Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 19, 2009 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports New Facility for Children With Disabilities in Fort St. John

FORT ST. JOHN, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2009) - The Honourable Jay Hill, Government House Leader, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced Government of Canada support through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) to the Child Development Centre.

"Our government is committed to supporting people with disabilities and their families," said Minister Hill. "Through this investment, the Child Development Centre will provide an environment where children with disabilities can learn new skills and develop their independence."

The EAF contribution of $47,200 will help build the Life Skills Centre, which will accommodate many children and youth aged 6 to 19. The Life Skills Centre will provide after school programming, a "Saturday Club" and peer mentoring opportunities for local children with disabilities.

"The Life Skills Centre project is a much-needed enhancement to the current services and programs offered by the Child Development Centre. It will provide an opportunity to increase service access for youth with special needs through mentoring and life skills programs," said Ms. Penny Gagnon, Executive Director of the Child Development Centre. "Once completed, the Life Skills Centre will allow youth to develop daily living activity skills, and will host peer mentoring programs."

The EAF is part of a $45-million, three-year commitment to expand opportunities for people with disabilities and improve accessibility across Canada. The goal of the EAF is to promote vibrant communities that benefit from the participation of people with varying abilities in everyday life activities.

The program supports community-based projects that improve accessibility, reduce barriers and enable Canadians, regardless of physical ability, to participate in and contribute to their communities and the economy.

Organizations can receive a grant of up to $50,000 for projects to renovate buildings within Canada; to enhance existing transportation through the modification of an existing vehicle; and/or to modify or enhance media and/or hardware in order to increase accessibility to information and communication. All projects must be accessible to the public.

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

- $1 billion over the next two years for renovation and energy retrofits of social housing, including renovations that support people with disabilities;

- $75 million over two years for the construction of new social housing units for people with disabilities, which will be cost-shared with the provinces and territories;

- $20 million in each of two years to improve the accessibility of federally owned buildings for people with disabilities; and

- A number of tax relief measures proposed in the Budget contain enhancements to recognize special circumstances resulting from a disability or medical condition.

To apply for funding or for further information about the EAF program, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca, or call 1-866-268-2502.



BACKGROUNDER


Budget 2007 announced the creation of an Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF), with $45 million over three years to contribute to projects that improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

The objective of the EAF is to support community-based projects across Canada that improve accessibility, reduce barriers and enable Canadians, regardless of physical ability, to participate in and contribute to their communities and the economy.

This fund provides grants of up to $50,000 to help cover the capital costs of renovating buildings within Canada to improve physical accessibility; to enhance existing transportation through the modification of an existing vehicle that improves physical accessibility; and to modify or enhance media and/or hardware in order to increase accessibility to information and communication. Approved projects will have strong ties to and support from the communities they serve.

The first call for proposals closed on April 30, 2008, and 817 applications were received, including 729 applications for small projects and 88 for major projects. A total of 168 projects have been recommended for approval, providing they meet all terms and conditions.

Organizations that did not qualify under the first call for proposals are invited to submit another proposal under the $5.7 million small projects second call for proposals, which will open soon.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482