Government of Canada

04/25/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/25/2019 11:06

Government of Canada announces funding for projects that improve accessibility for persons with disabilities

April 25, 2019 Regina, Saskatchewan Employment and Social Development Canada

Ensuring Canadians of all abilities have safer, easier access to our public spaces and workplaces.

Today, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, announced financial support of more than $11 million over two years through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) mid-sized projects component to 14 organizations across Canada. The announcement took place at the University of Regina, with the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Member of Parliament for the Regina-Wascana constituency, in attendance.

The University of Regina is one of the organizations to receive support this year through the EAF mid-sized project component. With $1 million in support over the next two years, the University plans to renovate and improve the accessibility of its Darke Hall building in all areas, including the stage, washrooms, theatre, balcony, lobby, and back of house.

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. Under the 2018 funding process, the EAF mid-sized projects component provided grant funding of up to $1 million per project to support construction, renovation or retrofit of facilities or venues that offer programs and services geared towards addressing the social and/or labour market integration needs of persons with disabilities.

While in Saskatchewan, Minister Qualtrough also participated in the third meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for persons with disabilities, that took place on Wednesday, April 24 in Saskatoon. At the meeting, the Minister discussed opportunities for collaboration on disability supports with her provincial and territorial counterparts, shared highlights of Government of Canada's initiatives on accessibility, and provided a status update on Bill C-81, the proposed Accessible Canada Act.

Bill C-81, currently making its way through the Senate, is another concrete step the Government of Canada is taking to break down barriers to accessibility. This proposed piece of legislation is meant to promote broad organizational and cultural change, while proactively identifying, removing and preventing barriers toward the realization of a truly accessible Canada.