Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario

Statement on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Published on December 3, 2020

QUEEN’S PARK — Joel Harden, Ontario NDP critic for Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities, and Lisa Gretzky, Ontario NDP critic for Community and Social Services, released the following statement on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities:
“On the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, we honour the work of the disability rights movement whose determined organizing has secured greater rights and recognition for people with disabilities in Ontario and around the world.

This pandemic has exposed how far short our society falls when it comes to ensuring that every person with a disability has the support they need.

In so many different areas, and despite repeated calls by disability rights leaders, the Ford government has failed people with disabilities during COVID-19. Whether it’s a lack of resources or clear e-learning guidelines for 330,000 special education students, an inability to make in-home testing widely available or clawing back the CERB from Ontario Disability Support Program recipients, the needs of people with disabilities have been neglected throughout this pandemic.

New Democrats have repeatedly called for critical increases to social assistance programs, developmental services, and affordable, supportive housing, to ensure that no one with a disability lives in poverty or goes without the services and supports they need to have a high quality of life.
Ontario’s New Democrats believe disability rights are human rights. Together with the disability rights movement, we will keep advocating for a society without barriers – in health care, education, public spaces, transportation, the workplace and at home. Today and every day, we will continue to fight for a province where people with disabilities are free to live their fullest lives.”