Melanie Benard, co-founder of Québec Accessible, recently appeared on the tv show Ça me regarde on AMI-télé (in French). She spoke about the need to adopt a new provincial accessibility law. Her interview appears about 27 minutes into a special edition of the show focused on the provincial elections.
The provincial elections are fast approaching! Last month, Quebec Accessible wrote to the leaders of all four political parties asking them to commit to adopting a strong accessibility law based on our twelve principles. So far, we’ve only received responses from two parties: Québec solidaire and the Liberal party. Québec solidaire committed to adopting a strong new law with timelines and penalties for non-compliance. The Liberal party refused to commit to do so. The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and the Parti Québécois did not take the time to respond to our request.
Quebec Accessible recently published letters in Ricochet and the Huffington Post (in French) denouncing the lack of attention paid to this issue in the political campaign. Our letters were signed by over sixty people with disabilities and allies.
On October 1st, let’s show politicians that we are mobilized! Make your vote count! If you face barriers in the voting process, feel free to share your experiences in the Facebook group Vote accessible – Élections 2018 – Québec.
Together, we can create a more accessible and inclusive Quebec!
Quebec Accessible attended the political candidates’ debate on disability issues on Monday night. We were pleased to see such a great turnout from the disability community! The room was packed. This shows that we’re politicized and that we’re an important constituency in this election.
Candidates from all four major parties answered questions on issues ranging from health care and employment to transportation and the built environment. Some candidates were clearly more prepared than others. They all mostly stuck to their parties’ platforms, not making many new commitments.
Candidates were specifically asked if and when their party will adopt a new accessibility law. We were thrilled that the Parti québécois committed to working on a new accessibility law! (We’re working on getting that commitment in writing.) Québec solidaire also reaffirmed its commitment to adopt a new law. The liberal party refused to make this commitment and the Coalition Avenir Québec did not answer the question.
A video of the debate is available online (in French). You can also listen to Melanie Benard, co-founder of Quebec Accessible, give her impressions of the debate in an interview for CKUT radio (in English). Next week, she will be appearing on the show Accès libre on Canal M to discuss the debate.
Quebec Accessible hopes all people with disabilities and their allies will consider parties’ approaches to accessibility when they head to the ballot box on October 1st. Let’s elect candidates who will proactively work to make our province more inclusive for everyone!