Questions Asked of Candidates
1. How have disability issues affected you and your family?
2. What do you see as being the greatest accessibility challenges within your constituency and what will you do to address these challenges?
Green Party of Manitoba Candidate - Cameron Proulx
No response received
Manitoba Liberal Party Candidate - Kyra Wilson
Answer 1: In terms of disability, I would state that mental health/illnesses have greatly affected my family. I am a strong advocate disability issues especially the ability to access resources and supports in Manitoba. I have personally dealt with disability issues in regards to my mental health and this is an issue that affects a majority of Manitobans and you may not physically be able to see it. It is common and Manitoba needs to understand that disability doesn't just include physical disabilities. We need to ensure that Manitobans feel safe and secure regardless of what issues they're struggling with in terms of disability.
Answer 2: Each statement is equally as important.
- The University of Manitoba, whether you're a student or a visitor to the campus, there needs to be accessibility to the campus in every building and area. The stadium brings thousands of visitors to Fort Richmond and we need to ensure that all the residents in the area maintain their accessibility and the visitors have accessibility to the stadium as well. When I state the term "accessibility", I am referring to the physically accessibility for residents of Fort Richmond.
- Our seniors that have disabilities is a demographic that seems to be overseen by programming and/or government supports. There are several supports that are needed when you look at the seniors in our communities but accessibility may be the priority at this time. I am still learning as I talk to everyone what the needs are of the community and I am listening to everyone's thoughts and solutions to these issues. If elected, I will meet with everyone in the community to discuss these needs and how we can address to solve the problems we are seeing regarding accessibility and disabilities.
- Our seniors and children are the most vulnerable in our communities and we need make sure they both are receiving the supports that are needed. When you look at the needs of our children that struggle with disabilities - we need to ensure they're getting a good start in life. Our children need several supports in the home and in the school when you talk about disabilities. It is important that we move forward in this province to support our children and their families.
If I am elected I want to make sure that the families in Fort Richmond but also the families in Manitoba feel like I am someone they can approach. I will meet with everyone in the constituency of Fort Richmond and make myself available to anyone in this Province. We need to make sure that people in government are accessible to the residents in Manitoba.
New Democratic Party Candidate - Kerri Irvin-Ross
Answer 1: Disabilities touch all of us at some point in our lives. I have a personal and professional relationship with the disABILITY community. I have family members who have struggled with mental health issues, a grandmother with polio who lived with mobility challenges, and a niece with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While I have personally observed exceptional and compassionate care, I have also seen some of the challenges that many people face in trying to access services.
Professionally, I worked as a psychiatric nurse in residential care facilities in Saskatchewan; Souris Valley and Valley View. I then worked as a School Social Worker, planning and implementing case plans for students with diverse abilities, while providing support and guidance to their families.
Over the past 2 years, I have had the privilege of meeting many individuals with a variety of abilities. I have learned to value the diversity of needs and to acknowledge that persons with disabilities may face as many attitudinal barriers as physical ones. It is crucial to get it right when it comes to ensuring inclusion for all citizens with regard to housing, employment, access to services/transportation, and mobility. I will continue working hard to keep making steady progress n accessibility, housing and poverty issues.
Answer 2: We can easily talk about the physical accessibility of our commercial and residential community, and I have worked hard to implement the Accessibility Manitoba Act’s standards. But I truly believe one of the biggest issues we face is that of people’s attitudes about persons with disabilities. I believe we can change attitudes by breaking down the barriers that prevent a person from reaching their full potential.
I see two major areas where barriers remain high:
- We need to keep encouraging employers to hire persons with disabilities and make the required accommodations for inclusion.
- And we need to offer a dignified income for all, which is why I am proud of our commitment to an assured income for people with disabilities.
Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba Candidate - Sarah Guillemard
Answer 1: My parents were involved with working with disabled and special needs children as I was growing up. My mother, Jenny, worked in schools with children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. She was able to develop a program that focused on the children’s potential, not their limitations. Not only were her students successful in learning to read, write and do arithmetic, but the teachers who witnessed the growth also reset their expectations of the children.
My father, Dr. Chudley, is a retired medical geneticist. He has counselled many families through the initial stages of diagnosis, and helped direct them to supports in the communities where they live. My siblings and I were surrounded by positive messages of hope and compassion for those who work extra hard for the efforts we take for granted. My husband and I have a child living with a chronic disease, who faces challenges everyday to maintain his health and energy. It has given me an appreciation and insight into advocating for those who are most vulnerable in our society, as well as an enormous amount of respect for each person who overcomes the challenges they face.
Answer 2: Fort Richmond has many streets and sidewalks getting to the end of their best-before dates. For those who have mobility issues, this can create difficulty as they try to manoeuvre through the neighborhood.
Another challenge is to find an innovative way to keep the paths and sidewalks clear from ice and snow through the winter. I have worked with community groups to raise funds in order to construct pathways through some of our neighborhood parks and school yards. I plan to continue working alongside our city government to ensure we continue to encourage active living for all abilities.