The recent notice of a limited strike by the longshoremen’s union, including no work at all on weekends, is devastating not only to Canada’s economic competitiveness, but also to its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ottawa – May 16, 2019 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (the Canadian Chamber) has made its Ottawa headquarters more inclusive, accessible and safe for employees with physical disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing.
In addition to receiving Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM, the Canadian Chamber went further to introduce new accessibility measures. Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund, the Canadian Chamber installed 12 automatic door openers within its suite to eliminate barriers to accessibility in its working and collaborative spaces.
“Inclusivity is a priority for us, and we would like to ensure our workplace is accessible—not just for our members and visitors but for our current and future employees,” said Jackie King, Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “By improving our workplace’s accessibility, we are creating a more inclusive, healthy, safe and productive environment that will help us retain and attract talent that otherwise would not have been available to us.”
The Canadian Chamber has been working with the Rick Hansen Foundation to promote inclusivity and accessibility in the workplace. At the Canadian Chamber’s annual general meeting and convention, held last fall, more than 300 local chambers of commerce voted in support of a policy resolution to make Canada truly accessible and inclusive. The Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM (RHFAC) program provides a roadmap for the adoption of meaningful access and universal design principles and a way for all levels of governments to work together to improve the built environment.
The Canadian Chamber’s headquarters were built to respect the design priorities reflected in the RHFAC program. The Canadian Chamber earned certification this past September.
“I hope the Canadian Chamber’s leadership inspires others to incorporate best practices and the holistic view that a Universal Design approach can bring to their facilities. The accessibility movement is building momentum. With an aging population, a growing number of people with disabilities and federal accessibility legislation imminent, businesses need to understand that improving accessibility and supporting people with disabilities is not only a charitable and a human rights issue but a human resource and basic customer service issue,” said Brad McCannell, Vice President, Access and Inclusion, Rick Hansen Foundation.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. Follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.
Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
Canadian Chamber of Commerce