moved for leave to introduce Bill C-255, An Act respecting the development of a national employment strategy for persons with disabilities.
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise to introduce the employing persons with disabilities act. I would like to thank my colleague, the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona, for seconding this bill.
This legislation provides for the development of a national employment strategy to increase the economic participation of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities or diverse needs are facing unique and heightened challenges due to COVID-19. A recent survey found over one-third of respondents with long-term conditions or disabilities has experienced a job loss or reduced hours during the pandemic. Even before this, there were over 400,000 working-age Canadians with disabilities who were not employed, but whose disabilities did not prevent them from working.
People with disabilities have a great deal to contribute to our society. As we look to build back better, we must do more to promote the participation of people with disabilities in the workforce. I call upon all parliamentarians to support this vital initiative because when people with diverse abilities succeed, we all succeed.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)