People with disabilities focus of Manitoba conference

Provincial, territorial ministers gather to discuss ways to remove roadblocks

People with disabilities are in the spotlight in Manitoba this week during a two-day conference of provincial and territorial ministers.

Ministers responsible for people with disabilities and human rights are meeting in Winnipeg on March 14 and 15, said Manitoba’s Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard, who is responsible for people with disabilities and status of women.

"People with disabilities have the same rights as every other Canadian but they face greater challenges accessing the services and facilities that most of us take for granted," Howard said. "It's our job as ministers to help remove the roadblocks and ensure that people with disabilities have every opportunity to reach their full potential."

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in December 2006. Canada ratified the convention on March 11, 2010.

The convention guarantees that people with disabilities have the same basic human rights as other people in international law including the right to life, the right to education and the right to freedom from torture or unlawful confinement.

The World Health Organization estimates there are 650 million people with disabilities across the world, while in Canada there are more than four million people with disabilities, or 14.3 per cent of the population.

Latest stories