moved for leave to introduce Bill C-523, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act (accessibility in transportation).
Mr. Speaker, I cannot tell members how proud and honoured I am to introduce this bill.
I would like to begin by thanking my colleague, the member Western Arctic, who is the NDP transportation critic.
In introducing this bill, I also wish to recognize and pay tribute to Winnipeg High School student, Sam Unrau, who was the winner of the Winnipeg Centre “Create your Canada” contest. This contest invited Winnipeg High School students to submit their ideas for a private member's bill to make Canada a better place to live.
Sam's thoughtful proposal comes from his personal experience as a person with spina bifida, confined to a wheelchair, and those of his friends and colleagues with disabilities, so that people with all levels of physical ability can travel in Canada with more dignity.
The bill itself requires the Minister of Transport to direct the Canadian Transportation Agency to conduct an accessibility audit of all forms of transportation under federal jurisdiction in order to remove any undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities and to improve their ability to travel in this country.
This bill coincides with Manitoba's week for persons with disabilities access issues. It also, I note, coincides with the recent move of Canada to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. All of these things combine together to make this a very worthy initiative.
Congratulations to my student from Winnipeg, Sam Unrau.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)