Read together with Canada’s Common Core Document1, the report includes information about
the implementation of the Convention in Canada, and explains key federal, provincial and
territorial (F-P/T) laws, policies and programs related to the rights of persons with disabilities.
Following the introduction, Part I provides information from all jurisdictions on Articles 1–7, 12
and 31–33 of the Convention. Part II focuses on specific measures taken by each F-P/T
government, organized by thematic clusters.
5.
The report was prepared collaboratively by F-P/T governments. Over 700 civil society and
Aboriginal organizations, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission, were consulted on a
comprehensive outline of the report. Fourteen written submissions were also received. The
submissions were shared within F-P/T governments and carefully considered in the drafting of
the report.
Persons with disabilities in Canada
6.
In 2006, the disability rate in Canada was 14.3%, meaning that over 4.4 million Canadians, or
about one in seven, had an activity limitation or participation restriction associated with a
physical or mental condition or health problem: 8.6% reported mild to moderate disabilities,
while 5.7% reported severe to very severe disabilities. The most common types of disabilities for
adults are pain-related, mobility and agility disabilities.2 Approximately 900,000 people 15 years
of age or older reported disabilities of an emotional, psychological, or psychiatric nature (2.3%),
1
Canada’s Common Core Document (January 2013), www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/coredocs.htm
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey 2006: Analytical Report, p. 29, online: www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89628-x/89-628-x2007002-eng.htm
2
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500,000 reported memory problems or periods of confusion (2%), and 630,000 reported learning
disabilities (2.5%).3
7.
In 2006, the rate of disability was slightly higher for adult women (17.7%) than adult men
(15.4%).4 Approximately 43% of over 4 million adults aged 65 and over have disabilities.
Among seniors with disabilities, eight seniors out of ten have two or more different disability
types.5 Children under the age of five have a disability rate of 1.7%, while for children aged 5 to
14 the rate is 4.6 %.6 Among this age group, 57.6% have mild to moderate disabilities and 42.4%
have severe to very severe disabilities. Their most common types of disability reported are
chronic conditions and learning and/or communication limitations. Boys are more likely than
girls to experience most disability types.7
Looking forward
8.
While great progress has been made to increase the inclusion and participation of persons with
disabilities in society, Canada recognizes that there continues to be challenges, including barriers
to language and communication, learning and training, and safety and security. Improving the
well-being of persons with disabilities, increasing their opportunities to participate in economic
and social life, and fulfilling their potential requires an ongoing, multi-faceted and multi-partner
approach.
9.
The Government of Canada’s Office for Disability Issues (ODI) provides leadership on disability
issues at the federal level. ODI is supported by intradepartmental and interdepartmental
committees and collaborates with F-P/T partners and with the non-profit, voluntary, academic
and private sectors. Over the coming years, ODI’s work to strengthen outcomes for persons with
disabilities and their families will focus on:
• developing and administering programs designed to remove barriers and promote inclusion;
• developing principled and evidence-based policy options that respond to existing and
emerging issues;
• working to improve awareness and horizontal management of disability issues across the
Government of Canada and by its public servants;
• identifying opportunities for collaboration and working with P/T partners; and
• engaging stakeholders and developing strategic partnerships on disability issues across the
federal government and with external partners.
3
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey 2006: Analytical Report, p. 32, online: www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89628-x/89-628-x2007002-eng.htm
4
2009 Federal Disability Report: Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities, p. 7, online:
publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2009/rhdcc-hrsdc/HS61-1-2009E.pdf
5
2011 Federal Disability Report, p. 9, online: www12.hrsdc.gc.ca/[email protected]?pid=4723
6
Disability in Canada: A 2006 Profile (2011), p. 6, online: publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2011/rhdcchrsdc/HS64-11-2010-eng.pdf
7
Disability in Canada: A 2006 Profile, pp. 10–11.
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
PART I – GENERAL OVERVIEW
Articles 1-4: General provisions
Implementation of the Convention
10.
Canada has a federal system in which the Constitution confers legislative and executive powers
on two levels of government, which are each sovereign in their respective spheres. There is a
federal government for all of Canada, and a government for each province and territory.8 Matters
concerning persons with disabilities fall under both levels of government, who work together and
in collaboration with the non-profit and private sectors, and assume complementary roles in
promoting and supporting the full participation of persons with disabilities in all dimensions of
Canadian society.
11.
Accordingly, the Convention is implemented through constitutional and statutory protections, and
legislative, administrative and other measures including:
• the Canadian Bill of Rights (the “Bill of Rights”), which applies to federal laws and protects
fundamental freedoms, legal rights and equality before the law;
• the Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (the “Charter”), which applies to all government
action and guarantees all individuals fundamental freedoms and rights, including an explicit
equality rights guarantee for persons with disabilities;
• F-P/T human rights laws, which apply to the public and private sectors and prohibit
discrimination on grounds such as disability, in regard to employment, the provision of
goods, services and facilities customarily available to the public and accommodation;
• specific F-P/T laws governing areas that impact persons with disabilities, for example,
social benefits programs, disability insurance plans, housing programs; and
• a broad range of F-P/T policies, programs and services aimed at improving accessibility,
providing financial and other supports to persons with disabilities and reducing barriers to
their full participation in Canadian society.
12.
Persons with disabilities can bring a claim before F-P/T independent administrative tribunals,
human rights commissions and tribunals or courts to enforce their rights. This has resulted in
developments in Canadian law, for example, through decisions upholding the equal rights of
persons with disabilities to health care services, education, transportation9 and accessible federal
government websites for persons with visual impairments.10
Canada’s reservations and interpretative declarations
13.
Upon ratification of the Convention, Canada entered a limited number of interpretative
declarations and reservations with respect to Articles 12 and 33 of the Convention.
14.
In Canada, both supported decision-making and substitute decision-making regimes exist under
P/T legislation. The interpretative declaration to Article 12 clarifies Canada’s understanding that
the article reflects a presumption of legal capacity and permits both supported and substitute
8
For more information on Canada’s federal structure, see Canada’s Common Core Document.
Canadian Transportation Agency, Decision No. 6-AT-A-2008 (2008), online: www.otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/highlightsone-person-one-fare-policy-decision
10
Canada (Attorney General) v. Jodhan 2012 FCA 161, online: decisions.fcacaf.gc.ca/en/2012/2012fca161/2012fca161.html
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decision-making arrangements in appropriate circumstances and in accordance with the law. The
reservation to Article 12 preserves Canada’s ability to continue to use substitute decision-making
arrangements in appropriate circumstances and subject to appropriate and effective safeguards. In
Canada, many measures relating to the exercise of legal capacity are subject to regular review by
an independent and impartial authority or judicial body, while others are subject to a review or
appeal mechanism. Canada’s reservation to Article 12(4) preserves its right to maintain the
supported and substitute decision-making arrangements that are not subject to regular review by
an independent authority, where such measures are subject to review or appeal.
15.
Canada’s interpretative declaration in relation to Article 33(2) clarifies that Canada implements
this article at both the federal and P/T levels through a variety of mechanisms such as courts,
human rights commissions and tribunals, public guardians, ombudspersons, and
intergovernmental bodies.
Research, policy and legislative development
16.
Canada implements the Convention by supporting research and development projects, such as the
Neil Squire Society’s project to increase knowledge of the accessibility issues relating to
emergency services delivered through wireless mobile devices.
17.
The 2013 Federal Budget also announced additional funding of $7 million per year to the Social
Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, some of which will support research
related to the labour market participation of persons with disabilities.
18.
In 2012, the Government of Canada launched the Federal Disability Reference Guide, a tool that
can help ensure that legislation, policies, programs and services are inclusive of people with
disabilities, respect the rights and needs of people with disabilities, and promote positive attitudes
and raise awareness about the needs of people with disabilities.11
Engaging and working with the disability community
19.
Canada’s disability community has long played a leadership role in promoting equality, inclusion
and participation of persons with disabilities both in Canada and abroad. In both the negotiation
and ratification of the Convention, Canada sought the views of persons with disabilities,
including as members of the Canadian delegation, and has since sponsored organizations to
participate in all Conferences of States Parties.
20.
All F-P/T governments continue to engage and work with the disability community to gain a
greater understanding of various perspectives and to develop well-informed and effective policies
and programs for persons with disabilities. Examples include:
• Discussions at an annual policy forum on issues relating to persons with intellectual
disabilities in the areas of housing, employment and youth transitions.
• Consultations on the Registered Disability Savings Plan to ensure its responsiveness to the
financial saving needs of Canadians with severe disabilities and their families.
• Surveys and focus groups for evaluations of the Canada Pension Plan Disability benefit to
identify areas for further improvement.
11
publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2012/rhdcc-hrsdc/HS64-17-2012-eng.pdf
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•
•
Ongoing engagement with the Persons with Disabilities Technical Advisory Group on the
development and implementation of the new Data and Information Strategy on persons with
disabilities.
The establishment of advisory committees, which provide expertise and advice to
government bodies (e.g., Transport Canada’s Advisory Committee on Accessible
Transportation identifies issues in the national transportation system that impact
accessibility. These issues and others are addressed by the Canadian Transportation Agency
(CTA) with the assistance of its Accessibility Advisory Committee, which advises the CTA
on the development of regulations, codes of practice and resource tools that support the
CTA’s mandate to make the national transportation system accessible).
21.
The disability component of the Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP-D) has
provided, for many years, $11 million in annual funding to support initiatives tackling social
inclusion barriers faced by persons with disabilities. Historically, much of this funding was
directed to 30 organizations, but as of 2015, SDPP-D will provide most of its funding through
competitive processes for projects responding to current and emerging issues. The new approach
includes transition funding measures for the former recipients of directed funding, developed in
consultation with them, and learning sessions on social enterprise development and fundraising.
In 2013, up to $9 million was awarded to projects of up to three years in duration focusing on
areas under the Convention, such as promoting active living and greater social inclusion of
persons with disabilities in their communities, and promoting the accessibility of physical
environments, information, communication and services.
22.
At the provincial level, for example, the Government of Québec has held consultations with civil
society to review the Loi assurant l'exercice des droits des personnes handicapées en vue de leur
intégration scolaire professionnelle et sociale, and to develop the À part entière policy. These
consultations were carried out by a committee, which is comprised of ministerial representatives,
disability organizations and one subject matter expert, and which acts as a permanent advisory
council on the policy. In Ontario, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
(AODA) sets out the framework for the development of province-wide mandatory accessibility
standards. Under the AODA, Standards Development Committees comprised of equal
representation from the disability community and organizations developed proposals on
accessibility standards for the government’s consideration. In addition, government officials met
with the disability, municipal, transportation and business communities to seek their advice on
proposed accessibility standards.
Articles 5-7 and 12: Equality, non-discrimination and equal recognition before the law
Equality and non-discrimination
23.
Canada has robust equality and non-discrimination protections for persons with disabilities that
are entrenched constitutionally in Section 15 of the Charter and provided for in a regime of F-P/T
human rights legislation. These protections are consistent with Article 5 of the Convention and
recognize a duty of reasonable accommodation of the needs, capacities and circumstances of
persons with disabilities in order to ensure their equality rights.
24.
Section 15(1) of the Charter guarantees every individual the right to equality before and under the
law and the right to equal benefit of the law without discrimination on a non-exhaustive list of
prohibited grounds, which includes physical or mental disability. Section 15(2) of the Charter
provides that government actions aimed at improving the conditions of historically disadvantaged
groups, including persons with disabilities, will not be found to discriminate contrary to section
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
15(1). The equality guarantee under Section 15 covers all laws and policies, including those
relating to education, health care, social programs and benefits, housing and other economic,
social and cultural rights covered by the Convention.
25.
The Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) prohibits discrimination on grounds such as disability
in employment, the provision of goods, services and facilities customarily available to the public,
and accommodation. It applies to the Government of Canada, First Nations governments, and
federally regulated private businesses, including in banking, airline, telecommunications and
broadcasting and inter-provincial transportation sectors. All P/Ts have similar human rights
legislation that prohibits discrimination within their own jurisdictions in areas such as
employment and access to goods, services and facilities generally available to the public,
including housing.12
26.
While section 15 of the Charter does not define “disability”, the term has been broadly
interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada to include a wide and evolving range of permanent,
temporary or intermittent impairments, both physical and mental, which may or may not result in
functional limitations as the person interacts with others and potentially with socially constructed
barriers.13 Other laws define disability in terms appropriate to the law’s specific purpose. For
example, the CHRA defines disability broadly for the purposes of protecting individuals from
discrimination as “any previous or existing mental or physical disability and includes
disfigurement and previous or existing dependence on alcohol or a drug”.
27.
The duty of reasonable accommodation requires, for example, that employers and service
providers accommodate the needs of their employees and customers with disabilities, except
where it would cause undue hardship, considering factors such as health, safety and cost. While
“reasonable accommodation” is required in relation to a particular individual’s situation, the
Supreme Court of Canada has recognized that it also has a more systemic meaning. 14 Where it is
established that the reasonable accommodation would cause undue hardship, the impugned
practice will be deemed not to be discriminatory.
28.
Equality protections are also provided for in F-P/T legislation. For example, the Criminal Code
contains specific provisions for offences against persons with disabilities and sentencing
provisions that make it an aggravating factor if the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or
hate based on mental or physical disability.
Women with disabilities
29.
The Charter and F-P/T human rights legislation prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.
Canadian jurisprudence recognizes that grounds of discrimination may intersect and that women
and men may experience discrimination on the basis of disability differently. This is taken into
account in some analysis which is carried out during policy development to examine the
intersection of sex with other identity factors, including disability.
30.
Status of Women Canada (SWC) promotes equality for all women, including women with
disabilities, and their full participation in economic, social and democratic life. SWC funds
12
See, further, Canada’s Common Core Document, pp. 31–33
Granovsky v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration), 2000 1 S.C.R. 703, online:
scc.lexum.org/en/2000/2000scc28/2000scc28.html
14
British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) v. British Columbia (Council of Human Rights), 1999 3
S.C.R. 868, at para. 19, online: scc.lexum.org/decisia-scc-csc/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/1761/index.do
13
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projects that support women with disabilities, and which, for example, increase understanding of
the issues relating to violence against women with disabilities and improve their economic
security through skill development in areas such as employability, leadership and integration.
Children with disabilities
31.
While the rights of children with disabilities are protected on an equal basis with other children,
Canada recognizes the challenges facing children with disabilities, and their families, and has a
number of programs in place to address these barriers.
32.
Canada provides tax relief and financial support for children with disabilities, their families and
caregivers. The Child Care Expense Deduction and the Children’s Fitness and Arts Amount,
which are available to all children, have a higher amount for children with disabilities. The Child
Disability Benefit, which in fiscal year 2012–2013 provided over $267 million in benefits, offers
additional income support to families with a child with a severe and prolonged disability. The
Government of Canada also invests in community-based programs such as the Community
Action Program for Children, which supports children with disabilities and their families who are
facing challenges such as low-income status, social isolation, situations of violence, neglect or
substance addiction.
Equal recognition before the law
33.
Canada strongly supports the equal recognition of persons with disabilities as persons before the
law. As with other members of society, a determination of incapacity should only be based on
evidence of the individual’s actual decision-making ability, rather than on the existence of a
disability.15 Anyone who requires support in exercising their legal capacity should have access to
the support required to do so, subject to appropriate regulation and safeguards.
34.
