NDP

NDP asks for plan on ensuring Law Amendments Committee is accessible to people with disabilities

February 15, 2017


For immediate release.

HALIFAX – The NDP Caucus has requested an outline of how the Office of the Speaker plans to ensure Law Amendments Committee is accessible to Nova Scotians living with disabilities. NDP House Leader Dave Wilson sent a letter this morning to Speaker Kevin Murphy requesting information on how the Office of the Speaker plans to accommodate people with disabilities in appearing before Law Amendments for Bill 75, which has yet to be scheduled.

“This is an issue we have seen before, where people with disabilities have not been able to participate in Law Amendments,” said Wilson. “The Liberal government’s goal to pass this legislation as soon as possible cannot be used as an excuse to circumvent the necessary accommodations for all Nova Scotians to participate in the democratic process.”

In December 2015, a deaf man was prevented from speaking at his scheduled time at Law Amendments on Bill 148 because there were no interpreters available on such short notice. In the last session, witnesses at the Law Amendments Committee on Bill 59 raised concerns about being unable to schedule Access-A-Bus services to travel to the committee because it was announced on such short notice.

“Law Amendments is the only opportunity in our Legislative process where members of the public can have their say. Democracy requires that we ensure that we do all we can to address barriers for people with disabilities to participate,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill.

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For more information, contact Kaley Kennedy at 902-229-6881 or kaley.kennedy@novascotia.ca.