Finley Stands Up to Make Parliament Accessible to All Canadians

Ottawa, ON – Today, the Honourable Diane Finley, MP for Haldimand-Norfolk, challenged the Liberal government to end their discrimination against people with visual impairments by seeking unanimous consent to table a second enlarged petition that was previously rejected due to its size.

“Quite
simply, I’m fighting to make sure that all Canadians have equal opportunity to
express their opinions to Parliament. The current rules are just plain wrong:
they discriminate against those with visual impairments, and that’s what I am
trying to fix,” said Finley.

Last
October, MP Finley attempted to table a petition that was enlarged by Reverend
Paul Sherwood of Simcoe, Ontario so that his elderly parishioners could see it
well enough to read it. The petition was rejected because it wasn’t “on
paper of the usual size.” In response, MP Finley sought and received the
unanimous support of her fellow Members in the House of Commons, and eventually
got the petition accepted.

To
keep this from happening to others, Finley asked the Standing Committee on
Procedure and House Affairs to permanently change the paper size rule that
prevents people with visual impairments from participating in Canada’s
democracy and was given assurances that it would be “dealt with
soon”. After nearly a year of inaction, MP Finley has brought awareness to
the issue again by tabling a petition on enlarged paper signed by almost 200 MPs
and Senators, each with some form of visual impairment.

“Right
now, we are debating the Liberal Government’s accessibility Bill, which makes
this issue extremely relevant. Ironically, it’s Liberal MPs on Committee who
are preventing this from being fixed, and it was also Liberal MPs who refused
to sign the new petition when I invited them to do so. That’s why I’m so
pleased that they allowed me to table the second petition today. I hope that
now they will allow the official rules to be changed soon. Nowhere else in
Canada are there such insensitive and unreasonable rules for everyday citizens
to speak their mind to government.”

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Additional Material

Original
Point of Order

Contact

Thomas DeGroot

Office of the Hon. Diane Finley

diane.finley.a2@parl.gc.ca 

Office: 613-996-4974

Cell: 613-301-6352