Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

April 24, 2008 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps Canadians With Disabilities Find Meaningful Employment

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 24, 2008) - Mr. James Moore, Member of Parliament (MP) for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, is pleased to announce that the Government of Canada is investing in two national projects led by the Neil Squire Society and the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work that will help over 640 Canadians with disabilities in finding meaningful employment or in becoming self-employed.

The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work receives a contribution of $822,629 to deliver the Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program, which will benefit 430 people with disabilities across the country. The Neil Squire Society will receive up to $1,339,369 to deliver Employ-Ability, a project that will help up to 214 people with major physical disabilities who require specific adaptations to take part in an employment assistance program.

"The Government of Canada is proud to provide this funding, which will help 640 people in Burnaby and across Canada," said MP Moore. "Our government is ensuring that Canadians with disabilities have access to the training they need to find and keep quality jobs."

The Government of Canada supports these projects through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. The Fund supports a wide range of employment activities for unemployed people with disabilities who normally are not eligible for Employment Insurance benefits under the Employment Insurance Act.

"We are extremely pleased to offer our Employ-Ability program for another year," said Mr. Gary Birch, Executive Director of the Neil Squire Society. "Thanks to the Opportunities Fund, we are able to give a chance to our participants who want to work, but need specific technical and ergonomic adaptations, specialized employment counselling and guidance or training opportunities. Our participants enhance their quality of life and become active participants in the labour market."

"Our program provides people with disabilities with a one-stop employment service to help them to obtain meaningful and equitable employment," said Mr. Greg Travers, Employment Coordinator for the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work's Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program. "We provide them with job preparation and training, accommodation assistance, support and follow up after a placement, and we match participants with potential employers. More importantly, we help them gain the confidence they need to go to work."

With an annual budget of $30 million, the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities helps Canadians with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and retain employment or self-employment, thereby improving their economic status.

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities works in partnership with organizations, including the private sector, to support an array of activities such as increasing employment skills, providing work experience and preparing for self-employment.

In Budget 2008, the Government of Canada announced plans to make the costs of training that helps people cope with disabilities or disorders, exempt from the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST). The Government also plans to expand the list of GST/HST-free medical and assistive devices to include service dogs. These commitments expand on the 2007 budget announcement to implement the Registered Savings Plan, which will help individuals save money to care for children with severe disabilities, and to introduce the $45-million Enabling Accessibility Fund, which will improve physical accessibility for people with disabilities.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Minister Solberg's Office
    Pema Lhalungpa
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office