IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period - International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

39th Parliament, 1st Session
Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Canadian organizations played a leadership role in drafting the new International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13. Canada should have been the first country to ratify the convention.

But instead of ratifying this important convention, the government is dragging its heels. This is unbelievable.

Will the minister quit beating around the bush and act now to make Canada one of the first signatories to this historic document?

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Mr. Speaker, the minister did not answer the question. There is a pattern to the Conservatives. When they cut services, they act with irresponsible and reckless abandon. When it is something that will actually help people, it is denial, delay and dithering.

Half of the growing number of homeless in Canada's streets are Canadians with disabilities. So are nearly half of those who line up at food banks to simply survive. Canadians with disabilities are the poorest of citizens and yet the government delays and dithers. Will the government now start to do what it takes so that Canada is among the first to ratify this important UN covenant?