Statement by Mike Sullivan, MP York South-Weston and NDP Deputy Critic for Disabilities for the Toronto Disability Pride March on Saturday October 29, 2011
Unfortunately I cannot be with you today, but I do want to share with you, on behalf of the NDP Caucus in Ottawa, some thoughts on this important occasion.
We like to pride ourselves in this country in thinking that we as a society do a good job looking after our vulnerable populations, but the reality is that we can do much better.
Too often, when governments are looking at budget cuts, the impact of these cuts on people with disabilities is over-looked. People with disabilities are twice as vulnerable, for they often carry the disadvantage of poverty as well as disability.
That is why cuts to public services hurt people with disabilities most. That is why making equitable treatment of persons with disabilities mainstream, not the exception, and an expected component of public services, not an afterthought, is so important.
At least, it is to the NDP. That is why we want to see governments at all levels pay more than lip service to the U.N. Convention on Disability, which Canada has signed. We in the NDP want to see tangible results where people with disabilities are given the recognition of their needs as they well deserve.
This is a Disability Pride March – be proud, and be loud, and know that we in the NDP are with you.
M.P. York South-Weston & NDP Disabilities Deputy Critic