Canada’s interpretative declaration and reservations in relation to Article 12 set out Canada’s
understanding of its obligations under the article. All P/Ts have in place laws related to substitute
and/or supported decision-making with safeguards to protect against abuse. Examples are
outlined below:
• In Alberta, under the Personal Directives Act, individuals may choose a representative to
make personal, non-financial decisions on their behalf. The Adult Guardianship and
Trusteeship Act provides options and safeguards to protect vulnerable adults who require
support in making decisions.
• In Manitoba, the Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act supports and
regulates both supported and substitute decision-making for adults with a mental disability.
• In Nunavut, the Guardianship and Trusteeship Act recognizes the legal capacity of adults to
make decisions about their personal care, health care, and financial matters. While courtappointed guardianships may be ordered under the Guardianship and Trusteeship Act, the
Department of Health and Social Services offers services to help protect individuals with a
mental or physical disability who require support in making decisions.
• In the Yukon, the Adult Protection and Decision-Making Act provides supported decisionmaking agreements, representation agreements, court-appointed guardianship and protection
for adults who may be abused or neglected and unable to seek their own help. The
Capability and Consent Board reviews matters under the Mental Health Act and the Care
15
See generally: Starson v. Swayze, 2003 1 S.C.R. 722, online: scc.lexum.org/en/2003/2003scc32/2003scc32.html
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Consent Act, such as decisions as to whether a person is capable of consenting to health
care, to admission to a care facility or to receiving personal assistance services.
35.
Representation agreements are both a supported and substitute decision-making option by which
an adult may appoint another person to make decisions on their behalf in respect of personal and
health care matters, and the routine management of an adult’s financial affairs. For example, the
Government of British Columbia amended the Representation Agreement Act to increase
accessibility to representation agreements while maintaining related safeguards, such as requiring
a monitor to be appointed in certain circumstances.
Articles 31-33: Other obligations
Statistics and data collection
36.
F-P/T governments regularly produce statistical reports on disability to assist in developing
initiatives and determining eligibility for assistance in social programming.
37.
Between 1991 and 2006, disability-specific data was collected through the Participation and
Activity Limitation Survey and its predecessor, the Health and Activity Limitation Survey. The
Government of Canada, in collaboration with key stakeholders from the academic and the
disability communities, is implementing a new Data and Information Strategy (DIS) on persons
with disabilities in Canada. The DIS will provide more frequent, accessible and timely data and
information, and will maximize the usability of existing information. This includes the new
Canadian Survey on Disability Data, for which a data release is expected in 2013–2014.
International cooperation
38.
Canada is committed to supporting the rights of persons with disabilities through both its
multilateral activities and international development assistance activities. In the multilateral fora,
Canada is an active co-sponsor and supporter of resolutions relating to disability rights, including
at the UN General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the World Health Organization.
39.
Canada’s development assistance, in conformity with the spirit of the Official Development
Assistance Accountability Act, includes programming that promotes human rights and equal
opportunities for persons with disabilities by raising awareness of disability issues addressing
stigma and discrimination, and reducing barriers to the integration of persons with disabilities
into their societies. Between 2001 and 2011, the Government of Canada invested approximately
$350 million in international projects for which disability was a principal or significant focus,
such as issues associated with landmines, natural disasters, discrimination and poor health and
nutrition.
Domestic implementation and monitoring
Mechanisms
40.
The Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights (CCOHR), an intergovernmental body
for consultation and information sharing on certain international treaties, serves as the focal point
for F-P/T discussions relating to the Convention.16
16
See Canada’s Common Core Document, pp. 36-37 for a description of the role and functions of the CCOHR.
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41.
There are many other F-P/T mechanisms with a mandate relating to matters that impact Canada’s
implementation of the Convention, including the F-P/T Persons with Disabilities Advisory
Committee, which provides principled and evidence-based policy advice to F-P/T Deputy
Ministers on disability issues and collaborates on research, analysis and development of options
for addressing issues impacting the disability community in Canada. Other F-P/T committees in
areas such as employment, poverty and at-risk children and youth include disability
considerations in their work.
42.
ODI is the focal point for matters relating to the Convention at the federal level. In collaboration
with federal departments and key partners, it provides advice and expertise to foster coherent
disability-related policies and programs across the Government of Canada. In 2010, ODI
established the Interdepartmental and Intradepartmental Committees on Disability Issues to
support its work and provide fora for sharing information and best practices on disability-related
laws, policies, programs and initiatives to promote coordination and collaboration across the
federal government on disability issues, including the ongoing implementation of the
Convention.
43.
Each P/T government has an office responsible for policy advice and expertise on disability
issues within their jurisdiction (see Annex I).
Promotion, protection and monitoring framework
44.
Canada’s framework pursuant to Article 33(2) is comprised of several elements, including
government reporting and promotional activities, and the work of F-P/T human rights
commissions and tribunals, the courts, public guardians and ombudspersons and civil society
organizations across Canada. Combined, these mechanisms play a role in promoting, protecting
and monitoring the rights set out in the Convention. After giving careful consideration to the
offer by the Canadian Human Rights Commission to be designated to carry out monitoring
functions in respect of the Convention, Canada determined that it could maintain and rely on
existing mechanisms to fulfill its obligations under Article 33(2).
PART II: SPECIFIC MEASURES ADOPTED BY FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL AND
TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENTS
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
45.
Accessibility is addressed through a range of measures, including F-P/T human rights legislation
and requirements under specific legislation, regulations, policies, codes and guidelines. In
addition, the Enabling Accessibility Fund provides funding for community-based projects to
improve the accessibility of buildings in which programs and services are offered to the public, to
modify vehicles for community use and to provide accessible information and communication
technologies that are available to the public.
Accessible public buildings
46.
Consistent with the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Government of Canada’s Accessibility
Standard for Real Property (ASRP) provides the minimum requirements for barrier-free access
to and use of federal real property in Canada and abroad. The Standard applies to the acquisition,
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design, construction and renovation of buildings, which, in conjunction with other technical
standards, aims to ensure accessibility to persons with a range of physical, cognitive and sensory
disabilities. In addition to the ASRP, the Government of Canada follows the Canadian Standards
Association’s code for accessible design for the building standard when building and/or
retrofitting chanceries and official residences abroad.
47.
The Government of Canada provides tax relief to persons with disabilities for costs related to
personal mobility17 and to buying or building a home that is more accessible or better suited to
their needs.18 The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) also undertakes research
on housing accessibility for persons with disabilities. This research is delivered in the form of
publications, presentations and webinars which provide persons with disabilities - including
seniors -, and their caregivers with information and tools on home design and modifications to
enable independent living. In addition, the CMHC funds programs targeted to or that benefit
persons with disabilities. For example:
• $1.7 billion annual funding in support of about 594,000 households living in social housing,
including housing with special design features for persons with disabilities;
• A one-time investment of more than $2 billion under the 2009 federal budget to build new
and repair existing social housing, including 883 new affordable housing units for persons
with disabilities; and
• Initiatives and funding under the 2011–2014 Investment in Affordable Housing Framework
are aimed at increasing the supply of affordable housing, fostering safe independent living,
and supporting renovations to affordable housing for households in need, including for
persons with disabilities. This funding will be extended for an additional five years through
to 2019.
Access to transportation
48.
The Government of Canada has a number of strategies, policies, regulations, voluntary codes of
practice and guidelines to improve the accessibility of federally regulated (air, rail, marine and
interprovincial bus) transportation services.
49.
Transport Canada establishes and monitors the legislative policy framework for accessible
transportation, conducts policy research, manages a targeted research and development program,
and supports the transportation industry and travelers with disabilities through education and
outreach. The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), an independent, quasi-judicial federal
tribunal and economic regulator, is mandated to remove undue obstacles from federally regulated
transportation systems. This includes resolving individual complaints and addressing systemic
accessibility issues by administering regulations and codes of practice.
50.
Compliance with the CTA’s codes of practice has been positive, with one noted exception when,
in 2000, VIA Rail, the national passenger rail service, purchased inaccessible rail cars. The CTA
ordered Via Rail to take corrective measures to eliminate the undue obstacles to the mobility of
persons with disabilities and the order was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.19
17
For additional information, see 2011 Federal Disability Report, Annex D, online:
www12.hrsdc.gc.ca/[email protected]?pid=4723
18
For additional information on the Home Buyer’s Plan and the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, see
www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/rrsp-reer/hbp-rap/menu-eng.html?=slnk, and www.craarc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/lns360-390/369/menu-eng.html
19
Council of Canadians with Disabilities v. VIA Rail Canada Inc., [2007] 1 SCR 650, online:
scc.lexum.org/en/2007/2007scc15/2007scc15.html
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VIA Rail has since been working with persons with disabilities and the CTA to ensure that its rail
cars are made accessible.
Accessible telecommunications and broadcasting services
51.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) requires
telecommunications service providers to provide a relay service, including Internet Protocol
Relay Service; requires wireless service providers to offer at least one accessible mobile handset;
directs telephone and wireless companies to support text messaging for emergency
telecommunications services; requires broadcasters to caption 100 percent of their programming
and imposes quality standards for closed captioning; and imposes described video and audio
description obligations.
Personal mobility
52.
The Government of Canada provides benefits, services and supports to improve the mobility of
persons with disabilities. For example, the Assisted Living Program funds projects to improve the
coordination of programs and services relating to accessibility and mobility on reserve, including
initiatives to provide guide dogs. In addition, the Income Assistance Program provides funding
for financial assistance to eligible individuals, including support to persons with disabilities who
require guide dogs and transportation. The Health Care Benefits Program, administered by
Veterans Affairs Canada, provides funds to eligible veterans so they can access aids to daily
living, prosthetics, mobility aids, home adaptations and vehicle modifications.
Article 13: Access to justice
53.
Equal access to justice for all Canadians, including for persons with disabilities, is a priority for
Canada. Constitutional and statutory guarantees of equality for persons with disabilities,
including the right to accommodation to the point of undue hardship, apply to proceedings before
federal courts and tribunals, as well as to any administrative services offered in support of such
proceedings, such as those offered by court registrars. Section 14 of the Charter guarantees a
party or witness in any proceedings who is deaf the right to the assistance of an interpreter.
54.
Within the criminal justice system, the Criminal Code provides for testimonial aids and other
measures which make it easier for victims and witnesses with disabilities to provide testimony
during criminal proceedings. These measures include: providing testimony outside of the
courtroom by closed-circuit television, behind a screen or by recorded video; allowing a support
person to be present during testimony; and appointing a lawyer to conduct a cross-examination of
a witness with a disability when the accused is self-represented.
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
55.
The Bill of Rights protects the rights to life, liberty, security of the person, and the right not to be
deprived thereof except by due process of law. The Charter also protects these and the right not to
be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. It also
protects against arbitrary detention or imprisonment and provides that everyone has the right not
to be subjected to cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. These rights apply equally to
persons with disabilities. On February 4, 2013, the Government of Canada announced that it will
introduce a Victims Bill of Rights to entrench the rights of all victims of crime into one federal
law. The first ever federal Victims Bill of Rights will give victims an effective voice in the
criminal justice system.
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
56.
The criminal justice system provides for specific measures in respect of accused persons with
mental illness, including in relation to fitness to stand trial and a special verdict of “not criminally
responsible on account of mental disorder”.
57.
In accordance with the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, an accused with a disability
serving a sentence in a federal correctional institution is assessed upon admission and on an
ongoing basis for health care needs and appropriate health services are provided, including
necessary assistive devices. Correctional Service Canada’s Mental Health Strategy aims to
enhance the capacity to address and respond to the mental health needs of offenders in
institutions and in the community. Its key components include primary mental health care in
institutions and transitional care for release to the community, which are supported by training,
and tools and performance measurement activities for correctional and mental health staff.
58.
The Criminal Code contains a specific offence for the sexual exploitation of a person with a
disability and provides broad protections for all individuals against assault, sexual assault, murder
and threats of such actions. The Federal Victims Strategy funds organizations working with and
for persons with disabilities to ensure that victims of crime and their families are able to
participate fully in the criminal justice system and are aware of the legal services and assistance
available to them.
Situations of risk and domestic humanitarian emergencies
59.
The Government of Canada strongly endorses efforts to ensure that humanitarian needs are more
effectively met, including the needs of persons with disabilities. Domestically, the Government
has developed a comprehensive emergency management framework20 that is inclusive of the
needs of all Canadians, including persons with disabilities. Abroad, the Government works
through its international partners to support the delivery of essential services to vulnerable
populations affected by conflict or natural disasters. These humanitarian organizations are
encouraged to follow the principles set out in the Sphere Project’s Humanitarian Charter and
Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response handbook, which addresses assistance for
persons with disabilities to ensure that they may fully and meaningfully participate in, or benefit
from, mainstream humanitarian assistance programs.
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Liberty of movement and nationality
60.
Sections 6 and 15 of the Charter guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities to liberty of
movement and freedom to choose their residence on an equal basis with others.
61.
Canada has taken steps to ensure that persons with disabilities can access immigration, refugee
determination and citizenship services and proceedings in the same manner as other persons and
provides accommodation, if necessary. For example, clients with disabilities may obtain
information on immigration provisions in Braille, large print and audio format forms/guides, as
well as on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) accessible website. A third party may
also assist applicants in the preparation of their application forms or represent them.
20
An Emergency Management Framework for Canada, 2nd ed. ( 2011), online:
www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/em/_fl/emfrmwrk-2011-eng.pdf
12
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
62.
Furthermore, within the refugee resettlement and determination processes, both CIC and the
Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) provide services and procedures for resettlement
applicants and asylum seekers with disabilities to facilitate their full access to Canada’s refugee
selection and determination systems. CIC has published guidelines for the examination of
vulnerable refugee claimants, including those with disabilities. The IRB likewise has procedures
for refugee determination hearings involving those with disabilities, such as requiring a
designated representative and/or interpreter.
63.
Persons with disabilities can apply for a Canadian passport on an equal basis with others. A wide
range of measures are in place to accommodate persons with disabilities, such as a website with
adaptive technologies, passport application forms in large print and passport application
instruction booklets in Braille. For applicants who wish to apply in person, Passport Canada
ensures barrier-free access to all passport service locations.
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
64.
The Bill of Rights protects the right to freedom of speech. Section 2(b) of the Charter guarantees
everyone the right to freedom of thought, opinion, belief and expression. The Government of
Canada supports accessible information through a range of means. For example:
• The Communications Policy of the Government of Canada requires federal departments and
agencies to ensure that their communications are responsive to the diverse information
needs of the public. The Policy also requires that published information is available in
multiple formats to accommodate persons with disabilities. In addition, the Standard on
Web Accessibility requires that online information and services provided through websites
and web applications respect the internationally recognized Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines known as WCAG 2.0.
• The Government of Canada must facilitate public access to all information materials
produced, regardless of publishing medium. This includes ensuring information is available
in alternate formats, such as Braille, large print and audio, upon request.
• The Canadian National Institute for the Blind has received funding for the development of a
National Digital Hub that will acquire, produce and make available alternate format
materials in order to improve library services for the print-disabled community.
• The 1 800 O-Canada service, the primary telephone access point to the Government of
Canada programs and services, has a new teletypewriter system and number to allow
specifically trained information officers to respond to enquiries in real time.
Respect for privacy
65.
Section 8 of the Charter protects everyone’s right to be free from unreasonable invasions of
privacy. In addition, under the federal Privacy Act and Personal Information Protection and
Electronic Documents Act persons with disabilities are afforded the same protection of their
personal information as persons without disabilities. The Privacy Act further provides that
persons with sensory disabilities have the right to obtain information about themselves in an
alternative format acceptable to them, such as large print, audiocassette or Braille.
13
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Living independently and being included in the community
66.
