For Immediate Release
January 13, 2014
MHA seeking reversal of funding cut from disabilities group
St. John’s—St. John’s North MHA Dale Kirby is collecting signatures on a petition asking the Minister Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities to reverse last year's $15,000 cut in funding to the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities (COD-NL).
The petition, to be presented in the House of Assembly, asks government to initiate a long-term operational funding arrangement in collaboration with the arms-length advocacy organization for persons with disabilities in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Last year, funding cuts made by the Dunderdale and Harper Conservatives put the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities in danger of shutting down,” Kirby says. “We are fortunate that this did not happen last year thanks to community support, but the issue of funding cuts and the resulting threat to the future work of COD-NL remains.”
With the further federal funding cuts slated for 2014 and 2015, Kirby says the Coalition needs a sustainable level of year-to-year provincial funding to continue serving people with disabilities, promoting their rights, and raising awareness at the local and provincial levels.
“During the recent power crisis, COD-NL once again displayed the essential role of their advocacy for people with disabilities and the province as a whole,” says Kirby. “When decision-makers were overlooking the impact of power outages on persons with disabilities, COD-NL was speaking up about the need to remember some of the province’s most vulnerable.”
Kirby says the provincial government cannot continue to turn its back on COD-NL. “This is an essential organization that gives voice to some of the most at-risk people in our province. If anything, long-term sustainable funding for COD-NL should be a key building block in government’s provincial strategy for the inclusion of persons with disabilities.”
For more information and copies of the petition, please contact:
Dale Kirby, MHA