Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, along with Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility and Member of Parliament for Gatineau, announced Government of Canada support for organizations working to improve accessibility and inclusion for persons with disabilities across Canada.
While visiting the Résidences de la Gappe in Gatineau, Minister Qualtrough and Steven MacKinnon announced that the organization is receiving $65,000 in funding under 2018 – 2019 small projects component of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF), to help create a new multi-sensory therapeutic room for people with dementia. The room will offer a safe environment with gentle stimulation to help reduce tension and promote overall well-being for residents.
Minister Qualtrough also announced that over $5.8 million is being provided under the 2019 – 2020 small projects component of the EAF, to accessibility projects being led by 140 organizations and municipalities across Canada. In Quebec, approximately $535,800 of this funding will support 20 accessibility projects in communities across the province, focused on the installation of automated doors, elevators and ramps to improve physical accessibility and safety for persons with disabilities. Other projects will make public spaces accessible by lowering counters and providing accessible pathways to promote mobility and inclusion.
The EAF is a federal grants and contributions program that supports community-based projects across Canada aimed at improving accessibility and safety in public spaces and workplaces. The EAF small projects component provides grant funding to support the construction, renovation or retrofit of facilities or venues, creating more opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in community activities, programs and services, or access employment opportunities.
By supporting projects and organizations across Canada, the Government of Canada is breaking down barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from participating in all aspects of Canadian society, giving everyone the same chances and opportunities to experience full and enriching lives.
In her remarks, the Minister highlighted that on July 11, 2019, the Accessible Canada Act, came into force. This new legislation will allow Canada to move from a system where persons with disabilities have to fight every day for basic access on an individual basis, to a new model that proactively addresses barriers to accessibility and the structures that perpetuate these barriers.
“Programs such as the Enabling Accessibility Fund exist to ensure all of us can benefit from an accessible and barrier free society. Through this funding and partnerships with organizations like Résidences de la Gappe we are building a more inclusive and accessible Canada.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
“Today’s announcement is another example of what our Government is doing to help Canadians with disabilities gain access and contribute to their workplaces and communities. This funding will have a tremendous impact on persons with disabilities in Gatineau. I want to thank all participating organizations for applying for funding that will help to make our public spaces and workplaces more inclusive for all Canadians.”
-Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility and Member of Parliament for Gatineau
“All Seniors Care is appreciative and very excited to be chosen as the recipient of this new grant. This EAF grant enables us to install multi-experience sensory rooms in every one of our All Seniors Care residences. The residents and seniors in the community will enjoy these rooms for years to come.”
– Hannah Silver, Vice President of Health and Wellness, All Seniors Care
Budget 2017 provided $77 million over 10 years, starting in 2018-19, to expand the activities of the EAF, allowing the program to support even more small and mid-sized projects and to launch the new Youth Innovation Component, so that Canadians of all abilities have better access to their community spaces and workplaces.
The EAF received additional funding as part of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. Through this plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.