This is what the Liberal Party promised in their platform before the October election:
- Create a more accessible Nova Scotia for persons with disabilities by appointing an Accessibility Advisory Committee with a mandate and strict timeline to develop accessibility legislation for Nova Scotia.
Others have different priorities. Can I get a job? Will I get paid the same as the next person? Can I find a place to live?
We're thinking "Finally!"
But hold on. Lots of Nova Scotians need jobs. Lots of Nova Scotians need transportation, particularly in rural areas. Lots of Nova Scotians get less-than-equal pay. What about them?
Is this really about me, or is it about Nova Scotia? By putting in the little phrase highlighted in yellow, the lack of access becomes my issue. Take it out, and the lack of access, (in the sense of participation), applies to everybody.
This is very subtle, but it's really important. Is this legislation about me and my problems, or is it about fairness in Nova Scotia?
We need to be very clear that this legislation is to make Nova Scotia a better place by extending the rights and privileges of civil society to everyone. Think of it as your gift to Nova Scotia, not the other way around.
Although a possible name of the legislation - Equal Opportunity for Nova Scotians - came in dead last in our recent poll, it's still my choice. Nova Scotia has a chance to affirm that everyone can prosper here, including "people with disabilities".
Do it for your sake Nova Scotia, not mine.