Originally published: April 6, 2016
A grassroots movement of organizations and individuals representing British Columbia's residents with disabilities officially launched a province-wide campaign on the steps of the Legislature today. Barrier-Free BC called on the provincial government to 'Just Say Yes' and enact a British Columbians with Disabilities Act.
More than 600,000 people in BC have some form of disability – and that number is expected to rise dramatically over the next 15 to 20 years as the population ages.
"BC is woefully behind in honouring its commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities," said Barrier-Free BC spokesperson, Rob Sleath. "Ontario and Manitoba have already passed legislation, and Nova Scotia will enact its bill later this year. It's time for this government to commit to passing strong and effective legislation that will enable people with disabilities to live to their full potential," Sleath continued.
Introducing formal legislation would secure the rights for persons with disabilities around issues of accessibility, inclusion and equal opportunity.
"We strongly urge all parties to support the enactment of legislation to make accessibility a priority for BC residents with disabilities – to build a stronger, equal British Columbia for all," said Sleath.