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Toronto Ontario - Funding Cuts Made at the Expense of the Most Vulnerable Again

Date: 
Friday, November 4, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

Toronto Ontario - Funding Cuts Made at the Expense of the Most Vulnerable Again

While Arts Festivals and parades still enjoy city funding in Toronto, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been cancelled without warning.

From 2005 to 2010, the City of Toronto, working together with community and business partners, hosted a day of celebration to recognize the achievements of people with disabilities and those organizations working in related industries. In contrast to the fanfare that the City of Toronto exhibited in pronouncing its willingness to take part in this global day of recognition, a day sanctioned by the United Nations, its cancellation came in silence and without warning.

“It’s a sign of the times, I suppose,” says Richard Quan, President of the Toronto Chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians. “It’s easy to share in the warm thoughts during times of prosperity; but for people with disabilities, the community’s commitment must extend through both the good and the bad times or else the lessons that were learned previously are hollow ones.”

The day is also a time when the spotlight of public awareness is focused on issues of concern to the disabled community. In this time of an aging population with the numbers of people with disabilities rising dramatically, such issues of concern affect all of us.

Valentina Gal, member of the Toronto chapter of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians asks, “Where’s our equity when society's most vulnerable are being denied their voice by being the first to have their day of recognition and celebration cancelled? How long will we have to be at the end of the line before we are really heard?”

If Toronto can cancel the International Day of Persons with Disabilities so arbitrarily and without any input, one must wonder about the City’s level of commitment to its most vulnerable.

About the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), is a national organization of Canadians who are blind, deaf-blind, and partially-sighted persons. The AEBVC is in its 20th year and continues to advocate for the recognition, legitimization, and protection of the rights of its members as outlined under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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EDITORS: For Further Information or Comment:

Richard Quan, President - AEBC Toronto Chapter: (416) 763-9993
Email: r.quan@rogers.com

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