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?
Manitoba Liberal Party Candidate - Scott Newman
No response received
New Democratic Party Candidate - Preet Singh
Answer 1. I believe that disability issues affect each of us, either directly on indirectly. I feel that the way in which we treat people living with disabilities reflects on who we are and want to become as a community. I support continued work to remove barriers, protect human rights and work towards a fully inclusive Manitoba.
Answer 2. Speaking with folks in my constituency, I have learned that many people living with disabilities face challenges with respect to income, quality services, housing and accessibility to buildings and public spaces. I support the NDP commitment to an assured income for persons living with disabilities. I also feel it is important to increase support for service providers by increasing their wages. For housing issues, I support the NDP’s plan to work to reduce wait times for community living and provide more residential options. Finally, we need to fully implement the NDP’s accessibility legislation and standards and look for ways to extend these improvements beyond public buildings.
Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba Candidate - James Teitsma
Answer 1. I've helped support a number of families with disabilities in my church community, including an immigrant couple who were both born blind and were raising their sighted children. In that case, the biggest challenge was finding ways for them to realize their employment potential.
In my teenage years, I had a good friend with mild Cerebral Palsy. I always admired the creative ways he would adapt to new situations and how he always enjoyed participating in sports, even playing baseball while catching and throwing with the same hand.
My Grade 10 daughter has a classmate with Down's Syndrome and it’s good to see the class include her in activities while she still receives the one-on-one academic attention she needs. It’s inspiring to see her participate in high school basketball games with her friends and teammates.
I also know a number of parents of autistic children, some who use ABA methods, others who favour developmental programs and therapies and still others that are waiting and waiting to receive the supports they need.
I have always believed it's important for people to be encouraged and equipped to engage effectively with their elected representatives. Recently I was happy to offer advice and assistance to some of those parents. The result of their efforts and my advice was the creation of ADAPT Manitoba (Association for Developmental Autism Programs and Therapies) www.adaptmanitoba.ca
Addressing the wait times for autism therapy is an important priority for me.
Answer 2. As I have knocked on doors throughout Radisson, the most frequent disability concern I have encountered is the length of wait times for autism therapy. Autistic children and their parents are not receiving the supports they need when the children are young and early intervention is critical to improving outcomes. Having a child diagnosed as autistic but then not receiving the supports needed for one or sometimes two or more years is unacceptable. The costs of this failure today will translate to greater costs and limitations in the future for the children, their families and our province.
There are many other disability concerns that need to be addressed and have been addressed by the PC Team as part of a Better Plan for a Better Manitoba. The PC Team is committed to the full and timely implementation of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act. We will establish standards in areas such as employment, transportation, information and communication and will ensure that organizations follow the standards that are developed.