Persons with Disabilities (M-430)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. friend for raising this issue. I have been approached so many times by people with disabilities who have a very hard time entering the labour market.

Would the member be very specific about how the motion would motivate employers to actually recognize the potential, the worth and the value of people with disabilities who could be employed with them?

Phil McColeman: Mr. Speaker, it is a very good question.

During the time we have spent putting this together, a great momentum has been building in Canada in the private sector. There are individuals such as Mark Wafer who owns numerous Tim Hortons franchises and employs over 70 persons with disabilities in the Toronto area. There is the head of HR for Loblaws. Loblaws has a mandate now within its company policies that it shall, at every opportunity, put priorities on interviewing people when jobs become available and looking at persons with disabilities. There is this wonderful momentum. Often it is peer to peer. It is one businessperson telling another businessperson. That is what Mark Wafer has done, at the level of Rotary. He is a Rotarian. He has a wonderful message that he delivers across the country. He matches businessperson to businessperson to talk about the wonderful experiences. We intend to build on that momentum.

The report from the panel is the real starting point, the real platform. We can make a difference with that.