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 - Ryan Colyer
No response received
New Democratic Party Candidate - Dashi Zargani
Answer 1. After my wife and I moved to Canada we had our first boy. He was born with a cleft lip and palate. He had to go through seven surgeries already and still has more to go. My wife and I were worried about the health risk associated with his condition, but also the stigma he may face through out his life.
When he was five he was bullied by the other children in school because of his appearance. It really hurt him and us as parents to see him go through this. It was rough, but he learned to grow past it and see what others choose not to see. That he is a strong and he can accomplish whatever he sets his mind to.
Two years ago in Middle school, he found a sense of belonging in basketball. I’m very proud of my son. At 14, he has experienced so much but he is still a happy boy with dreams of a future. It makes me so happy to watch my son grow up and I know he will accomplish many great things in his life.
Answer 2. Southdale is a large community and can present a number of challenges for people that are living with a disability.
For example, during the winter if the sidewalks are not cleaned down to the pavement and snow/ice is left behind can be a really safety issue for people that use mobility aids. This can lead to them using the roads to get around the community, which puts everyone at risk.
Another example, many of the intersections in Southdale do not have tactile paving or indicators for people who are visually impaired to warn them when they are at the intersections. The Accessibility for Manitobans Act brought in by the NDP has standards to ensure municipalities are accessible. If elected I will work with the City of Winnipeg and the province to ensure these standards are implemented and enforced.
Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba Candidate - Andrew Smith
Answer 1: When I was around 8 or 9 years old, I had a friend whose sister had a severe mental disability. Although she was 12 years old at the time, she functioned at a 3 year old level. Nobody ever discussed her condition or made mention of any diagnosis, it almost seemed like a taboo subject.
I was only a child at the time, but looking back I realize how much this disability impacted my friend's family. They faced a number of challenges in caring for their daughter. It literally affected every aspect of their lives. Simple things like grocery shopping, family dinners or family outings became incredibly difficult to manage.
Aside from the logisitcal challenges of raising their daughter, they also faced the stigma of having a child with a disability. Knowing that your child faces the judgement of others every day is not only stressful, it's heartbreaking.
Fortunately there has been significant progress over the past 25 years as people have become more aware and sympathetic to disability issues. Athought this progress is welcome, there is much more work to be done.
Answer 2: There are a number of group homes in our riding of Southdale. While door knocking I have come across quite a few and have heard the issues that both caregivers and those with disabilities face.
If elected as the MLA for Southdale, and should our party form government, I would work with our new PC government to ensure the full and timely implementation of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA). The AMA includes provisions for the inspection and enforcement of accessibility standards, including the ability to impose penalties when appropriate. Our party will commit to establishing standards in the following areas: employment, transportation, information and communication, and built environment.