Sections 6, 7 and 15 of the Charter protect persons with disabilities’ mobility rights and
individual liberty to choose a place of residence on an equal basis with others.
67.
The Government of Canada offers tax exemptions, income supports, social benefits and services
to persons with disabilities to facilitate their inclusion, participation and independence in various
aspects of life. For instance, the First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program
provides basic home and community care services, such as nursing, personal care supports and
respite to caregivers. The Assisted Living Program is a residency-based program that provides
funding to assist in non-medical, social support services to seniors, adults with chronic illness,
and children and adults with disabilities (mental and physical) living on First Nation reserves so
that they can maintain functional independence and achieve greater self-reliance. Veterans
Affairs Canada provides funding to eligible veterans so that they can access home care and
support services such as housekeeping, grounds maintenance and personal care to assist them in
remaining independent within their homes and communities. In addition, in 2013, tax exemptions
were expanded to include personal care services for eligible persons who, due to age or disability,
require such assistance at home.
68.
The Government of Canada also funds community organizations who work to improve
independent community living. For example, the Community Inclusion Initiative develops and
implements housing, education, income and employment strategies to enable communities to
become more inclusive of persons with intellectual disabilities.
Habilitation and rehabilitation
69.
The Government of Canada funds a number of habilitation and rehabilitation programs to support
persons with disabilities in attaining and maintaining vocational ability. For example:
• The Canada Pension Plan Disability Program, in addition to long-term disability insurance,
provides vocational rehabilitation supports and services, such as counseling, financial
support for training and job search assistance.
• The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy provides funding to Aboriginal
organizations for skills development and training programs to assist Aboriginal persons,
including those with disabilities, to upgrade their skills and find employment.
• Veterans Affairs Canada’s Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program
provides funding to Canadian Forces Veterans with disabilities to support their civilian reestablishment and workplace re-integration through the provision of financial support for
medical and psychosocial rehabilitation, training and skills development.
Participation in political and public life
70.
The Charter guarantees every citizen of Canada who is 18 years or older the right to vote in
elections and the right to run for public office, on an equal basis with others.
71.
Informed by consultations with disability organizations, Elections Canada is implementing
measures to reduce or eliminate barriers when voting, including: improving accessibility of
polling sites and signage; providing training to electoral staff; introducing a monitoring and
feedback process for the accessibility of polling sites; and offering a variety of voting methods,
14
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
communication channels and information in alternate formats. Elections Canada continues to
investigate technology and equipment that allow electors with disabilities to cast their ballots
independently and to build relationships with disability organizations to further remove barriers.
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
72.
The Government of Canada strives to enhance opportunities for Canadians with disabilities to
participate in and enjoy cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport.
73.
For instance, Sport Canada’s Policy on Sport for Persons with a Disability guides its work with
partners and stakeholders in reducing or eliminating sport-specific barriers. Through this Policy,
Sport Canada envisions the full and active participation of persons with disabilities in Canadian
sport at all levels and in all forms. In 2010–2011, $25 million was invested in sports for persons
with disabilities, including over $5.3 million to support the operations of the Canadian
Paralympic Committee, Team Canada, and the development of a national Paralympic sport
system strategy, in addition to funding to Special Olympics Canada and to the Canadian Deaf
Sports Association.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Awareness-raising
74.
Awareness-raising is an integral part of Canada’s implementation of the Convention. The
Government of Canada funds public education programs in the area of human rights and makes
available its treaty reports to the public, libraries, educational institutions and NGOs. ODI is
mandated to improve awareness of disability issues and of Canada’s obligations under the
Convention, to increase awareness regarding full participation of persons with disabilities in
Canadian society, and to engage citizens on disability issues. ODI has taken a broad range of
measures within the scope of this mandate, such as:
• creating a public online resource on accessibility in the areas of employment, housing,
service provision, technology and in the workplace;
• training of federal public servants on the Convention. For example, two government-wide
conferences and several training sessions have been held and continue to be offered;
• engaging representatives from the disability community on the development of programs
and workshops on various disability issues and to secure their participation in these
initiatives; and
• launching a new online course for federal public servants, Decoding Disability, to increase
knowledge about the challenges faced by federal employees with disabilities and to dispel
common myths about disabilities.
75.
As a means of raising awareness and combating stereotypes, the CRTC-approved Equitable
Portrayal Code, created by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, ensures the equitable
portrayal of all persons in television and radio programming, including persons with disabilities.
Additionally, Sport Canada, through its programming, supports initiatives that raise awareness,
foster understanding and promote participation in sport by persons with disabilities.
76.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission has undertaken several awareness-raising initiatives in
relation to the Convention and provides accessible, plain-language information to individuals,
employers and service providers about equality, discrimination, harassment and employment
equity.
15
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Education
77.
Persons with disabilities have equal access to primary, secondary, post-secondary and tertiary
education, as protected by the Charter and human rights legislation.
78.
While Canada’s education system falls primarily under provincial and territorial (P/T)
responsibility, the Government of Canada provides post-secondary support for students with
permanent disabilities. Through grants, the Government provides financial assistance to help
cover the costs of accommodation, tuition, books, and of exceptional education-related costs such
as tutors, oral or sign interpreters, attendant care for studies, note takers, readers and braillers.
The Canada Student Loans Program offers loan forgiveness for qualifying borrowers who have a
severe permanent disability. The Disability Supports Deduction provides tax relief for the cost of
disability supports incurred for the purposes of education, such as sign language interpretation
and talking textbooks.
Health
79.
While P/T governments have jurisdiction over most aspects of health care delivery in Canada, the
Government of Canada, through the Health Care Policy Contribution Program, supports
initiatives to strengthen continuing care and the health system’s response to the physical or
mental health needs of all Canadians, including persons with disabilities in areas such as: access
to health care and reduction in wait times; primary health care and chronic disease management;
and palliative and end-of-life care.
80.
In addition, the Government provides benefits and programs for specific health concerns and to
particular groups such as First Nations and Inuit people, as well as refugees. These include:
• Annual investments to prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) births and to
improve outcomes for those affected by FASD by supporting First Nation and Inuit
communities in developing culturally appropriate and evidence-based prevention and early
intervention programs, raising awareness and educating front-line workers;
• The Non-Insured Health Benefits Program, which provides eligible First Nations and Inuit
people, including those with disabilities, with medically necessary health-related goods and
services; and
• The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which provides temporary coverage of health
care benefits to protected persons, including resettled refugees and refugee claimants. The
IFHP’s Expanded Health Care Coverage covers the costs of certain health care products and
services such as prosthetics and devices to assist mobility for certain eligible beneficiaries.
81.
In the area of mental health, in 2013, the Government of Canada announced funding of
$4 million over two years to increase the number of mental health wellness teams serving First
Nations communities. In addition, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) released in
May 2012 its strategy to promote mental health and well-being, prevent mental health problems
and illnesses wherever possible, and create a mental health system that meets the needs of people
of all ages living with mental illness and their families. The MHCC also released Canada’s first
national voluntary standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace, focusing on
promoting employees’ psychological health and preventing psychological harm due to workplace
factors.
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Employment
82.
In addition to the Charter and the CHRA, the federal Employment Equity Act requires federally
regulated employers to achieve workplace equality and remove the barriers to employment
experienced by persons with disabilities and other designated groups. The Public Service
Commission of Canada (PSC), as the organization responsible for implementing those
requirements for the federal government appointment system, has developed an appointment
policy framework21 that incorporates the flexibilities of appointment measures allowed under the
Public Service Employment Act for employment equity purposes, as well as duty to accommodate
requirements in all matters related to staffing. The Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons
with Disabilities outlines steps to achieve their full participation in the core public administration,
such as providing and paying for technical aids, equipment, support materials and services for
employees with disabilities.
83.
The Government of Canada also recognizes the need to ensure greater participation of Canadians
with disabilities in the labour market. With additional funding announced in 2012, the
Opportunities Fund (OF) for Persons with Disabilities provides $40 million a year to assist
individuals prepare for, obtain and retain employment. In recent years, the OF program has
increasingly focused on providing more work experiences with small and medium-sized
businesses and raising employer awareness.
84.
Through Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (LMAPDs), the Government
of Canada allocates $222 million annually to provinces and territories to design and deliver
programs and services to increase employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. A wide
range of activities are supported under the LMAPDs, including pre-employment preparation,
skills development and post-secondary education supports. The Government of Canada recently
announced that it will introduce a new generation of LMAPDs starting in 2014. The reformed
Agreements will be designed to address the current labour market needs and increase labour
market participation for persons with disabilities as well as introduce stronger accountability
regimes.
85.
In 2012, the Government of Canada established the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for
Persons with Disabilities to engage private-sector businesses and other organizations to identify
best practices and the barriers employers face in increasing the labour market participation of
persons with disabilities. Its report—Rethinking disAbility in the Private Sector—highlights
simple and low-cost ways in which employers can accommodate employees with disabilities,
including modifications to workplaces and the provision of aids, devices and support services,
and changes to job descriptions, policies and procedures. The report was widely disseminated to
F-P/T governments, private employers, the disability community and the general public.
86.
In response to the Panel’s recommendations, the Government of Canada recently announced
a $2 million investment to support the creation of an employers’ disability forum, which will be
managed by employers, for employers, to facilitate education, training, and sharing of resources
and best practices concerning the hiring and retention of persons with disabilities.
21
The PSC’s appointment framework includes an overarching policy on employment equity and the duty to
accommodate requirements pertaining to staffing at: www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/plcy-pltq/eead-eeed/plcy-pltq-eng.htm
The PSC also has guides and tools to support departments in integrating employment equity in the appointment
process, including the Guide for Assessing Persons with Disabilities, at: www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/plcypltq/guides/assessment-evaluation/apwd-eph/index-eng.htm
17
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Adequate standard of living and social protection
87.
While persons with disabilities have equal access to all social programs and benefits provided by
governments, Canada recognizes that poverty rates among persons with disabilities remain a
challenge in Canada.
88.
To address this challenge, targeted benefits, income and housing supports are available to assist
persons with disabilities and those who care for them. These include the Disability Supports
Deduction for those who face additional disability-related costs, to be employed or to carry on a
business, Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits and Employment Insurance sickness benefits,
which provide financial assistance to those who are unable to work due to illness, injury, or
quarantine, and Old Age Security benefits. The Canada Revenue Agency has various benefits,
credits and deductions that are available to persons with disabilities and their families. This
includes the Disability Tax Credit, which in fiscal year 2012–2013 had a utilization of over $985
million. Disability-related tax measures also include exemptions from goods and services tax, and
caregiver tax credits.
89.
Through the Registered Disability Savings Plan, individuals with severe disabilities and their
families can save for their future. As of November 2012, 63,944 plans had been registered,
individuals contributed almost $295 million, and the Government has paid over $404 million in
grants and over $171 million in bonds.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
90.
The Buildings Accessibility Act22 requires that various aspects of public buildings be available to
and accessible by persons with disabilities and extends these requirements to apartment
buildings, hotels and building links.
91.
Provincial funding is available to persons with disabilities for the purchase of adaptive and
assistive technologies required to access training and/or employment.
Article 13: Access to justice
92.
The Mental Health Office is a project launched by the Legal Aid Commission in 2004 which
provides persons with mental illness with psychiatric help and legal assistance for civil and
criminal matters. The Legal Aid Act23 allows an application for legal aid from a person found to
be mentally incompetent, mentally ill or incapable of managing their own affairs to be accepted if
made on that person’s behalf by a third party. Recognizing that certain offenders with a mental
disorder may commit offences as a consequence of their mental disorder or due to lifestyle issues
related to their disorder, the province has instituted a Mental Health Court that provides increased
supports to persons who appear before it.
22
23
RSNL1990 cB-10: assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/b10.htm
assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/l11.htm
18
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Situations of risk and domestic humanitarian emergencies
93.
The province’s Emergency Social Services Program holds information gathering meetings with
the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities to ensure that the needs of persons with disabilities are
included in emergency protocols.
Liberty and security of the person
94.
In 2008, Decades of Darkness: Moving towards the Light, a report from an independent review
of the prison system in Newfoundland and Labrador, was released. As a result, ongoing training
in mental health is offered to all front-line staff and psychological and medical services are
available to all inmates.
95.
The Mental Health Care and Treatment Act24 requires two certificates of involuntary admission
before a ministerial order can be issued for the transfer of a person from a correctional institution,
prison, jail or lock-up to a psychiatric unit.
Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
96.
All health research involving human subjects in the province must be approved by the Health
Research Ethics Board25 or a designated research ethics body. The Board is established as a nonprofit body to approve research involving human subjects, under the Health Research Ethics
Authority Act.26
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
97.
The Violence Prevention Initiative is a six-year, multi-departmental, government-community
partnership which aims to find long-term solutions to the problem of violence against those most
at risk in our society, including persons with disabilities.
98.
The St. John's Family Violence Intervention Court is a specialized criminal court intended to
prevent and reduce the incidence of family violence through accelerated access to support
services and intervention programs.
99.
The Regional Health Authorities offer programs and residential options for persons with
disabilities. There are provincial standards guiding the programs and services and regular
monitoring by professional staff ensures that residences and programs operate in compliance with
the operational standards.
Protecting the integrity of the person
100.
The provision of medical treatment is based on informed consent as prescribed in common law.
The Advance Health Care Directives Act27 outlines a substitute decision-making framework to be
SNL 2006 c M-9.1: assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/m09-1.htm
The board’s composition includes men and women; persons experienced in the conduct of health research
involving human subjects; at least one ethicist; at least one person knowledgeable of the law related to health
research; and at least one person representing the general public.
26
SNL2006 c H-1.2: assembly.nl.ca/legislation/sr/statutes/h01-2.htm
24
25
19
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
used when a person is unable to provide consent. Only under the strict conditions outlined in the
Mental Health Care and Treatment Act28 can treatment be provided without consent.
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Liberty of movement and nationality
101.
It is mandatory to register all births in the province under the Vital Statistics Act.29
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
102.
Government disability supports and services are tailored to individual needs in order to ensure
access to information in a timely and respectful manner. Funding has been provided for
interpreters, Braille, FM Systems, and speech-generating devices to enable persons with
disabilities to receive timely access to information and services related to training, career
development and employment, and residential tenancy hearings. Social marketing campaigns are
in accessible formats for persons with disabilities (e.g., closed captioned television ads,
accessible websites).
Respect for privacy
103.
The Personal Health Information Act30 outlines a comprehensive scheme for the collection, use
and disclosure of personal health information. It provides a mechanism for review and oversight
by a third party, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Living independently and being included in the community
104.
Funding is provided to various consumer groups to provide services to persons with disabilities
which support independent community living. Residential options such as the Co-operative
Apartment Program and Alternate Family Care are available to individuals with disabilities to
encourage independent living and community inclusion.
Respect for home and family
105.
Child care services inclusion policy and funding are in place to support regulated child care
settings which include children with disabilities. The Special Child Welfare Allowance offers
funding to parents of a child with a disability to purchase support services. One of the core
competencies in assessing foster parents is their ability to meet a child’s development needs.
Habilitation and rehabilitation
106.
The province provides rehabilitation services to all individuals based on need and availability of
service providers. Supplies and equipment are available under the Special Equipment Program.
27
SNL 1995 cA-4.1: assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/a04-1.htm
SNL 2006 C M-9.1: assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/m09-1.htm
29
SNL2009 c V-6.01: assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/v06-01.htm
30
SNL2008 c P-7.01: assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/p07-01.htm
28
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
107.
