Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

June 03, 2009 12:30 ET

Minister Finley Marks National Access Awareness Week

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 3, 2009) - On the occasion of National Access Awareness Week, the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, reminded Canadians of the importance of increasing access to all elements of society for people with disabilities.

National Access Awareness Week, May 31 to June 6, challenges Canadians to form partnerships in their communities to work towards equal access and full participation for people with disabilities.

"Our government supports these goals and that is why we have taken significant steps to help Canadians with disabilities," said Minister Finley. "National Access Awareness Week is a time to reflect on the importance of providing all Canadians with opportunities to reach their full potential."

Canada's Economic Action Plan and other recent federal initiatives are addressing the needs of people with disabilities and their families through important measures that include:

- providing $1 billion for social housing energy retrofits and renovations that increase accessibility, including renovations that support people with disabilities;

- investing $400 million over two years in the construction of new social housing for seniors, including seniors with disabilities;

- investing an additional $75 million over two years in the construction of new social housing units specifically for people with disabilities;

- investing $20 million per year for two years to improve the accessibility of federally owned buildings;

- increasing the maximum amount of the Working Income Tax Benefit, including the supplement for people with disabilities;

- extending the Home Buyers' Plan and the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit to people with disabilities who are not first-time home buyers but are buying a more accessible or functional home;

- beginning in fall 2009, increasing access to post-secondary education for students with permanent disabilities, including a new Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability;

- creating an Enabling Accessibility Fund to support community-based construction and renovation projects across Canada that improve physical accessibility for people with disabilities; and

- creating the Registered Disability Savings Plan and matching grant and income-tested bond, as a way to help eligible individuals with disabilities, parents and others save for long-term financial security.

"These investments help people with disabilities lead active lives and make contributions to society," continued Minister Finley. "I encourage Canadians to learn more about the Government's commitment to helping people with disabilities by visiting Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's Web site."

The concept of National Access Awareness Week was originally developed by Mr. Rick Hansen after his Man In Motion World Tour. The idea is to bring together, in a spirit of partnership, voluntary organizations with business, labour and governments to affect meaningful changes in the daily lives of people with disabilities.

To learn more about the Government of Canada's programs and services for people with disabilities, visit

Further information about Canada's Economic Action Plan can be found on the following Web site:

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations