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Liberal Bills Promote Inclusion on World Down Syndrome Day

Mar 21, 2024

Today, on World Down Syndrome Day, the Nova Scotia Liberal Caucus will table bills to
support Nova Scotians living with intellectual disabilities and their families.

With more than 50 offices across the province, Nova Scotia Works provides important services to create inclusive employment opportunities for Nova Scotians. Government cuts to Nova Scotia Works of up to 15 per cent this year have created immense challenges for the individuals who rely on the organization’s services. A bill tabled today by Opposition Leader Zach Churchill would reverse the cuts to reinstate the services lost across the province.

“Nova Scotia is facing a massive labour shortage and organizations like Nova Scotia Works are crucial to addressing those gaps,” said Churchill. “Providing meaningful employment opportunities to Nova Scotians living with intellectual disabilities is so important. The Houston government has the opportunity to foster inclusive workplaces by reversing these devastating cuts to Nova Scotia Works offices across the province.”

In 2021, Kings South MLA Keith Irving tabled the Down Syndrome Act to ensure families have access to the resources and information they need to support their family members with down syndrome. Today, he will reintroduce this bill, also known as Harvey’s Law, inspired by the experiences of Sarah Thompson, Irving’s former constituency assistant, who felt her family was left in the dark after learning while pregnant that her son Harvey had Down syndrome.

“After hearing Sarah and Harvey’s story, I knew government needed to do more to ensure families feel supported, valued, and informed,” said Irving. “This bill would ensure government consults with the Down syndrome community to provide better, more accurate information to be shared with families and medical professionals. Embracing each other’s uniqueness and making up-to-date information available about marginalized communities in Nova Scotia is vital to creating a more inclusive Nova Scotia.”

Harvey’s Law would also set March 21st every year in Nova Scotia as Down Syndrome Day.

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