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Federal Election 2011 - CACL Analysis of Party Platforms

Summary: 
Canadians will be going to the polls on May 2, 2011. This is a national election but it plays out in provinces, communities and neighbourhoods. Across B.C. and Canada, individuals and groups are working together to make disability an election issue.
Quick Links

Our national federation, the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) provides resources during the election, which BCACL will help distribute as they become available. CACL updates their website with new resources as the election progresses: www.cacl.ca

Analysis of Party Platforms

The Canadian Association for Community Living has written an analysis of the platforms of the major political parties. Visit the CACL website (www.cacl.ca) for background information.

Introduction

For the 2011 Federal Election, CACL identified poverty, employment and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as priorities (see background). Using those priorities as a lens, CACL has developed the following analysis of the 2011 Election Platforms.

Bloc Québécois

The 2011 election platform for the Bloc Québécois does not specifically address any of CACL’s 2011 election priorities for people with disabilities and their families.

Conservative Party of Canada

The 2011 election platform for the Conservative Party of Canada includes references to actions previously taken by the Conservative Government – establishment of the RDSP and the Canada Student Grants Program for students with permanent disability. However, the platform makes no new commitments to people with disabilities and their families.

Overall, the 2011 election platform does not address the key priorities identified by CACL.

Green Party of Canada

Despite a comprehensive policy commitment to people with disabilities in Vision Green, the April 2011 policy document produced by the Green Party of Canada, the 2011 election platform for the Green Party of Canada makes no specific commitments to people with disabilities and their families.

Liberal Party of Canada

The 2011 election platform of the Liberal Party of Canada makes a number of commitments to people with disabilities and their families. These commitments speak to the priorities identified by CACL and beyond.

In particular, the Liberal Party platform commits to:

• Ensuring that those collecting long-term disability benefits are given greater protection in the event that the company providing the benefit goes bankrupt.

• Introducing measures, including possible legislative change, to prevent genetic discrimination.

• Developing a new Affordable Housing Framework that will promote progress on the particular needs of people with disabilities.

• Working with the provinces, territories, disabled Canadians and their organizations to develop an action plan for implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, monitoring and reporting to the public on progress.

• Taking steps to remove barriers such as poverty, employment and lack of access to goods and services to ensure equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.

The Liberal Party 2011 election platform does not provide specific detail on advancing these issues, or specific commitments within these issues. The Liberal Party 2011 election platform is the only platform to recognize all three of CACL’s 2011 election priorities.

New Democratic Party of Canada

The 2011 election platform for the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) makes a number of commitments to people with disabilities. In particular, the NDP commit to:

• Amending federal bankruptcy legislation to move pensioners and long-term disability recipients to the front of the line of creditors when their employers enter court protection or declare bankruptcy.

• Increasing the funding in the Canada Student Grants Program by $200 million a year, targeting accessibility for Aboriginal, disabled and low-income students, in particular;

• Implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by:

• Supporting the development of a National Action Plan to Implement the CRPD, including mechanisms for collaboration, monitoring and reporting progress, and strategies for achieving such priorities of the disability community as disability supports, poverty alleviation, labour market participation, and access and inclusion;

• Holding Parliamentary hearings on the CRPD to hear from the disability

• community and other key witnesses and creating a high-level panel with

• representation from national disability organizations to map the way forward;

• Ending Canada’s reservation on Article 12 (equal recognition before the law).

The 2011 NDP election platform responds specifically to only one of CACL’s three election priorities. However, in its commitments to the CRPD, it is the only platform to recognize the need to end Canada’s reservation on Article 12 and is the only platform that commits to the specific call-to-action from the disability community regarding the implementation of the CRPD.