Name: Rob Oliphant

Constituency: Don Valley West

Political Party: Liberal Party of Canada

Part I: Equitable Literacy Access and the Marrakesh Treaty

Although Canada has one of the top literacy rates in the developed world, nearly 3 million Canadians with print disabilities are unable to read most of our country’s literature due to the fact that only seven percent of printed materials published in Canada are produced in accessible formats.

Literacy is a fundamental human right, as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Canada has agreed to uphold. Article 9 and 30 of the convention recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to access information, communication and take part in an equal basis with others in cultural life.

The Marrakesh Treaty was developed and signed in 2013 in Marrakesh, Morocco to establish a standard for countries to have domestic copyright exception covering accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works, and to allow for the import and export of these materials across international borders.

On April 21st 2015, at CNIB’s national headquarters, Canada’s government announced its intent to become one of the first among the G7 countries topledge to accede to and implement the Marrakesh Treaty. In doing so, our country took an important and exciting first step towards ensuring access to the world of literacy for Canadians who live with print disabilities.

Would you and your Party support Bill C-65 “Support for Canadians with Print Disabilities Act” that will allow Canada to accede the Marrakesh Treaty?

A Liberal government will specifically support equal access to published works for those who are visually impaired through, among other measures, the implementation of mandatory limitations and exceptions to copyright rules, consistent with principles set out in the Marrakesh Treaty. A Liberal government will take Canada’s commitments seriously and our Leader, Justin Trudeau, is committed to ensuring that all Canadians can participate fully in all aspects of Canadian life.

Furthermore, the Liberal Party of Canada pledges to fully implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and take substantive action to address the barriers faced by Canadians with disabilities.

Part II: Employment

Given that less than a third of Canadians with vision loss are employed and more than half live below the poverty line on annual incomes of $20,000 or less, employability is a key area of concern for Canadians who are blind and partially sighted.

What would you and your Party do to close this gap and help those living with vision loss to find employment in your community?
Liberals are committed to building an accessible and inclusive society for all Canadians.

As MP I would be happy to work with CNIB in order to support and promote the employment of those with vision loss. In Don Valley West I have worked with companies and businesses and encouraged them to meet with CNIB to learn more about what they can do to help lift those with disabilities find gainful employment and in some cases lift themselves out of poverty. If I am able to continue my work as MP, I look forward to continuing this important work.

Part III: Accessible Prescription Drug Labels

Accessible prescription drug labeling is critical to ensure that proper medication doses are taken and that the correct medication is used to avoid potentially dangerous incidents.

Although Health Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations were recently reviewed in 2014 to improve the safe use of drugs by making labels and packaging easier to read and understand, there still are currently no regulations in Canada requiring the use of Braille, Large Print or electronic devices to make prescription drug labels accessible to Canadians who are blind or partially sighted.

Do you and your Party agree that prescription drug labels should be accessible for all Canadians, including those who are blind or partially sighted?

Canada’s publicly-funded universal health care system is a source of pride and comfort for Canadians. However, the system must be modernized in order to ensure it continues to deliver high quality, effective, efficient care for Canadians when they it need, where they need it. A Liberal government would work to improve our healthcare system in order to ensure that persons with disabilities can access any treatments they require with ease. Furthermore, if elected, I will directly work with CNIB to ensure this important issue is brought forward to our Government as a high priority.

Part IV: Accessible Point of Sale (POS) Payment and ABM Systems

ABM and Point of Sale payment systems are staples in society and everyday life. However, those living with disabilities, including blind or partially sighted Canadians, have barriers to making debit and credit transactions due to the fact that these machines are not fully accessible.

If elected, would you and your party work with the Canada Standards Association, individual companies and POS machine providers and manufacturers to ensure that all ABM’s and POS machines are accessible in Canada, including keypads and audio output?

A Liberal government is committed to building a fully inclusive society. If returned to the House of Commons, I will work with CNIB to ensure POS and ABM machines in Canada are accessible to people with vision loss.