You may have heard I was recently named Canada’s Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. The role allows me to:
- Continue to bring the needs of all Calgary Centre residents to the Cabinet table
- Promote healthier Canadians through sport and recreation
- Ensure greater accessibility and opportunities for Canadians with disabilities
The role combines two important aspects of my life, from my younger days loving swimming and baseball to the disability I acquired at age 21.
Growing up, my family and I took part in everything Calgary had to offer. By 1991, I was attending Mount Royal College and planning to become a phys-ed teacher. I played college hockey, worked part-time and had a busy social life.
Then I lost it all. I became a C-5 quadriplegic. Suddenly it was just me and my family, with no sense of direction.
One in seven Canadians has a disability. By age 75, it’s one in two. People with a disability are more likely to be unemployed, divorced, or homeless. In all of Calgary, there are only 400 fully accessible rental suites.
It’s tough. And, it’s expensive.
That’s part of why we made historic new investments in affordable housing. That why we brought in the Canada Child Benefit, putting more money in the pockets of nine out of ten families, and helping lift hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty. That’s why we’re investing in public transit, including $1.5 billion for the Calgary Green Line – which will incorporate accessibility.
Whether you have a disability, whether you’re born into a wealthy family or one that struggles, our government wants you to have the opportunity to succeed.
I hope to see you at my Holiday Open House:
December 16, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
1133 7 Ave. SW (Kerby Centre)
Register at www.KentHehrMP.ca
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