Proposed Accessibility in Transportation Act would require the Canadian Transportation Agency to report on the accessibility of all modes of transportation under federal authority
Ottawa (7 June 2010) – A proposal to improve accessibility, so people of all levels of physical ability can travel with more dignity was the winning entry in Winnipeg’s ‘Create your Canada’ contest hosted by New Democrat Member of Parliament Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre). The bill’s author, Winnipeg High School student Samuel Unrau joined Martin in Ottawa last week to watch his bill be presented in the Parliament.
The ‘Create your Canada’ contest was initiated last year by NDP MP Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) and has spread across the country as members of the NDP caucus have built on its success.
“I think this is a great way to engage students and de-mystify lawmaking,” said Martin. “It’s a really fun introduction to the legislative and democratic process.”
Mr. Unrau, who uses a wheelchair for mobility, won the contest with his proposal for a Private Member’s Bill titled: An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act (accessibility in transportation). The bill would require the Minister of Transport to direct the Canadian Transportation Agency to report on the accessibility of all modes of transportation under federal authority in order to remove undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities. The bill is being introduced in conjunction with Manitoba’s Access Awareness Week (May 30 – June 5) and will highlight some of the outstanding issues in Canada’s federal transportation sector.
Terry Green, a national council member of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and Chairperson of Citizens with Disabilities Ontario, joined Martin and Unrau on Parliament Hill today. Green, who is a lawyer in private practice in Ottawa and uses a guide dog to assist him in getting around, spoke about the benefits of this bill.
“I’m proud of all the participants and our winner Sam. I enjoyed the opportunity to engage with students,” said Martin. “It’s always good to ask young people what their concerns and priorities are. There are a lot of people in the House who could learn a thing or two.”
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