Selinger Sets Out Positions on 3 Key Disability Issues and Beyond

February 9, 2015

Greg Selinger, the final of the candidates for the NDP leadership to set out positions on key disability issues, committed himself, if re-elected, to the timely implementation of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA), including comitments on several detailed measures.

He also stated his in principle support for Abilities Manitoba’s five-priority pathway toward improved and sustainable services for Manitobans with intellectual disabilities, including commitments to improving training and standards of care and to future increases toward paying service workers a living wage.

Mr. Selinger’s response also referenced his recent support for examining the introduction of a pension-like basic income for people with severe and prolonged disabilities and his request for a review of government-wide benchmarks for civil servant employment equity and for how infrastructure initiaitives might help increase empoyment for those with disabilities.

Finally, Mr. Selinger’s response included his commitments to build more social housing and fufilling provincial obligations under the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

We received a very initial response from Greg Selinger on February 5 and asked for clarification. We are pleased to post his official response that was received on the afternoon of February 9.

Download Selinger Response

(Reformatted from the original)

Malinda Roberts President Abilities Manitoba

Janet Forbes Steering Committee Member Barrier-Free Manitoba

Thank you for your letter of January 7, 2015. As I mentioned in my reply of February 5, 2015, it is my intention as Premier to continue implementing the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, an Act I was very pleased to support as Premier in 2013 when it was enacted. I will ensure that the requirements under the Act for an Annual Plan, for public entity targets, for the development of regulations and for the development of terms of reference for every proposed accessibility standard, will be met in a timely fashion. In the process, I commit to consult with all parties affected by our accessibility initiatives and to make transparent what we intend to implement. I will ensure that the Accessibility Advisory Council has the necessary resources to undertake its work properly and that provision will be made for organizations and individuals to participate in consultative processes.

I also support in principle the Five Priorities developed by Abilities Manitoba under their Action plan. As Premier, I was pleased to be able to introduce the Wage Enhancement Fund last year, designed to improve the wages of service workers. I commit to further increases in the Fund as the budget permits so that we can make steady progress towards paying service workers a living wage. I also commit to improving training and standards of care.

As promised in my response to The View from Here, I have asked the Premiers Advisory Council on Education, Poverty and Citizenship to examine the possibility of introducing a pension-like basic income for people with severe and prolonged disabilities. I also asked the Council to review government-wide benchmarks for employment equity for civil servants, and to explore how infrastructure initiatives might help increase employment for those with disabilities.

My commitment to build more social housing should also be of great benefit to people with disabilities.

I am also committed to fulfilling our obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Thank you for your untiring support for those with disabilities. I look forward to working closely with you in future.

Greg Selinger