Active, Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador: A Recreation and Sport Strategy for
Newfoundland and Labrador was released in 2007 after consultation with members of the
recreation and sport community. The Government ensures that disability-related adaptations and
accommodations are recognized as eligible expenses in the various grants offered by the division.
It has created a Provincial Sport Organization to increase representation in Paralympics.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Education, promotion and awareness-raising
108.
The College of the North Atlantic has resource facilitators on staff at its Disability Services
Office. Services include one-on-one or small group training sessions in Adaptive Technology;
study skills; and courses in test-taking and note-taking. The Glenn Roy Blundon Centre at
Memorial University provides supports for on-campus and distance students with disabilities.
109.
The provincial government actively promotes the Convention by holding workshops; endorsing
the use of the Convention’s definition of disability; and using the Convention to provide
instructive guidance in developing initiatives for inclusion.
110.
The Violence Prevention Initiative delivers the Violence Awareness and Action Training
Program for those involved in the justice system. Personnel in the justice system are trained on an
ad hoc basis on issues facing persons with disabilities.
Employment
111.
A Disability Accommodation Policy is in place for employees of the provincial government.31
Adequate standard of living and social protection
112.
A Special Assistance Program provides basic supplies and equipment to assist with activities of
daily living for persons with disabilities living in the community who meet the eligibility criteria.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
113.
Prince Edward Island (PEI) grants community agency funding through the Disability Support
Program to enable specialized transportation services for persons with disabilities and provides
financial support to individuals who require technical aids and devices to increase their
communication, improve their accessibility and mobility, and access community programs and
services.
Article 13: Access to justice
114.
Special provisions, such as accessible court facilities and Victim Services offices; access to
interpretation or translation services where language barriers or hearing impairments exist; and
31
www.gov.nl.ca/exec/pss/working_with_us/disability_accommodation.html
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
provisions for facilitating the testimony of vulnerable witnesses (e.g. testimonial aids such as
witness screen, support persons, testimony through closed circuit TV) are available for victims of
crime who have physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments.
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Situations of risk and domestic humanitarian emergencies
115.
The PEI Emergency Measures Organization is responsible for the development and coordination
of an overall provincial emergency management program in relation to emergencies and disasters
including response strategies for persons with disabilities.
116.
The 911 Administration Office recently collaborated with the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Hard
of Hearing Association to develop Guidelines for Making a 9-1-1 Call [direct connection to
emergency services], for Individuals who are Hard of Hearing.32
Liberty and security of the person
117.
Under the Mental Health Act33, persons who are involuntarily admitted to a hospital may be
admitted, detained, restrained and observed for up to 72 hours. A peace officer may take a person
into custody for an involuntary psychiatric examination within 24 hours if the officer believes
that (a) the person is suffering from a mental disorder of a nature or degree so as to require
hospitalization in the interests of the person's own safety or the safety of others; (b) the person is
refusing or unable to consent to undergo psychiatric examination; and (c) the urgency of the
situation does not allow for a judicial order for psychiatric examination. The person has the right
to retain counsel and receive a full explanation of the implications of any actions laid against
them and of all possible procedures for the patient to appeal such decisions.
118.
Under the Adult Protection Act34, an individual who is in need of protection may receive a
“protective intervention” from an authority warranted by a court order where they may be
removed from his/her present circumstance and placed elsewhere under supervisory/care
arrangements. Adults in need of protection may, upon assistance from the Minister of Justice,
apply for public trustee guardianship support. All actions are reviewable by the appropriate
courts.
Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
119.
Section 12 of the Consent to Treatment and Health Care Directives Act35 specifically prohibits
providing consent on behalf of a person with a disability for medical or scientific
experimentation.
32
www.gov.pe.ca/jps/index.php3?number=1012182
www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/pdf/m-06_1.pdf
34
www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/pdf/a-05.pdf
35
www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/pdf/c-17_2.pdf
33
22
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
120.
Family violence initiatives consider the needs of persons with disabilities. In cases of family
violence, victims may be eligible to apply for an emergency protection order or victim assistance
order under the PEI Victims of Family Violence Act.36
121.
In the 2010 Department of Justice & Public Safety’s Policies, Procedures and Protocols Manual,
disabilities are included as a diversity factor. This includes Woman and Spousal Abuse Protocols
developed for justice, police, income support and hospital emergency personnel.
122.
The Community Care Facilities and Nursing Home Act37 provides for a licensing process and
establishes an independent Community Care Facilities Board to establish policy and standards,
and to ensure compliance with established standards for re-licensing.
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
123.
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act38 establishes a right of access by any
person to records in the custody or under the control of a public body, subject to limited and
specific exceptions set out in the Act. Section 4 of the Act’s Regulations establishes that an
applicant with a physical disability or condition that impairs his/her ability to make a written
request may make an oral request. Public bodies are required to assist individuals seeking records
under the Act who are disabled, do not have literacy skills or are otherwise unable to exercise
their rights under regular procedures.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Living independently and being included in the community
124.
The government of PEI provides personalized community living supports through the Disability
Support Program (DSP) (e.g., employment supports, respite, technical aids, and home
modifications) and provides increased support for persons with disabilities within the Social
Assistance Program (e.g., the shelter rate benefit is higher for single persons with disabilities than
for persons without disabilities).
Respect for home and family
125.
Child care subsidy support in a licensed child care center is available for reasons related to the
special needs of the child or the parents. The DSP provides case management and financial
resources towards the needs of families with a child with disabilities.
Habilitation and rehabilitation
126.
Comprehensive programs and services are available for both habilitation and rehabilitation within
the health system, including measures to support persons with disabilities.
36
www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/pdf/v-03_2.pdf
www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/pdf/c-13.pdf
38
www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/pdf/f-15_01.pdf
37
23
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
127.
The DSP provides early intervention support to families and pre-employment case planning
which involves post-secondary and labour market participation and works in partnerships with
community NGOs. It also provides support in the area of assistive devices and technology that
can maintain and/or increase the employability of a person living with a disability (e.g., computer
software, communication devices, mobility aids, vehicle modifications, job coach supports, and
wage subsidy).
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
128.
The government of PEI provides an annual contribution to NGOs whose mandate is to provide
sport and recreation opportunities for persons with a disability.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Education, promotion and awareness-raising
129.
Specialized services to students with autism are offered by trained consultants and early
childhood autism specialists. Trained teachers support educational programming for students who
are deaf or hard of hearing and students with a visual impairment using Braille education, sign
language and mobility supports. Other professionals, such as Speech Language Pathologists,
offer school-based services to students with speech, literacy or language development needs.
Professional development is offered to resource teachers, classroom teachers and administrators
in order to better support students with a range of disabilities.
130.
The province works with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to provide training and
support for daily living skills, such as mobility skills for persons with a visual impairment.
Employment
131.
PEI endorsed the Workforce Diversity Policy in 2002 to support an innovative, diverse and
inclusive workforce and has invested in target support measures to increase the labour market
attachment for persons with disabilities ensuring a representative public service workforce
(e.g., career counseling, assistance on job search, diversity talent pool, and some costs for special
device aids or assistance).
Adequate standard of living and social protection
132.
The Social Action Plan that PEI is developing to address poverty will take account of the higher
poverty rate commonly experienced by persons with disabilities.
133.
The DSP is an essential program for providing community supports including personal care,
supervision, behavioural care, community living & participation, respite, employment supports,
technical aids/assistive devices and specialized supports. The Child Care Subsidy Program offers
access to affordable and quality child care supports in licensed child care centers. Contractual
agreements with NGOs provide other supports (e.g., residential, vocational, transportation,
advocacy, rehabilitation and social inclusion).
134.
All of these measures taken together can enable a person with a disability to reside in the
community with the required supports.
24
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
NOVA SCOTIA
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
135.
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of physical or mental
disability in the provision of or access to services or facilities.
136.
Some examples of technical standards and guidelines for accessibility to facilities and services
include barrier free design in the Building Code Regulations, the Universal Accessibility Plan for
public transit, and technical standards for government websites.
137.
There are programs for public school students to access assistive technology communication
devices, resources for seniors with disabilities to live more independently including finding
independent living services and care outside the home.
138.
Disability supports are available through the Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Agreement for
Persons with Disabilities, and the Services for Persons with Disabilities Program.39
Article 13: Access to justice
139.
The Nova Scotia Civil Procedure Rules allow for assistance for parties and witnesses in civil
proceedings. A guardian ad litem may be appointed for persons with a disability in Family Court.
There are also processes to ensure that the special communication needs of victims and witnesses
in criminal court are met. Some persons may have their criminal charges dealt with through the
Mental Health Court.
140.
There are new guidelines for correctional workers on the use of conductive energy devices, and
corrections workers receive training on dealing with emotionally disturbed individuals.
141.
Legal Aid is generally available for low-income persons for criminal and family matters, and
legal assistance for persons with disabilities is also available through Reachability, a charitable
organization supported by the province.
142.
Redress mechanisms which are available to all in Nova Scotia include Charter and other legal
challenges before the courts and complaints to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Liberty and security of the person
143.
Court approval is required to compel persons to accept services under the Adult Protection Act or
to receive treatment against their will, including hospitalization, under the Involuntary
Psychiatric Treatment Act. Patient advisors assist patients under the latter act, and legal aid may
also be available.
Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading Treatment or Punishment
144.
The Hospitals Act requires that consent must be provided for any treatment.
39
www.gov.ns.ca/coms/employment/employment_services/LabourMarketAgreement.html
25
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
145.
Independent monitoring of facilities and programs specifically designed for persons with
disabilities is carried out by the Ombudsman.40 Homes for seniors and persons with disabilities
are monitored and licensed by the government, and complaints of abuse in such homes are
investigated under the Protection of Persons in Care Act.
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
146.
The Nova Scotia Public Service Commission Sign Language Interpreter Services Policy for the
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing requires that interpreters be made available to access government
services.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
147.
Independent living schemes include community-based homes, assistance for independent living,
foster family support programs and direct family support. The Self-Managed Care Program
provides financial assistance for persons with disabilities to employ caregivers.
Respect for home and the family
148.
Persons with disabilities may marry, establish a family, become a foster parent or adopt.
Programs to support parents with disabilities include the Healthy Beginnings home visiting
program for new parents, the Early Intervention Programs for children with special needs, and
early detection and intervention programs such as Universal Newborn Hearing Screening.
149.
The Children and Family Services Act enshrines the principle of the best interests of the child and
emphasizes the importance of placing children in care with relatives or within their own cultural,
religious or other heritage background. There is financial assistance available for families
adopting children with disabilities.
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
150.
Children with disabilities may participate in play, recreation, leisure and sporting activities
through the school system and other organizations including Recreation Nova Scotia.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Education, promotion and awareness rising
151.
The Special Education Policy Manual guides school boards, teachers and parents regarding the
inclusion of students with disabilities. The Handbook for the Transportation of Students with
Special Needs sets out the protocol for transporting students. There are specialized educational
supports for children with autism.41 A personal care attendant, note taker or assistive technology
40
41
www.gov.ns.ca/ombu
novascotia.ca/coms/noteworthy/AutismActionPlan.html
26
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
is available to students. Grants are available for persons with disabilities who wish to access postsecondary education.42
152.
Employment Support Services assists with both job search and retraining. There is also a
Diversity Accommodation Fund to assist persons with disabilities employed in the public service.
The Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority provides educational support for children
and youth in Atlantic Canada who are visually impaired or have a hearing disability.43
Employment
153.
Employment of persons with disabilities in the provincial government is promoted through the
Employment Equity Policy, the Fair Hiring Policy, the Diversity Accommodation Fund and the
Diversity Round Table.44
Adequate standard of living and social protection
154.
All Nova Scotians in need are entitled to public assistance for food, special needs and housing.
Social protection and poverty reduction programs include the Direct Family Support Program
which provides funding to families to care for an adult or child at home with a disability; the
Employment Support and Income Assistance Program which provides support for those living in
the community; and the Services for Persons with Disabilities Program which provides financial
assistance and placement in homes for special care. Housing supports include Access-A-Home,
which provides a grant to make a home accessible for persons in wheelchairs. Public housing in
Nova Scotia offers accessible units.
NEW BRUNSWICK
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
155.
The New Brunswick Human Rights Act45 protects individuals, including persons with disabilities,
and specifically prohibits discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, services, publicity
and association. It imposes a duty to accommodate on employers, unions and healthcare
providers to the point of undue hardship in these areas. Other examples of legislation promoting
accessibility include the Official Languages Act46 and the New Brunswick Building Code Act.47
156.
Examples of policies, social programs and services addressing accessibility and mobility include:
Workers’ Compensation; Interpreter Services for the Deaf; the Vehicle Retrofitting and
Accessible Vehicle Program; the Disability Tax Credit; the Tax Rebate for Specially Equipped
Vehicles for the Disabled; and parking placards.48
42
psds.ednet.ns.ca/services
novascotia.ca/psc/
44
www.gov.ns.ca/psc/pdf/employeeCentre/diverseWorkforce/employmentEquityPolicy.pdf
45
laws.gnb.ca/en/ShowPdf/cs/2011-c.171.pdf
46
laws.gnb.ca/en/ShowPdf/cs/O-0.5.pdf
47
laws.gnb.ca/en/ShowPdf/cs/N-3.5.pdf
48
www.gnb.ca/0048/PCSDP/DirectoriesForPersons/DirectoryofServices/TableOfContents-e.asp
43
27
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Article 13: Access to justice
157.
New Brunswick provides access to justice in many forms. Legal aid is available to all New
Brunswick citizens for criminal or family law cases. The Victim Services Act49 supports victims
of crime through the criminal justice process, including information and referrals, court
preparation and support.
158.
The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission50 promotes equality and investigates and tries to
settle complaints of discrimination and harassment. If a complaint cannot be settled, a human
rights tribunal can hear the evidence and order redress if discrimination is found.
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Situations of risk and domestic humanitarian emergencies
159.
The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization51 co-ordinates provincial preparedness
for emergencies. Part of that responsibility involves providing training and advising responder
agencies on processes and protocols to identify vulnerable persons and persons with disabilities
who may need assistance during natural disasters.
Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
160.
The Nursing Homes Act52 requires that nursing home operators ensure that no unauthorized
individual or agency is permitted to interview or examine a resident or resident records for any
purpose without the consent of the operator and the informed consent of the resident or, where
the resident is unable to give an informed consent, the informed consent of his next of kin or
legal representative.
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
161.
New Brunswick implements a number of abuse and neglect protocols: the Women Abuse
Protocols53, the Child Victims of Abuse and Neglect Protocols54 and the Adult Victims of Abuse
Protocols.55
162.
The Nursing Homes Act requires that nursing homes be licensed. They may be placed under a
government appointed trustee, closed, and/or expropriated if the operator does not comply with
the terms of the license and/or requirements of the Act.
Protecting the integrity of the person
163.
The Mental Health Act stipulates that a person is mentally competent to give or refuse to give
consent if the person is able to understand the subject-matter and appreciate the consequences of
giving or refusing to give consent.
49
laws.gnb.ca/en/showpdf/cs/V-2.1.pdf
www.gnb.ca/hrc-cdp/index-e.asp
51
www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/public_safety/emo.html
52
laws.gnb.ca/en/ShowPdf/cs/N-11.pdf
53
www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/sd-ds/pdf/Protection/Women/WomanAbuse-e.pdf
54
www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/sd-ds/pdf/Protection/Child/ChildAbuseProtocols05-e.pdf
55
www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/sd-ds/pdf/Protection/Adult/AdultProtocol-e.pdf
50
28
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
164.
The Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information
Protection and Access Act establish the parameters within which personal information can be
collected, used, and disclosed, as well as provide individuals with the right to access general
information and their own personal information held by government bodies. The government has
a duty to assist those requiring assistance in making requests, in reviewing the information with
the individual, and an obligation to respond to the request in the language the request was made.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Living independently and being included in the community
165.
New Brunswick supports independent living in the community through various programs and
services, such as the Transitional Living Program; Adult Development Activities, Programs and
Training; Home Support Services; and the Disability Support Program.
Respect for home and family
166.
Under the Marriage Act56, all persons have the right to marry and to found a family provided that
they are legally able to marry (levels of consanguinity), and that they are marrying of free will.
167.
The province supports Community-Based Services for Children with Special Needs such as casemanaged assistance for families to meet the special developmental needs of children with severe,
life-long developmental disabilities and who require daily assistance with personal care and
everyday life activities (e.g., rehabilitation equipment, recreational opportunities, home support
services, etc.).
Habilitation and rehabilitation
168.
Under the Disability Support Program57, social workers assist individuals to develop personal
disability support plans through independent facilitation and person-centered approaches.
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
169.
New Brunswick’s Wellness Strategy includes initiatives, programs and services such as the
creation of a Parasport Coordinator and the Regional Community Development Grants fund,
which both work to increase and encourage physical activity and participation in sport and
recreation. Funding is also available for adaptive equipment to promote inclusive programming.
56
57
laws.gnb.ca/en/showfulldoc/cs/2011-c.188//20120105
www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/services/services_renderer.200972.html
29
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Education, promotion and awareness-raising
170.
New Brunswick’s Integrated Service Delivery Framework provides a range of services across
government departments involved with children and youth aged 5 to 21 who are deemed at-risk
and/or have complex social, emotional, physical and/or mental health needs.
171.
With specific guidelines and learning strategies for the Anglophone and Francophone sectors58,
inclusive public education is provided for students with disabilities, who are accommodated in
the general classroom using Braille, sign language, and so forth. Separate classroom time for
learning particular communications and mobility skills is also provided.
172.
New Brunswick administers and delivers federally funded Canada Student Grants for persons
with disabilities, as well as provincial programs such as the Repayment Assistance Plan for
Borrowers with a Permanent Disability; the Severe Permanent Disability Benefit (loan write-off);
and the Training and Employment Support Services Program for persons with disabilities.
173.
The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission is mandated to provide public education,
including subject-specific guidelines. New Brunswick’s annual Disability Awareness Week59
promotes better community access for people with disabilities.
Health
174.
In New Brunswick, health services are provided to persons with disabilities on precisely the same
basis as for persons with no disability in matters of standard of care, access and so forth.
175.
Recent initiatives to improve health services for persons with disabilities include The Action Plan
for Mental Health in New Brunswick, 2011-201860 and the Joint Statement on the Implementation
of Jordan’s Principle in New Brunswick. Jordan’s Principle ensures that Aboriginal children who
live on reserve in New Brunswick and who require multiple health service providers will not be
denied services as a result of jurisdictional funding disputes between the provincial and federal
governments. If a jurisdictional dispute should arise, New Brunswick’s normative standards of
care will be provided immediately through the agency of first contact while the jurisdictional
funding dispute is being resolved.
Employment
176.
The province has developed An Employment Action Plan for Persons with a Disability in New
Brunswick61 in collaboration with community, employers, and government to increase labour
force participation of persons with disabilities. The Plan is based on 38 recommendations to
change and build policies within government, enhance services, build a culture of true
collaboration, engage employers and fundamentally shift how government, organizations and the
private sector address disability and employment.
58
www.gnb.ca/0000/francophone-e.asp and www.gnb.ca/0000/anglophone-e.asp
www.gnb.ca/0048/DAW2012/IndexDAW2012-e.asp
60
www.gnb.ca/0055/action-e.asp
61
www.gnb.ca/0048/index-e.asp
59
30
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
177.
Examples of ongoing services and programs for persons with disabilities seeking employment,
training and skills development include the Transition to Work Strategy, which targets youth with
disabilities leaving high school, and the Training and Employment Support Services for Persons
with Disabilities which provides assistive technologies and other supports.
Adequate standard of living and social protection
178.
Adequate standard of living is addressed in the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission’s
Guideline on Social Condition.62
179.
The Disability Supplement and Extended Benefits program provides additional financial
assistance under the Social Assistance program to qualified persons with disabilities.
QUÉBEC
Background
180.
In 1978, Quebec passed an act to ensure that persons with disabilities could exercise their rights
and created the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec (“the Office”). In 2004, the act was
renamed An Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to
achieving social, school and workplace integration (“the Act”) and emphasizes the accountability
of all public and private actors. It requires government departments and agencies with 50 or more
employees and municipalities with a population of 15,000 or more, to adopt an annual action plan
to reduce barriers to the integration of people with disabilities.
181.
Adopted in 2009, the policy entitled Equals in Every Respect: Because Rights Are Meant to Be
Exercised (“EIER”) seeks to increase the social participation of persons with disabilities. The
policy comes with an implementation plan which includes 420 formal commitments.
182.
The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms prohibits all forms of discrimination on the
basis of disability or of a person's use of a means to palliate one's disability.
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and personal mobility
183.
The right to equality without discrimination recognized in the Charter gives rise to the obligation
to reasonably accommodate a person with a disability or of a person's use of means to palliate
one's disability. One of the EIER’s intervention priorities is developing accessible environments:
premises, transportation infrastructure, communications and consumer products. Under the Act,
public transit authorities must implement a development plan to ensure that services are
accessible to persons with disabilities. The government financially supports Paratransit services.
The Building Code provides barrier-free access standards for buildings and public spaces.
Various technical aids programs help to facilitate the mobility of persons with impaired mobility.
Article 13: Access to justice
184.
Quebec provides a legal aid plan for persons on low income that can benefit persons with
disabilities. The Code of Civil Procedure states that any person subject to an application for
protective supervision must first be questioned by a judge. There are specific rules that apply to
62
www.gnb.ca/hrc-cdp/07-e.asp
31
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
representation and hearings for persons with certain disabilities. Interpreter fees for persons who
are deaf and hard of hearing are borne by the government when the person is a party or a witness.
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of persons
Protection from exploitation, violence and abuse
185.
Section 48 of the Charter and the Civil Code sets out the principle of the inviolability of the
person and consent to care is central to Quebec law, particularly with regard to minors and
incapacitated adults. If such a person suffers, or risks suffering, harm through the action or
omission of a government agency, that person may request intervention by the Quebec
Ombudsman.
186.
The Act allows the Office to intervene when a person with a disability experiences any
exploitation or when their basic needs are not met. Furthermore, measures of control such as
physical restraint, isolation and chemicals are strictly circumscribed by, among others, the Act
Respecting Health Services and Social Services.
187.
The Government Action Plan on Domestic Violence, the Government Action Plan on Sexual
Assault and the Government Action Plan to Fight Elder Abuse all propose measures addressing
the needs of persons with disabilities, including women.
Protecting the integrity of the person
188.
In detention facilities, training in classifying incarcerated persons helps determine what type of
monitoring would be appropriate to his or her physical and mental condition.
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Freedom of expression and opinion and access to information
189.
Government agencies are obliged to offer, by means of adaptive communication equipment,
access to documents and services for persons with disabilities. Government Web sites must
comply with three accessibility standards in line with the most advanced international standards.
190.
In the area of sign language use, interpretation services are provided in the education network.
Similar services are also offered in the regions to meet communications requirements in a number
of areas of activity.
Respect for privacy
191.
Respect for privacy is affirmed by the Charter and various acts, particularly in the chapter on
medical information.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Living independently and being included in the community
192.
A home support policy and fiscal measures promote independent living for persons with
disabilities.
32
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Respect for home and family
193.
Quebec’s family policy aims at making daycare services more accessible to children with
disabilities. A guide was developed to help daycare providers to adopt attitudes supportive of
their integration. In addition, there is a measure for supporting high-needs children with
disabilities and integrating them into daycare services, and providing monitoring services to
achieve family-work balance. An allowance for respite services and babysitting is also provided.
According to the Civil Code, any decision taken with respect to a child must be in the child’s best
interest. The Youth Protection Act clearly states that every decision made under this Act must aim
at keeping the child in the family environment, unless doing so is not in his or her best interests
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
194.
Several programs are offered, such as the Programme d’assistance financière à l’accessibilité aux
camps de vacances [Financial Assistance Program for Access to Summer Camps], the
Programme d’accompagnement en loisir pour les personnes handicapées [Recreation Support
Program for Persons with Disabilities] and the Programme de soutien au développement de
l’excellence sportive [Support Program for Developing Athletic Excellence].
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Participating in social and economic life
Education, promotion and outreach
195.
The Education Act formally recognizes the principle of academic integration in public education.
Various rules and procedures are based on this Act, such as the Policy on Special Education, and
the Action Plan to Promote Success for Students with Handicaps, Social Maladjustments or
Learning Disabilities.
196.
Since 1996, the government has held week-long outreach campaigns to promote the rights of
persons with disabilities. The Web site Ensemble au travail [Working Together] presents portraits
of the professional success of persons with disabilities as well as the programs and services
provided to employment candidates and employers.
Health
197.
All Quebec residents are covered by the public health insurance policy. Medication insurance is
obligatory for everyone through either a private or public plan. The government is taking various
approaches with professional associations, particularly those in the domain of health, in order to
adapt their interventions to the needs of persons with disabilities.
Employment
198.
In addition to the provisions of the Charter, the Act respecting equal access to employment in
public bodies requires over 600 public organizations to set up programs for employment equity
access, with a view to increase the representation of minority groups such as persons with
disabilities. The National Strategy for Labour Market Integration and Maintenance of
Handicapped Persons aims at ensuring employment equity for persons with disabilities and
increasing their participation in the labour market. By means of grants, the Contrat d’intégration
au travail [Employment Integration Contract] promotes the hiring and retaining of persons with
disabilities in a standard workplace and the Programme de subvention aux entreprises adaptées
[Grant Program for Adapted Businesses] supports over forty businesses that hire a majority of
33
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
persons with disabilities who are unable to work in ordinary conditions. Furthermore, the
government has adapted its employment services to make access easier for persons with
disabilities. Finally, a financial assistance program with increased benefits is designed for people
with severely limited capacity for employment.
Adequate standard of living and social protection
199.
A residential adaptation program assists persons with disabilities to pay for work required to
make their residence more accessible. In addition, publicly funded low-income housing has over
1,600 units adapted for persons with disabilities. The AccèsLogis Program also maintains a
supply of rental housing for these clients.
ONTARIO
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
200.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 establishes the goal of an accessible
Ontario by 2025. This goal is to be achieved through the development, implementation and
enforcement of accessibility standards in five key areas of daily living: customer service,
transportation, employment, information and communications, and the built environment.
201.
The Accessibility Standard for Customer Service Regulation applies to all organizations (public,
private and not-for-profit) that provide goods or services directly to the public or to other
organizations in Ontario and that have one or more employees in Ontario.
Article 13: Access to justice
202.
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services complies with the federal Youth Criminal Justice
Act which mandates that the response to an offence committed by a young person (aged 12 to 17
at the time of the offence) should reflect the needs and individual circumstances of the young
person, including those with disabilities.
203.
All custody/detention (correctional) staff and probation office staff are required to be trained in
accommodating or admitting persons with disabilities, in accordance with the Public Service of
Ontario Act, the Child and Family Services Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the Criminal
Code of Canada and standards, policies, procedures and directives established by the ministry.
204.
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has developed the Police Response
to Persons who are Emotionally Disturbed or Have a Mental Illness or a Developmental
Disability Guideline to assist police services in the implementation of the Police Services Act and
its regulations.
205.
The Ontario Provincial Police piloted the use of video conferencing equipment to provide access
to sign language interpreters for both victims and witnesses who are deaf/hard of hearing. It also
recently revised its policy to ensure that officers consider the provision of a support person when
interviewing an accused with a cognitive-related disability.
34
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Situations of risk and domestic humanitarian emergencies
206.
Under the Information and Communications Standard, organizations that prepare emergency and
safety information are required to provide this information publicly in an accessible format upon
request. Under the Employment Standard, organizations are required to provide employees with
disabilities with individualized workplace emergency safety information to prepare for potential
workplace emergencies.
Protecting the integrity of the person
207.
Health practitioners have to obtain the consent of a person before administering treatment. If the
person is incapable, the consent must be obtained from his or her legally authorized substitute
decision-maker. In Ontario, a substitute decision-maker does not have legal authority to consent
to participation in medical research, sterilization or the removal of regenerative or nonregenerative tissue, on an incapable person’s behalf.
208.
The Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 balances individuals’ right to
privacy with respect to their own personal health information with the legitimate needs of persons
and organizations providing health care services to access and share this information. With
limited exceptions, the legislation requires health information custodians to obtain consent before
they collect, use or disclose personal health information. In addition, individuals have the right to
access and request correction of their own personal health information.
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
209.
The Information and Communications Standard under the Integrated Accessibility Standards
Regulation requires all organizations (public, private and not-for-profit) to send and receive
information and communications in ways that are accessible to persons with disabilities.
210.
Ontario public sector, private and not-for-profit organizations with 50 or more employees are
required to make their websites and web content conform to the international standard developed
by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.
211.
In addition, organizations are required to provide accessible formats and communications
supports to persons with disabilities, when requested. This includes providing accessible formats
of educational resources, student records and information on programs.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Habilitation and rehabilitation
212.
Many school boards in Ontario have school-based teams that suggest teaching strategies to
teachers who have students with special education needs. The teams often have expertise in such
areas as speech and language development, psychology, physical and occupational therapy and
social work.
35
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Living independently and being included in the community
213.
Stable housing is central to attaining treatment goals with housing being part of any
comprehensive treatment program. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC)
currently funds 8,500 units of supportive housing for persons with serious mental illness through
the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) to enable them to maintain tenancy. Support
services offered by LHINs may include personal support services such as homemaking and
personal care, life skills, peer support and more clinical mental health supports such as crisis
support or case management.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Health
214.
Mental health and addictions services and supports are funded by the MOHLTC through LHINs.
They address the needs of disadvantaged clients and operate with the purpose of having clients
return to or maintain participation in all aspects of their lives. Specific community-based
programs include housing support.
Employment
215.
In January 2010, the Ministry of Community and Social Services launched the Don’t Waste
Talent awareness campaign63 to address the real and perceived barriers that discourage employers
from hiring people with disabilities. The campaign encouraged Ontario employers to hire people
with disabilities through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). It also encouraged
people with disabilities to consider entering the workforce through the ODSP employment
supports program.
216.
Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology help people with special needs participate in
apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs. Eligible
expenditures to support apprentices with disabilities include: offices for students with disabilities,
equipment and technology, support services and professional development.
Education
217.
The Ministry of Education allocates funding through a series of grants64 that provide school
boards with flexibility to direct funds according to the required supports of students with special
education needs.
218.
About 82 percent of all students (86 percent at secondary schools) receiving special education
programs or services are placed in regular classrooms for more than half of the instructional day.
219.
Ontario’s Student Success initiatives65 are intended to support all students, including students
with special education needs. These initiatives provide opportunities for high school students to
customize their secondary school program based on their interests, strengths and career plans.
63
www.mcss.gov.on.ca/talent
www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/funding.html
65
Ibid
64
36
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Student Success initiatives include: an expansion of co-operative education programs; Dual
Credits; the Specialist High Skills Major; and the School-College-Work Initiative.
