December 2016
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Happy Holidays!

The end of the year is fast approaching! We at CACL would like to express our sincerest appreciation for your continued support of our work toward an inclusive Canada where everyone belongs. We look forward to continuing this journey with you in the new year.

From our family to yours: we wish you all the joys of the holiday season
and a 2017 filled with peace, love, and hope.

Sincerely, Joy Bacon, President & Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President, and the entire CACL team

CACL and PFC host 7th Annual Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion

The Canadian Association for Community Living and People First of Canada (PFC), in collaboration with the Office for Disability Issues, Employment and Social Development Canada, hosted the 7th Annual Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion in Ottawa on December 2. 

This year's focus was access to affordable housing in safe and inclusive communities. Joy Bacon, President of CACL, and Kory Earle, President of PFC, welcomed the full room of nearly 200 self-advocates, family members, policy makers, and government officials. Kory opened the day with a grounding reflection on our shared values: "I always deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Our country can do better and must do better."
Tenth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006. It was a historic milestone in advancing the rights and development of persons with disabilities.

The year 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the CRPD which continues to play a critical role in promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their perspectives in the global agenda.

Over the past decade, progress has been made in disability-inclusive development at the international, national and sub-national levels.

CACL in Action!
Highlights of our recent national and international work.

  • CACL and IRIS held their Annual General Meetings in Ottawa on December 3rd. Look for the new board members' profiles in the January issue of Inclusion Matters.
  • Doris Rajan, Director of Social Development at IRIS was in Columbia for the expert group meeting on the development of the WEI/UNFPA standards and implementations tool for gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights services for women and youth with disabilities. Read more here.
  • Tara Levandier, CACL Director of Policy and Program Operations, was in Ottawa to work with other disability organizations on Canada's UN CRPD Civil Society Report.
  • On December 4th, the Ready, Willing & Able partners met to consider the findings and implications of RWA's interim evaluation, and discuss and explore the program's next steps. The meeting highlighted the many successes of RWA, as delivered in communities throughout the country. The meeting brought together the RWA National team, RWA team members, CACL and CASDA delivery partners and Board members from both CACL and CASDA. 
  • Day on the Hill: CACL Board members and staff, and Ready, Willing & Able staff met with over 50 Members of Parliament in Ottawa to discuss the success of Ready, Willing & Ableand introduce our new initiative My Home My Community.

(L-R) Brian Foster, Atlantic Regional Autism Coordinator; Julie Smith, Executive Director, PEI ACL; Member of Parliament Wayne Easter; Michael Bach, EVP, CACL; and Carole M. Chiasson, CACL board member, met to discuss RWA's work and the continued federal support for employment for people with autism and intellectual disabilities.

Canada begins process to accede to the Optional Protocol of UN CRPD 

There were expressions of triumph and joy from representatives of self-advocacy and disability rights groups, including the Canadian Association for Community Living and People First of Canada, following the announcement that the Government of Canada has begun the process to accede to the United Nations' Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

CACL was in Ottawa on December 1st when the Honourable St├ęphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, made the announcement.

"Our willingness to move this protocol forward is a significant step in supporting the rights of Canadians with disabilities. This announcement helps us foster equality and inclusiveness and brings us closer to a more accessible Canada," said Minister Qualtrough.

Class Action settlement for individuals who lived in various Ontario institutions
A Schedule 1 Facilities Class Action settlement was approved by the Superior Court of Justice on April 25, 2016 for individuals living in certain Ontario institutions from various years between 1963 to 1999.

This lawsuit says the Province of Ontario, who was in charge of the facilities (institutions), failed to properly care for and protect the people who lived in the institutions. The lawsuit says the people who lived there were emotionally, physically and psychologically traumatized by their experiences. The Province of Ontario denies these claims.
The lawsuit is for people who were alive as of June 16, 2012 and had lived at various institutions in Ontario, or at any place the institutions put people before they were discharged, between specific dates.

Nominate a volunteer for Canada's Volunteer Awards

Canada's 150th anniversary is fast approaching in 2017. During this celebration year, it is important to acknowledge that our country would not be the same without the work of volunteers. Recognize the important work of volunteers across the country by nominating someone for Canada's Volunteer Awards.

You are invited to nominate a not-for-profit organization, an individual, a group or a business who is making a difference in their community to receive an award.

The call for nominations is now open until February 3, 2017. 

Upcoming Dates and Events
Ongoing across Canada - Public consultations on proposed Federal Accessibility Legislation. Next is February 8th in Toronto.   
December 23rd - January 3 -  CACL offices closed for holiday break

CACL in the News