Meeting with Minister Qualtrough

As the NDP's critic for Persons with Disabilities, I was delighted to meet with Minister of Persons with Disabilities Carla Qualtrough last week. We were both in agreement on how to approach our respective files--that the persons with disabilities portfolio is not and cannot be a distinct policy silo set apart from other areas of policy, but that every aspect of everything we do should be viewed through the disability lens.

I was also able o reiterate my stong feelings on how any discussion of a Canadians with Disabilities Act should go hand in hand with our country’s commitments to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Finally, we discussed the significance to the NDP of the Concluding Observations of the 6th Periodic Report by the Expert Committee for the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


The Committee has called upon Canada to increase access to social assistance and employment opportunities for women with disabilities. It also expressed concern about the disproportionate level of unemployment and poverty faced by people with disabilities


The committee likewise recommended that a disability perspective be integrated into all housing plans and policies at all levels and that Canada increase the availability of social housing units for people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities.


Lastly, in keeping with a motion I recently tabled in the House, the committee recommended that Canada ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.