220.
The Ministry has provided funding related to the training of professionals regarding several
specific areas of need, including with respect to children and youth with autism spectrum
disorders, children and youth who are deaf or hard of hearing and those facing mental health
and/or addictions related issues.
221.
Special grants are provided to university and college disability offices to help them meet their
legal obligations to provide access and accommodation for students with disabilities.
Adequate standard of living and social protection
222.
Clients of the Ontario Disability Support Program have the right to ask for an internal review of
any decision about their case that they do not agree with. If dissatisfied with the outcome, they
can appeal to the independent Social Benefits Tribunal, which hears appeals of decisions that
affect eligibility for social assistance or the amount that beneficiaries receive under the Ontario
Works Act, 1997 or the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997.
MANITOBA
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
223.
The Accessibility Advisory Council, created in 2011 under The Accessibility Advisory Council
Act, provides recommendations to the Minister responsible for persons with disabilities on new
legislation that will proactively prevent and remove barriers to accessibility for persons with
disabilities in Manitoba.
224.
The Manitoba Policy on Access to Government Publications, Events and Services (MPAG) has
the purpose of ensuring equal access by Manitobans with disabilities to information, public
meetings, and other services provided by government.
Article 13: Access to justice
225.
In May 2012, a special Mental-Health Court began sitting in Manitoba. It will work with accused
whose mental health issues are the likely cause of their criminal behaviour. Manitoba is also
expanding mental health services to better support these individuals.66
226.
Crown Prosecutors in Manitoba, with support from specialized victim services, are required to
make necessary accommodations to assist a victim with disabilities to provide their testimony.
227.
Manitoba’s Compensation for Victims of Crime Program under The Victims’ Bill of Rights67
compensates victims or witnesses who have been injured (physically or emotionally) because of
certain serious crimes designated by regulation.
66
67
www.gov.mb.ca/chc/press/top/2012/04/2012-04-10-133700-13634.html
web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/v055e.php
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Situations of risk and domestic humanitarian emergencies
228.
The Disability Emergency Management Network Manitoba is a coalition of community disability
and seniors organizations, emergency responders and Manitoba’s Disabilities Issues Office,
established to educate and meet the needs of persons with disabilities whose functional
limitations place them at risk during disasters.
Liberty and security of the person
229.
The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act68 allows an adult with a
developmental disability to be placed in a developmental centre only by court order, where it is in
the best interests of the adult and only if attempts to find an alternative were unsuccessful.
230.
Specialized health care units are available for prisoners with medical disabilities and housing
protocols have been established for prisoners who have been declared vulnerable persons.
231.
Under The Mental Health Act69, a person with a mental disorder may only be detained for
psychiatric evaluation and, where warranted, treatment in a mental health facility if he or she “is
likely to cause serious harm to himself or herself or to another person, or to suffer substantial
mental or physical deterioration”, and is unwilling or unable to consent to the evaluation and
treatment. A psychiatrist must review the detention every three months and the Mental Health
Review Board, which hears appeals respecting detentions, must also review any involuntary
detention once a year to ensure that the grounds continue to exist.
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
232.
Anyone may file a complaint alleging a violation of their right to be free from discrimination and
harassment under The Human Rights Code.70 An arm’s-length Commission must investigate each
complaint and argue the complaint before an adjudicator if one is appointed, at no cost to the
complainant.
233.
Independent monitoring of facilities and programs that provide housing and other services to
persons with disabilities is provided under The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental
Disability Act and The Protection for Persons in Care Act.71 Manitoba also passed legislation in
June 2011 to create a registry of persons found to have abused or neglected vulnerable adults. 72
Protecting the integrity of the person
234.
Under The Mental Health Act in Manitoba, a “committee of personal care” cannot consent on
behalf of a person with a mental health disability to research-oriented medical treatment that
offers little or no benefit, sterilization that is not medically necessary, or the removal of tissue for
transplant, medical education or medical research.
68
web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/v090e.php
web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/m110e.php
70
web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/h175e.php
71
web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/p144e.php
72
web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2011/c02611e.php
69
38
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Liberty of movement and nationality
235.
Manitoba supports equal access to and provides accommodation in the application process for
identifying documentation for persons with disabilities, including birth and marriage certificates.
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
236.
Through the MPAG, government departments, boards, commissions, corporations and special
operating agencies must provide reasonable access to public information in multiple formats
upon request (Web and print), hold public events in accessible spaces, meet the physical and
communication needs of persons with disabilities upon request, and provide customer service that
reasonably meets disability-related needs.
Respect for privacy
237.
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act73 and The Personal Health
Information Act74, which protect the privacy of personal and personal health information
respectively, apply not only to governmental bodies but also to a wide range of educational
institutions, municipal and other local government bodies, and health care institutions and
providers.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Living independently and being included in the community
238.
The province supports the right of persons with disabilities to choose where they wish to live, and
is significantly increasing its investment to provide options for community living.
239.
The Government of Manitoba funds a wide variety of agencies to promote independent living.
For example, Community Living disABILITY Services funds approximately 100 external
agencies to support adults with an intellectual disability to live and participate in the community.
Respect for home and family
240.
Children's disABILITY Services (CDS) is a non-statutory, voluntary program that provides
assistance to families raising children with developmental and/or physical disabilities. Parents
who have a mental disability are eligible to receive services from the CDS Program because their
children are at significantly higher risk of experiencing developmental delays.
241.
CDS also provides early intervention services, including child development for pre-schoolers;
occupational, physical, and speech language therapy; and applied behaviour analysis for preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders. Wherever possible, children receive services in
integrated environments in the community; where there are opportunities for peer support they
are encouraged and actively supported. Regulations require licensed facilities providing services
to children to have an inclusion policy.
73
74
web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/f175e.php
web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/p033-5e.php
39
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Habilitation and rehabilitation
242.
Manitoba launched Rising to the Challenge: A strategic plan for the mental health and well-being
of Manitobans75 in June 2011. The strategic plan emphasizes a recovery-oriented system, crosssectoral cooperation and promotion of mental health within the whole population. The province
funds a comprehensive system of mental health services and supports for all Manitobans.
Manitoba’s marketABILITIES Program offers a wide range of employment-focused services to
assist adults with disabilities in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining employment. These
include supported employment services, vocational rehabilitation services and funded
partnerships between employers and community stakeholders to help persons with disabilities
living in rural and northern regions to find and keep sustainable employment.
243.
Under The Workers Compensation Act76, employers are obligated to re-employ a worker who has
been unable to work as a result of an accident and who is able to return to work. Employers also
have a duty to reasonably accommodate the needs of the worker with a disability to the extent
that the accommodation does not cause the employer undue hardship.
244.
The Workers’ Compensation Board of Manitoba77 has vocational rehabilitation programs to help
the worker achieve a return to sustainable employment.
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
245.
Manitoba’s Policy for Recreation Opportunities includes an emphasis on reducing barriers to
recreation. The policy recognizes there are groups and individuals who face barriers, including
those based on abilities, age, and health that may limit access to recreation opportunities.
246.
The tourism promotional publications and website of Travel Manitoba are offered in alternate
formats, upon request, and reflect the accessibility measures offered by tourism services
suppliers. All Visitor Information Centres operated by Travel Manitoba are wheelchair
accessible.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Education, promotion and awareness-raising
247.
Each spring, Manitoba celebrates Manitoba Access Awareness Week (MAAW) to raise
awareness and to break the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating
in society. Linked to MAAW, the province holds an Expo to educate employers about the
abilities of persons with disabilities. Manitoba has also invested in a multi-media advertising
campaign, including radio, transit advertisement and billboards, to promote the advantages of
hiring persons with disabilities.
248.
The Government of Manitoba hosted the first conference of provincial and territorial ministers
responsible for persons with disabilities and ministers responsible for human rights in 2011 to
discuss the promotion and implementation of the rights in the Convention.
75
www.gov.mb.ca/health/mh/challenge.html
web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/w200e.php
77
www.wcb.mb.ca/sites/default/files/files/43_00VocationalRehabilitation.pdf
76
40
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Health
249.
All residents of Manitoba, including persons with disabilities are entitled to be registered under
the Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan which provides coverage for insured medical,
hospital, personal care and other health services.
Employment
250.
Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health Regulation requires employers to develop and follow a
written policy that ensures workers are not subject to harassment, whether discriminatory or
individual/personal harassment, and that provides a process to receive and investigate complaints
of harassment and to take corrective action.
251.
Employment Manitoba (EM) delivers direct employment services, including service needs
assessments and employment counselling, to all Manitobans, including persons with disabilities,
through a provincial network of EM Centres. Specialized access supports are provided to those
who require them (e.g., American Sign Language interpreter services). EM is also committed to
ensuring appropriate physical access to Employment Centres.
Adequate standard of living and social protection
252.
Housing and Community Development has various programs and initiatives that focus on
assisting persons with disabilities. One of these is the Low-Income Housing and Shelter Benefits,
which include rent-geared-to-income social housing; subsidized rents78; and a portable housing
benefit with housing support services to assist eligible individuals with mental health issues to
maintain a stable tenancy.79
253.
The Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) program provides financial help to Manitobans
who have no other way to support themselves or their families. Persons who have a mental or
physical disability that is likely to last more than 90 days and that keeps them from earning
enough money to pay for the family’s basic needs, may be eligible for assistance from EIA,
including an additional benefit to defray the higher cost of living with a disability in the
community.
SASKATCHEWAN
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
254.
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code ensures that persons with disabilities have access to
public services on an equal basis with others including equal access to transportation,
communications, facilities and services.
255.
In 2007, A Guide to Accessibility Law for Saskatchewan Businesses was published by the
Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, a result of ongoing partnership between the public
and private sector to promote accessibility for persons with disabilities.
78
79
www.gov.mb.ca/housing/rent_supplement.html
www.gov.mb.ca/allaboard/index.html
41
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Article 13: Access to justice
256.
Saskatchewan’s Victim/Witness Services Program provides supports to individuals with
disabilities who are required to testify for the prosecution in criminal court. Protocol provides
that police-based victim services must refer victims with special needs, including those with
physical/cognitive disabilities, to the program. Furthermore, prosecutors are required to refer to
the program witnesses who demonstrate special needs.
257.
The Evidence Act80 of Saskatchewan applies to all court proceedings governed by provincial
laws, whether for civil or penal offences. Section 13 of the Act recognizes the difficulties which a
witness with certain disabilities may have in communicating, and authorizes the courts to permit
them to testify by any means that enable the evidence to be intelligible. The Evidence Act
stipulates that accommodations must be made to allow persons with disabilities to fully and
equally participate in court proceedings. Individuals with disabilities are eligible for Legal Aid on
the same basis as everyone else.
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Liberty and security of the person
258.
Under The Adult Guardianship and Co-decision-making Act81, a decision-maker for an adult is
not provided with the authority to consent to the withdrawal of life-support systems. The personal
decision-maker has the duty to ensure that the adult’s civil and human rights are protected.
259.
The province’s Mental Health Services Act82 provides that no person who has either received
mental health services or been named in a certificate, warrant or order pursuant to the Act shall
be deprived of any right or privilege enjoyed by other persons solely by reason of having
received mental health services or having been named in the certificate, warrant or order.
260.
Under exceptional circumstances, The Mental Health Services Act allows for the care and
treatment of an individual without their consent.
Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
261.
Any research conducted in Saskatchewan that involves human participants must undergo a
rigorous review process by the Research Ethics Committee before it can proceed. The research
must be conducted under the sponsorship of a research institution, university, regional health
authority, or a public body.
Protecting the integrity of the person
262.
There is no law in Saskatchewan authorizing forced sterilization or abortion for any individual.
The basic principle of individual autonomy, including for persons with disabilities, is protected
by the application of common law.
80
www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/english/Statutes/Statutes/e11-2.pdf
www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/English/Statutes/Statutes/A5-3.pdf
82
www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/English/Statutes/Statutes/M13-1.pdf
81
42
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
263.
Several provincial statutes are in place to protect persons with disabilities from medical (or other)
treatment without their informed consent. These include The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code,
The Health Information Protection Act, The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
Act and The Health Care Directives and Substitute Health Care Decision Makers Act. In addition
to these statutes, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan has created a Code of
Ethics for physicians in the province. The Code requires that all patients be treated with respect
and be provided with the necessary information to make informed decisions.
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
264.
The Government of Saskatchewan tries to ensure that information is accessible to persons with
disabilities at all times. Information is available in alternate formats (e.g., sign language, Braille,
Large print, etc.) upon request and is provided in a timely manner and without additional cost.
Respect for privacy
265.
The Health Information Protection Act83 protects the privacy of the personal health information
of all Saskatchewan residents, including persons with disabilities, while ensuring that information
is available, as needed, to provide health services and to monitor, evaluate and improve the health
system in Saskatchewan. The Act applies to information in all forms.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Living independently and being included in the community
266.
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in housing. The province offers a
continuum of residential supports targeted to persons with disabilities that includes supported
independent living programs, group living models, private home care and group homes.
Individuals requiring residential supports undergo an assessment to determine their requirements.
267.
The Saskatchewan Aids to Independent Living program provides benefits to assist people in
leading more independent and active lifestyles.
Respect for home and family
268.
The Government of Saskatchewan funds community-based organizations that provide oversight
to a program that provides educational and support services. Additional supports are available
through a respite benefit available to parents of children with intellectual disabilities.
269.
Saskatchewan provides out-of-home placement services for children with disabilities whose
families are unable to care for them at home. The child’s family is encouraged to remain involved
with their child, including participating in decisions on all aspects of the child’s care.
83
www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/english/Statutes/Statutes/H0-021.pdf
43
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Habilitation and rehabilitation
270.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Education supports 14 Early Childhood Intervention Programs
(ECIP) across the province. ECIP is a home visiting program targeting families with children
aged 6 and under who are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing a developmental delay. The
ECIP programs work in collaboration with regional health authorities, school divisions and
community partners to provide an array of supports and services related to the medical,
developmental, social and educational needs of children and their families.
271.
In 2010 and 2011, the province provided $16,000 to the Red Cross for its anti-bullying/bully
prevention workshops for students and school staff. These are focused on bullying behaviour that
is related to disability.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Education, promotion and awareness-raising
272.
All efforts are made so that persons with disabilities are accommodated throughout the provincial
education system. Boards of Education have the legal responsibility and authority under The
Education Act, 199584 to identify students who require intensive supports, develop appropriate
programs and hire professional and paraprofessional staff to deliver programs.
Health
273.
Saskatchewan provides extensive programming and services for persons with disabilities. The
Acquired Brain Injury Partnership Project develops and implements services and supports for
persons with acquired brain injuries and their families through 36 community-based programs.
274.
The Government of Saskatchewan enlisted an Autism Advisory Committee to gather information
about existing services, identify gaps, and provide input into the development of a plan for
accessible and equitable services and supports.
Employment
275.
A range of income assistance benefits is provided by the province to people in need, including
basic income assistance or welfare benefits, extended health benefits, and rental housing
supplements that include a disability rental supplement to compensate for the additional housing
costs related to disability. Other benefits include income supplements for seniors and assistance
with child care expenses.
276.
The Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability, a new income support program for persons
with significant and enduring disabilities, was introduced in 2012 and will be fully implemented
by 2016.
Adequate standard of living and social protection
277.
Barrier-free design is required for new or renovated sports, recreational and cultural facilities
built in Saskatchewan, including community and seniors’ centers, galleries and museums. In
84
www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/English/Statutes/Statutes/E0-2.pdf
44
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
provincial parks, this requirement applies to campsites, public use facilities such as washroom
and shower buildings, as well as picnic tables and barbecues. Some nature and recreational trails
are also developed to barrier-free standards.
