Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

July 30, 2012 10:00 ET

Government of Canada Initiatives Help Canadians With Disabilities Find Jobs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 30, 2012) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced the creation of the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. As outlined in Economic Action Plan 2012, the Panel's mandate is to identify private sector successes and best practices with regard to the labour market participation of persons with disabilities. As well, the Panel will identify barriers and disincentives to their employment.

"Our Government is committed to working with our partners to remove barriers and improving the quality of life for all Canadians," said Minister Finley. "We believe everyone wins when we create inclusive and accommodating workplaces for all employees, including people with disabilities."

"Any vision of future growth and prosperity for Canada depends on getting more people into the labour force, including Canadians with disabilities," said Minister Flaherty. "Many businesses have already adopted innovative approaches to the employment of people with disabilities that are both effective and affordable, and it's important to build on this expertise and experience."

Minister Finley announced that Mr. Kenneth J. Fredeen, General Counsel with Deloitte & Touche LLP, will serve as Chair of the Panel. The Panel will include the following members: Dr. Gary Birch, Executive Director of the Neil Squire Society; Ms. Kathy Martin, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, with Loblaw Companies; and Mr. Mark Wafer, owner of Megleen Inc., which operates several Tim Hortons franchises. Panel members have already begun to meet.

The Panel will prepare a report on its findings by December 2012.

For more information on the Panel, visit http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/consultations/index.shtml. If you have any questions, please contact us at panel@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca and 1 800 O Canada (1-800-622-6232).

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

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Backgrounder

Panel on Labour Market Participation for Persons with Disabilities

The Government of Canada announced the creation of a Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities as part of Economic Action Plan 2012. The Panel will identify private sector successes and best practices with regard to the labour market participation of persons with disabilities, as well as barriers and disincentives to the employment of persons with disabilities. The Panel will submit its report to the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development by the end of 2012.

BIOGRAPHIES

Panel on Labour Market Participation for Persons with Disabilities

Mr. Kenneth J. Fredeen, Chair

Mr. Fredeen is General Counsel, Secretary to the Board, and member of the Executive of Deloitte & Touche LLP. Mr. Fredeen is responsible for Deloitte's corporate responsibility mandate and chairs the Firm's Diversity Council. He and his legal department are acknowledged this year for their work with the Canadian General Counsel Award for social responsibility.

Dr. Gary Birch

Dr. Birch is the Executive Director of the Neil Squire Society, an organization that develops programs, services and assistive technology for people with physical disabilities. Dr. Birch, who has a mobility disability, is a leading specialist on employment and adaptive technology for people with disabilities.

Ms. Kathy Martin

Ms. Martin is Senior Vice-President Human Resources with Loblaw Companies. She is responsible for all national human resources strategies and programs including recruitment, graduate program, talent management, succession planning, training, leadership and executive management and inclusion and change management at Loblaw Companies.

Mr. Mark Wafer

Mr. Wafer is the owner of seven Tim Horton's franchises in Scarborough, Ontario. Over the past 16 years, he has hired more than 70 persons with disabilities in positions ranging from customer service to management. Mr. Wafer has won a number of awards as a model employer of persons with disabilities. He is Champion for Central Ontario of Rotary at Work.

This backgrounder is available in alternative formats on request.

Contact Information

  • Marian Ngo
    Office of Minister Finley
    819-994-2482

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    819-994-5559