moved for leave to introduce Bill C-390, an act respecting the development of a national employment strategy for persons with disabilities.
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to introduce this bill, the employing persons with disabilities act, again with thanks to my hard-working colleague, the member for Windsor—Tecumseh.
This legislation provides for the development of a national employment strategy to increase the economic participation of persons with disabilities. At present, there are over 400,000 working-age Canadians with disabilities who are not working, but whose disability does not prevent them from doing so. Almost half of these potential workers are post-secondary graduates.
People with disabilities have a great deal to contribute to our society. We must do more to improve workplace accessibility, and promote the participation of people with disabilities in the workforce. This legislation seeks to educate business owners and private sector employers about the potential of persons with disabilities, correct misconceptions that exist about employing persons with disabilities, encourage private sector employers to adopt more inclusive hiring practices, and promote the opportunities fund for persons with disabilities.
I call upon all parliamentarians to support these vital initiatives to have these wonderful, creative, talented people participate fully in our society and economy.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)