St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud is exciting to be the deputy chair of a commission to help persons with disabilities consult on programs and services in the province.
This week Renaud was named the deputy chair and member of the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities.
“The focus is … to provide all ministries of government with a disability lens,” Renaud said.
Renaud has an extensive history of working with persons with disabilities. Before running for office Renaud spent much of her time working in St. Albert at the LoSeCa Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that provides support to adults with disabilities.
The council was first struck in 1988 after Rick Hansen’s man in Motion Tour and the focus was on making the province more inclusive to persons with disabilities. Renaud said that in the last 10 to 15 years the council hasn’t been that active but she hopes that this group will bring a renewed focus to the program.
“You can just see by the collection of people that are around the table that there is so much hope and so much optimism,” Renaud said.
The new council is made up of 15 people from across the province. Each person has a different disability or experience with persons with disabilities.
Renaud said that the commission will help the government ensure that all of the policies that are put forward are inclusive and consider the opinions of persons with disabilities.
“It’s not just about physical access but there are so many other issues,” Renaud said.
Renaud hopes that during her time on the commission that people from the different communities of people with disabilities will feel heard and that the general public will become aware of the work the council is doing.
With so many disability types, Renaud hopes that the council will be a central place to pull information together that is “usable and helpful.”
This is Renaud’s first time on the council but she has been following it for many years.
The group has already been through a two-day orientation to understand its roles and will meet once a month using technology. Renaud will serve as member and deputy chair. All members will serve terms until June 30, 2020.