News / Winnipeg

Disability Matters pressures parties in Manitoba election to address its five priorities

Disability Matters: Vote 2016 (DMV2016) announced its five key priorities for the April 19 provincial election.

Fresh Carrot owner Terry Zolinski, right, stands before the crowd Friday at the store.

Meg Crane/For Metro

Fresh Carrot owner Terry Zolinski, right, stands before the crowd Friday at the store.

An underrepresented community in Manitoba says accessibility is their biggest priority, and they want all three parties to take note this election season.

Disability Matters: Vote 2016 (DMV2016) announced its five key priorities for the April 19 provincial election Friday at Fresh Carrot in Osborne Village.

Terry Zolinski, owner of the organic grocery store, said he has grappled with mental illness in the past.

“I was treated like a second-class citizen,” said Zolinski. “The company I worked for did things to me that were totally unacceptable.

“I always hoped that I could do better for other people,” Zolinski said, adding he has made a point of hiring people with disabilities in his store.

The advocacy group wants election parties to address the issues of accessibility in Manitoba, fair wages for those working with people with disabilities, timely access to disability related services, employment opportunities, and a liveable income for people with barriers to employment.

“These priorities are the greatest needs of people with disabilities in this province,” said Malinda Roberts, spokesperson for DMV2016.

She said Barrier Free Manitoba and Abilities Manitoba identified these issues through public consultations and surveys.

“These are real issues with real people behind them,” said DMV2016 spokesperson Allen Mankewich.

DMV2016 has already met with each party to request they address all five of its priorities, and that all events and information be accessible.

“We’ve given them information and tools and resources to support them in doing this,” said Roberts.

Until the election, DMV2016 will continue to push the parties to address its five priorities and to educate people about the parties’ stances on disability issues, said Roberts.

Quickfacts:

  • Disability Matters: Vote 2016 focuses on all disabilities, including physical, mental, developmental, sensory and intellectual.
  • The project’s goal is to support people with disabilities in learning about candidates and ensuring voting is accessible