278.
The Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation distributes
approximately 50 million dollars per year for sports, recreational and cultural activities
throughout the province. The Government directs that the fund is “to promote access, equity and
fairness for all, including people with disabilities within the sport, culture and recreation sectors.”
Saskatchewan also has programs that support the purchase of specialized equipment for athletes
with disabilities and the development of sports clubs for persons with disabilities across the
province.
ALBERTA
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
279.
The Alberta Human Rights Commission has educational programs, such as workshops and
resources, to promote the understanding of the duty to accommodate persons with disabilities as
well as other groups protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act.85
280.
The Alberta Building Code86 contains provisions related to barrier-free access and design, and the
Barrier-Free Design Guide published by the Safety Codes Council contains guiding principles
for designers. This is further supported by the Safety Codes Act87 which requires that the
government “…co-ordinate and encourage the principles of barrier-free access for any thing,
process, or activity…” regulated by the Act for the built environment.
281.
Alberta provides funding to individuals for equipment and supplies, for example, wheelchairs,
walkers, and communication devices. Alberta also provides grants to eligible wheelchair users to
modify their home to be more wheelchair accessible.
Article 13: Access to justice
282.
Accommodations are made for persons with disabilities during the legal process. For example, if
an accused, a party in a civil proceeding, a witness or a juror is in a wheelchair and the courtroom
isn’t wheelchair accessible, the courtroom will be made accessible.
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Situations of risk and domestic humanitarian emergencies
283.
The Alberta Fire Code 2006 requires buildings to have Fire Safety Plans that must include
provisions for the emergency evacuation of individuals who require assistance.88
85
www.qp.alberta.ca/574.cfm?page=A25P5.cfm&leg_type=Acts&isbncln=9780779744060
www.municipalaffairs.alberta.ca/cp_building_codes_standards.cfm
87
www.qp.alberta.ca/574.cfm?page=s01.cfm&leg_type=acts&isbncln=9780779723652
88
www.qp.alberta.ca/574.cfm?page=2007_118.cfm&leg_type=Regs&isbncln=9780779739011
86
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Liberty and security of the person
284.
Under the Alberta Guardianship and Trusteeship Act, there are administrative complaint and
investigation processes by an independent body, and court applications, to ensure that adults with
cognitive disabilities are not wrongly institutionalized or confined. 89
285.
Under the Mental Health Act 90, a person may be detained in a designated facility for up to
24 hours for care, observation, examination, assessment, treatment and control if a physician
examines the person and issues an admission certificate based on criteria outlined in the Act. A
second admission certificate issued by another independent physician within this 24 hours allows
the person to be detained for one month. Certificates can be renewed if two physicians assess the
person before the existing certificate expires and determines the criteria are still met. The Act
includes safeguards to protect patient rights including the right to information, confidentiality,
communications, visitors, legal representation, refuse treatment, appeal, and have an advocate.
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
286.
The director and staff of the Alberta Human Rights Commission are responsible for the
resolution of complaints of discrimination (including complaints made on the grounds of physical
disability and mental disability) made to the Commission using the tools provided in the Mental
Health Act: conciliation, investigation, dismissal, and discontinuance.
287.
The province monitors compliance with accommodations and accommodations-related services
standards through the Supportive Living Accommodation Standards, which include a preventionof-abuse standard, and in the case of long-term care facilities, sometimes referred to as nursing
homes or auxiliary hospitals, through the Long-Term Care Accommodation Standards.
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
288.
Alberta ensures equitable access to public information through its Alternative Communications
Policy.91
Respect for privacy
289.
The Health Information Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
provide a legal framework that restricts the collection, use and disclosure of information about
patients, including persons with a cognitive disability who have substitute decision-makers with
the authority to provide consent for disclosures of information on their behalf.92
89
www.qp.alberta.ca/574.cfm?page=A04P2.cfm&leg_type=Acts&isbncln=9780779737468
www.qp.alberta.ca/574.cfm?page=M13.cfm&leg_type=Acts&isbncln=0779748727
91
www.seniors.alberta.ca/premierscouncil/altcomm/AlternativeCommunications.asp
92
www.assembly.ab.ca/HIAReview/Health_Information_Act.pdf and
www.qp.alberta.ca/574.cfm?page=F25.cfm&leg_type=Acts&isbncln=9780779743568
90
46
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Living independently and being included in the community
290.
The Alberta Human Rights Act protects Albertans from discrimination on the grounds of mental
and physical disability in places customarily available to the public. The Act—in addition to a
number of other Alberta programs and services such as the Persons with Development
Disabilities Program, the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped program and the Family
Support for Children with Disabilities program—is intended to support the equal rights and full
inclusion of persons with disabilities to live and participate in the community.
Respect for home and family
291.
Some Alberta family planning/reproductive health support programs and services are specific to
persons with disabilities. For example, an Alberta rehabilitation hospital provides specialized
assessment, consultation or intervention for sexual health needs for people with disabilities. 93
292.
Alberta provides support to parents with severe disabilities to assist in the costs associated with
raising a child.94 For families who have children with disabilities, the province provides funding
to help them access supports and services that promote their child’s development. It also assists
with some of the extraordinary costs associated with raising a child with a disability. 95
Habilitation and rehabilitation
293.
The Government of Alberta provides publicly funded habilitation and rehabilitation programs
and services delivered by Alberta Health Services to all persons with disabilities, based on
clinical evaluation. The province also funds the on-going training and education of
habilitation/rehabilitation program professionals and staff.
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
294.
The Alberta Human Rights Act requires the accommodation of persons with disabilities in areas
protected under the Act (including goods, services, accommodation or facilities customarily
available to the public), to the point of undue hardship.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Education, promotion and awareness-raising
295.
Alberta’s School Act96 provides that a student who is in need of a special education program by
virtue of the student’s behavioural, communicational, intellectual, learning or physical
characteristics, or a combination of those characteristics, is entitled to have access to a special
education program. The School Act also states that before a school board places a student in a
special education program, it shall consult with the parent of the student, and where appropriate,
93
teachingsexualhealth.ca provides resources including Sexuality and Disability: A Guide for Parents, as well as
information and links that supplement understanding and knowledge of healthy sexuality.
94
www.seniors.alberta.ca/aish/programresources.asp
95
www.child.alberta.ca/disabilities
96
www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/s03.pdf
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
consult with the student. In addition, the Government of Alberta provides funding for children
with disabilities before they enter school through its Early Childhood Services program.
296.
The Standards for Special Education97 outlines the specific responsibilities of school boards and
their staff in relation to access to education, health and social services for students with
disabilities.
297.
The Government of Alberta increasingly uses a disability lens to ensure that equity of access and
opportunity exists within the education system. This includes recognition that additional human
and financial resources may be needed to ensure that all children have the opportunity to attend
and participate fully within the school community.
Health
298.
Alberta has a publicly administered and funded health care system that guarantees Albertans
receive universal access to medically necessary hospital and health care services. A range of
health benefits is provided to persons with disabilities.98
299.
Medical training standards and continuing professional development requirements of physicians 99
and other health professionals address the rights of persons with disabilities.
Employment
300.
The Alberta Human Rights Commission offers a range of programs and services, to educate
employers and employees about rights and responsibilities under the Alberta Human Rights
Act.100
301.
Alberta provides employment and training support to persons with severe disabilities who receive
financial assistance and want to become employed.101
Adequate standard of living and social protection
302.
Alberta has a range of supports, services and programs to promote and safeguard an adequate
standard of living for persons with disabilities. One such program is the Disability Related
Employment Supports program which helps Albertans overcome the barriers to employment
created by their disability.
BRITISH COLUMBIA
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
303.
British Columbia (BC) is placing renewed emphasis on “accessibility without compromise”. A
public engagement process has been launched on how to deliver better front line services that
97
education.alberta.ca/department/policy/standards/sestandards.aspx
www.seniors.alberta.ca/AISH/tipsheets/HealthBenefits.pdf and www.seniors.alberta.ca/AADL
99
www.cpsa.ab.ca/Libraries/res/CPSA_Code_of_Conduct_-_Expectations_of_Professionalism.pdf
100
www.albertahumanrights.ab.ca/about/services/education.asp
101
www.seniors.alberta.ca/AISH/tipsheets/HealthBenefits.pdf, www.seniors.alberta.ca/PDD/overview.asp,
www.seniors.alberta.ca/AADL and employment.alberta.ca/FCH/689.html
98
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
address accessibility. For online services, the new gov.bc.ca “front door” to government and the
associated cross-government standards have been developed.
304.
As part of a full range of health assistance and dental coverage, persons who receive disability
assistance are eligible to receive mobility devices, low-cost annual bus passes, and special
transportation subsidies.
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Liberty and security of the person
305.
Provincial policy sets out requirements for health authorities to ensure all clients, and/or their
authorized substitute decision makers, agree to the receipt of community health services and
admission to assisted living or residential care facilities as a condition of eligibility.
306.
BC's Mental Health Act provides guidelines for involuntary admission and treatment in
designated hospitals and mental health facilities. The Act includes safeguards to guarantee the
rights of those admitted under the Act.102
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
307.
BC’s Advocate for Service Quality works on behalf of adults with developmental disabilities to
access supports and services.
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
308.
BC has created a grant program allowing deaf and hard of hearing students to attend specialized
post-secondary institutions where the curriculum is delivered in American Sign Language.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Living independently and being included in the community
309.
The BC Human Rights Code protects persons against discrimination based on mental and
physical disabilities in several areas including employment, accommodation, services or facilities
customarily available to the public, the purchase of property, and tenancy. The Guide Animal Act
specifies that disabled persons accompanied by a guide animal have the same rights as the public
regarding access to public places, transportation, and accommodation.
310.
The Choice in Supports for Independent Living (CSIL) is an alternative for eligible home support
clients and was developed to give those with disabilities and high-intensity care needs more
flexibility in managing home support services. CSIL is a "self-managed model of care" whereby
clients receive the funds and assume full responsibility for their services, including hiring,
training, and supervising support workers.
102
www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_96288_01; A Guide to the Mental Health
Act can be found at: www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2005/MentalHealthGuide.pdf
49
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
311.
BC exempts Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) contributions from calculating income
assistance eligibility. The Endowment 150 initiative offers up to 30,000 eligible low-income
persons with disabilities a $150 gift towards their RDSP.
312.
The Home Adaptations for Independence program was recently launched to help people with
disabilities finance home modifications for accessible, safe and independent living.
313.
BC developed a comprehensive plan to improve the government-wide system of supports for
people with developmental disabilities.103
Respect for home and family
314.
The Government of BC, in the commitment to improve cross government collaboration for youth
with special needs and their families, developed the Cross-Ministry Transition Planning Protocol
for Youth with Special Needs.104 BC continues to collaboratively implement related strategies
through the Children and Youth with Special Needs Framework for Action: Making it Work.105
Habilitation and rehabilitation
315.
Psychosocial rehabilitation includes a range of services to assist persons with severe mental
illness or substance use problems in their recovery to manage their illness and adjust to the
functional deficits in domains of employment, education, leisure, wellness and basic living skills.
Participation in political and public life
316.
The BC Election Act requires voting places to be accessible, and contains absentee voting
provisions for those who cannot attend a voting place due to a disability.
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
317.
“Start with Hi”106, the public awareness initiative of Community Living British Columbia
(CLBC), has proven successful in using various media to encourage ordinary citizens to create
inclusive communities. As well, the government’s Age-friendly BC strategy provides
information, tools, and grants to helps local governments improve accessibility to outdoor spaces
and, public buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, civic participation,
communication and community support and services. Targeted at older adults, these changes help
people of all ages and abilities.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Education, promotion and awareness-raising
318.
The Assistive Technology BC program is delivered through Student Aid BC and provides
technical aids assessments, equipment loans, training and support for individuals with disabilities
attending public or private post-secondary institutions in BC.
103
www.sd.gov.bc.ca/pwd/isst.html
www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/spec_needs/pdf/transition_planning_protocol.pdf
105
www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/spec_needs/pdf/CYSN_FrameWorkForAction_Combo_LR.pdf
106
www.startwithhi.ca
104
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
319.
In June 2011, CLBC launched Icanbesafeonline.com, Canada’s first website dedicated to
educating adults with developmental disabilities and their families on how to use the Internet
safely.
Health
320.
The Planning Guidelines for Mental Health and Addiction Services for Children, Youth, and
Adults with Developmental Disabilities107 are based on the idea that all persons with a
developmental disability and mental health conditions should experience the highest quality of
life possible. Healthy Minds, Healthy People: A Ten-Year Plan to Address Mental Health and
Substance Use108 outlines a plan for a complete care continuum. The document provides
information to the public and healthcare professionals on the direction of services, while guiding
BC on specific programs and targets.
321.
Universal screening is offered to all babies born in BC for early diagnosis of 22 treatable
disorders. The Reproductive Health and Prevention of Disabilities Model Core Program identifies
the core elements that should be provided by BC health authorities to support reproductive health
and the prevention of disabilities.109
322.
The Government of BC, the First Nations Health Authority and Health Canada are implementing
the First Nations Health Plan and the BC Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health
Governance. These agreements focus on governance and health actions to improve the health
status of First Nations people, including: development of a A Path Forward: BC First Nations
and Aboriginal People’s Mental Wellness and Substance Use – 10 Year Plan 110; hearing, dental
and vision screening for Aboriginal children; access to primary care services on/off reserve;
integrated primary health services as well as self-management for Chronic Disease Management;
and an Aboriginal injury prevention strategy.111
323.
The Community Care and Assisted Living Act includes a series of rights for adult persons living
in residential care facilities. These rights are mirrored in the Hospital Act for patients living in
private hospitals or extended care facilities.112
324.
The Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act specifies the treatments and
procedures for which substitute consent may not be received on behalf of an incapable adult
ensuring that the individual’s wishes are respected and their liberty regarding medical decisions
is protected under law.113
Employment
325.
The Equipment and Assistive Technology Initiative provides equipment and assistive technology
and related services, such as assessment, repair and training, to support eligible persons with
disabilities to achieve their employment goals.
107
f
www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2007/MHA_Developmental_Disability_Planning_Guidelines.pd
108
www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2010/healthy_minds_healthy_people.pdf
www.health.gov.bc.ca/public-health/core-programs/health-improvement/reproductive-health
110
www.fnhc.ca/pdf/FNHA_MWSU.pdf
111
www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2007/tripartite_plan.pdf
112
www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_02075_01
113
www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_96181_01
109
51
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
326.
In 2011–2012, the Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility was established as a
consultative forum comprised of citizens with disabilities, businesses, government and NGOs
who advise on solutions to increase employment outcomes for people with disabilities in the
province.114
Adequate standard of living and social protection
327.
Persons with disabilities receive a higher rate of assistance, and are exempt from time limits for
receiving assistance. An earnings exemption of up to $300 per month is given to single income
assistance clients with a child who, due to the nature of the child's disability, are prevented from
leaving home for employment, or are limited to working part-time outside the home. Clients who
are the sole provider of care for a child with a physical or mental condition that precludes the
caregiver from leaving home for employment are exempt from employment obligations.
NUNAVUT
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
328.
The Rick Hanson Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the lives of
persons with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities. It is supported by the Government of
Nunavut through a multi-year contribution agreement. The partnership delivers funding to groups
and individuals who try to improve the lives of persons with disabilities by proposing practical
solutions, such as the purchase of assistive aids, devices and technologies.
Article 13: Access to justice
329.
The Government of Nunavut’s Legal Services Board funds Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik, an
organization that offers legal aid to all eligible citizens of Nunavut, including citizens with
disabilities. Income is one of the factors used to assess eligibility. Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik
provides assistance with both civil and criminal cases and staffs one civil lawyer who deals
specifically with issues surrounding discrimination.
330.
The Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth has provided financial support to the
Canadian Deafness Research and Training Institute in order to further document and promote
Inuit Sign Language, which will ensure access to the justice system for persons with a hearing
disability.
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Situations of risk and domestic humanitarian emergencies
331.
In 2010, the governments of Canada and Ontario and several private organizations jointly
developed the Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities/Special Needs. The
guide recognizes that the impact of disasters and emergencies on persons with disabilities and
special needs is compounded by their reliance on electrical power, accessible transportation and
other factors that may be compromised in an emergency. The guide provides information on
preparing an emergency plan and kit, with special considerations for persons with disabilities.
114
www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/epwd/Index.htm
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Government of Nunavut is translating this document into Inuktituk and Inuinnaqtun, and will
distribute it to community members and residential facilities.
332.
Under the Mental Health Act, a medical practitioner who examines a person and has reasonable
cause to believe that the person is suffering from a mental disorder that will likely result in
serious bodily harm or impairment to that person or to another person may make application for
the person to be involuntarily admitted to hospital. An application is examined by the Minister of
Health who may refuse it, order another assessment or approve the application and issue a
certificate of involuntary admission. Such a certificate authorizes a hospital within the territories
to admit and detain the person who is subject to the certificate and examine, observe or restrain
the person for a period not exceeding two weeks.
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
333.
Nunavut’s Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth has worked in conjunction with
the Canadian Deafness Research and Training Institute of McGill University and the Nunavummi
Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society to document, preserve and promote Inuit Sign Language.
Video and written material, as well as a CD-ROM, have been produced and distributed as
resources to promote the use of this language. Inuit Sign Language is a unique form of
interpersonal communication used by deaf Nunavummiut.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Respect for home and family
334.
Under the Child and Family Services Act, the Department of Health and Social Services provides
services to children who are in need of protection or are eligible for voluntary services, including
children with disabilities. The Act’s definition of a child in need of protection includes a child
whose parent is unable to properly care for the child and a child whose extended family has not
made adequate provisions for the child’s care or custody. A child under the care of the Director
of Child and Family Services may be placed in an approved extended family foster home or a
provisional foster home. A child with significant special needs and who requires care that cannot
be offered in a foster home setting within the community may be placed in a specialized foster
home, residential group home or treatment facility within or outside the territory.
Habilitation and rehabilitation
335.
The rehabilitation services provided by Nunavut’s Department of Health and Social Services
include access to medical professionals like occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and
language pathologists and audiologists, who are able to inform their clients regarding assistive
devices and equipment.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Education, promotion and awareness-raising
336.
Under the Education Act, students who require adjustments to their educational program or extra
support to meet their learning needs are entitled to reasonable and practical adjustments. If the
53
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
needed adjustments are significant, the school will assess the student’s needs and create an
individual support plan that provides the necessary adjustments.
337.
The Government of Nunavut provides annual funding to the Nunavummi Disabilities
Makinnasuaqtiit Society, a not-for-profit organization that raises public awareness of disability
issues. Of significance, the Society has been instrumental in the documentation, preservation and
promotion of Inuit Sign Language.
Employment
338.
The Nunavut Human Rights Act prohibits anyone from refusing to employ or refusing to continue
to employ an individual or class of individuals on the grounds of disability. The same applies to
terms or conditions of employment. The Act also provides for a duty to accommodate persons
with disabilities, providing that the accommodation needs of a person with disabilities, does not
impose undue hardship on another person.
Adequate standard of living and social protection
339.
The Government of Nunavut’s Department of Education administers the Income Support
Program for persons who are unable to obtain employment, including those with disabilities.
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
340.
The Northwest Territories (NWT) Human Rights Act imposes on service providers the duty to
accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities to the point of undue hardship where services
are available to the public. Upon application, health care in the NWT covers the cost of mobility
equipment and assistive devices for seniors and persons with specified conditions, including
many disabilities.
Article 13: Access to justice
341.
Under the Legal Services Act, legal aid is provided to the accused in criminal cases, and to all
who qualify for an eligible civil law matter, regardless of disability.
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Liberty and security of the person
342.
Under the Mental Health Act and the Public Health Act, interference with the rights of the
individual is permitted to protect the public or that individual. These acts provide strict
parameters for when these measures are necessary and how they are to be carried out.
Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
343.
The Aurora Research Institute, established under the NWT’s Scientists Act, reviews all research
applications and grants research licenses to anyone wanting to conduct research in the NWT. The
Stanton Territorial Hospital Ethics Committee reviews research proposals involving research into
human health and advises the Aurora Research Institute as to whether the research should be
granted a license or not.
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
344.
Under the Protection Against Family Violence Act, family violence protection orders are
available to everyone regardless of gender or disability.
Protecting the integrity of the person
345.
Health and Social Services Authorities have policies for obtaining and withdrawing informed
consent for medical treatment that apply equally to everyone regardless of disability.
Articles 18, 21 and 22: Fundamental freedoms and respect for privacy
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
346.
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) works with the Canadian Institute for the
Blind (CNIB) to provide residents without sight or with limited sight with the following services:
counselling/support services, education and coordination, rehabilitation services, assistive
devices and specialized training.
Respect for privacy
347.
The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act provides for the protection of personal
information collected, used or disclosed by all NWT public bodies subject to the Act. Personal
information is defined under the Act to include health and rehabilitation information. A number
of public bodies have voluntarily implemented the use of privacy impact assessments to
determine whether new technologies, information systems and initiatives, or proposed programs
and policies meet basic privacy requirements.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Living independently and being included in the community
348.
Section 7 of the Residential Tenancies Act confirms that the Human Rights Act applies to housing
tenancies.
Respect for home and family
349.
Persons with disabilities may be married in the same manner as everyone else under the
Marriage Act, as long as the person is capable of giving consent.
350.
Programs and services exist for families needing support. The Child and Family Services Act, for
example, authorizes the making of Voluntary Services Agreements with parents to provide
services or to assist a family in providing services to care for a child, such as in-home support
and respite care.
351.
The principles under the Child and Family Services Act recognize that a child’s extended family
and community can often provide important support. Any type of placement takes the best
interests of the child under consideration.
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Habilitation and rehabilitation
352.
Rehabilitation Services in the NWT coordinates specialized care with regional therapists
including links with non-governmental organizations (e.g., the CNIB, the Hard of Hearing
Association, and the NWT Disabilities Council).
353.
Supportive Living is a housing service where adults with a physical and/or mental disability live
in small groups under the supervision of paid staff while maintaining as much independence as
possible. Depending on their needs, residents may receive assistance with: safety and security;
personal care; life skills; medication monitoring; employment; respite; and service coordination.
In the NWT, persons requiring 24-hour support and supervision may qualify for Supportive
Living. Adults who are able to live independently may be eligible for home support services.
Participation in political and public life
354.
On elections day, all polling stations must be accessible, temporary ramps must be provided
where required, and a helper may assist a person with disabilities to cast their vote. If a person
with disabilities is unable to attend at the polling station, a mobile polling station may be sent to
that person’s place of residence to enable them to vote.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Education, promotion and awareness-raising
355.
The 2004 NWT Disability Framework sets out the vision for full inclusion of people with
disabilities in all levels of education and training. Education and promotion of sign language is
provided by the CNIB.
Employment
356.
The Human Rights Act prevents discrimination in employment based on disability, and provides
that employers must accommodate to the point of undue hardship. The Workers’ Compensation
Act provides for compensation of employees whose disability was obtained while working.
357.
In keeping with 20/20: A Brilliant North, the NWT Public Service Strategic Plan, the GNWT
encourages managers and employees to participate in training regarding disabilities awareness.
The territory’s employment policies support the hiring and promotion of persons with disabilities
within the public service.
Adequate standard of living and social protection
358.
Income Assistance is available to persons with disabilities to ensure that they have access to
adequate food, clothing and housing for themselves and their families.
YUKON
Articles 9 and 20: Accessibility and mobility
359.
The Yukon’s Human Rights Act requires “reasonable accommodation” for persons with
disabilities in the areas of employment, housing, public facilities and services, membership in and
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
representation by unions and trade, occupational and professional associations, and publically
tendered contracts.
360.
Case managers in the Government of Yukon’s Services to Persons with Disabilities Branch
arrange plans and perform assessments for those with disabilities and offer supports, referrals and
solutions to reduce barriers and increase mobility.
Article 13: Access to justice
361.
All parts of the courthouse, including the prisoner and jury boxes, are accessible by wheelchair.
The building has a vehicle access ramp and elevators. Arrangements are made for American Sign
Language interpreters for deaf witnesses or accused, at no charge.
362.
The Yukon Legal Services Society recognizes that persons with disabilities have different needs
than those without disabilities and attempts to accommodate these needs. The Yukon’s Legal
Services Society Act allows the Society to provide eligible Yukoners with legal aid services in
certain types of criminal, civil and family court proceedings.
363.
Under the Yukon Human Rights Act, the tribunal that holds hearings into human rights
complaints has powers to order remedies to stop or eliminate discrimination.
Articles 10, 11 and 14-17: Protection of the person
Situations of risk and domestic humanitarian emergencies
364.
All facilities operated by the territory’s Health and Social Services department have emergency
procedures and protocols to ensure that the needs of persons with disabilities are included in
emergency plans.
Liberty and security of the person
365.
The Yukon Adult Protection and Decision-Making Act provides tools to assist adults (19 and
older) who have a diminished ability to make their own decisions.
366.
The Yukon Review Board obtains its legal authority from the Criminal Code of Canada, which
provides for reasonable accommodation and procedural guarantees for persons with disabilities
who are deprived of their liberty following a criminal case.
367.
Under Section 8(1) of the Mental Health Act, a person taken into custody by a peace officer will
immediately be taken to a physician or a health facility if, on reasonable grounds, due to a mental
disorder, that person is threatening or attempting to cause bodily harm to themselves or another
person.
Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
368.
Under Section 13 of the Care Consent Regulations, a substitute decision-maker does not have
authority to give substitute consent to participation by a person in a healthcare or medical
research program that has not been approved by a recognized ethics committee.
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse
369.
Part 4 of the Adult Protection and Decision Making Act sets out the authority of a designated
agency to respond to reports and offer support in situations where an adult may be abused or
neglected.
Protecting the integrity of the person
370.
The Care Consent Act and regulations limit the scope of authority of a substitute decision-maker
over the choice of procedures concerning a person's medical condition, including pregnancy,
where the person is incapable of giving or refusing her own consent.
Articles 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30: Social inclusion and independent living
Living independently and being included in the community
371.
Yukon’s Human Rights Act provides as follows: “Every person has a responsibility to make
reasonable provisions in connection with employment, accommodations, and services for the
special needs of others if those special needs arise from physical disability.”
372.
The Government of Yukon’s Services to Persons with Disabilities Branch provides Supported
Independent Living workers to work with those that have disabilities (and their families) and
need varying levels of support.
Respect for home and family
373.
The guiding principles of the Child and Family Services Act affirm that the best interest of the
child shall be given paramount consideration in making decisions or taking any action under the
Act.
Habilitation and rehabilitation
374.
Stepping into Kindergarten is a territorial program that allows schools to promptly identify
students that require additional support. An early literacy intervention for 6- and 7-year-olds
facilitates identification of any learning disabilities, so that students can be helped as soon as
possible.
375.
The Department of Education is increasingly using laptops and other handheld devices to assist
children with communication deficits. It also provides an FM sound system in schools.
376.
The Services to Persons with Disabilities Unit provides supports for employment, education, peer
support and rehabilitation programs.
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
377.
The Government of Yukon funds sporting programs to provide equal access for persons with
physical or intellectual disabilities. Some of the barriers to access are removed by providing
funding for equipment and providing programs with qualified/trained instructors and leaders.
58
First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
378.
The Education Department provides Handy Bus service for any special needs students who are
unable to use the regular school bus. Peers may join the special needs student on the Handy Bus
during school field trips to avoid socially isolating the student.
Articles 8, 24, 25, 27 and 28: Socio-economic participation
Education, promotion and awareness-raising
379.
The Government of Yukon’s Child Development Centre offers sign language training to parents
of clients attending the Centre. Within the Department of Education’s Special Programs area, a
consultant Teacher for the Deaf teaches sign language to all children with a hearing disability in
the school and supports training for staff as needed.
380.
Under Section 15(1) of the Education Act, students who, because of intellectual, communicative,
behavioural, physical, or multiple exceptionalities, are in need of special education programs are
entitled to receive an Individualized Education Plan.
381.
In December 2011, the Yukon Human Rights Commission highlighted the International Day for
People with Disabilities and the Convention in partnership with support groups for persons with
disabilities.
Health
382.
The Yukon Health Care Insurance Plan provides coverage for medically required hospital and
medical services, and certain dental-surgical procedures. It becomes effective after three months’
residency in Yukon, and there is no premium to pay.
Employment
383.
The territorial government’s Employment Equity Policy establishes an organizational
commitment to building and maintaining a public service that is representative of the Yukon
population. Persons with disabilities are a designated group under the policy which is supported
by Employment Equity Staffing Guidelines. The Workplace Diversity Employment Office
provides a range of programming and support services to reduce employment barriers for persons
with disabilities in the Yukon public service.
384.
The Government of Yukon has an Employment and Training Services Program (job coaching,
subsidies, etc.) that works with persons with disabilities and their employers.
385.
The Department of Education has a wage subsidy budget which is used to partially reimburse
employers in order to leverage the hiring of employees who may otherwise not be hired,
including those who have disabilities.
386.
In Labour Market Development programs, the government directly funds several non-profit
groups to act as case management organizations and facilitate access to available programming
for persons with disabilities.
Adequate standard of living and social protection
387.
The Social Assistance Act provides social protection to ensure that basic needs such as food,
clothing, incidentals, and housing expenses are met. The Act has provisions for additional related
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
expenses for persons with disabilities and provides a Yukon Supplementary Allowance. Within
Social Assistance there are special supports in Employment and Training Services, Residential
Services and Respite Care for those who have disabilities.
388.
Yukon Housing Corporation's social housing program is for individuals "in need" who cannot
secure affordable, adequate and suitable housing on the private housing market.
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First Report of Canada on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Annex I
OFFICES RESPONSIBLE FOR DISABILITY ISSUES
Jurisdiction
Responsible Office
Newfoundland and
Labrador
The Disability Policy Office, within the Department of
Advanced Education and Skills
Prince Edward Island
The Ministry of Community Services and Seniors
Nova Scotia
Joint responsibility of the departments of Community
Services; Health and Wellness; Education; Justice; Labour
and Advanced Education; and the Disabled Persons
Commission
New Brunswick
The Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with
Disabilities
Québec
The Office des personnes handicapées du Québec
Ontario
The Ministry of Community and Social Services
Manitoba
The Disabilities Issues Office, reporting to the Minister of
Family Services and Labour
Saskatchewan
The Office of Disability Issues, within the Ministry of Social
Services
Alberta
The Ministry of Human Services
British Columbia
The Ministry of Social Development
Nunavut
The Senior Advisor on Disability Issues, within the Social
Advocacy Office, Department of Executive and
Intergovernmental Affairs
Northwest Territories
The Department of Health and Social Services
Yukon
The Department of Health and Social Services
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