The Working Group

Who Are We?

The ECC Working Group was formed in 2013 in Eastern Ontario.  Made up of dedicated volunteers, the Working Group is supported by one paid, part-time staff person. Our short-term objective is to set up the Every Canadian Counts organization. The ECC organization will hire a small team of staff to support the building of a national coalition, a public education campaign, and grassroots advocacy efforts across the country.

Our Working Group includes individuals who come from a variety of backgrounds but we are united in our concern for Canadians living with long-term disabilities and in our shared knowledge about the shortcomings of available supports.  To ensure success, we have connected with experts who advise us on communication, disability policy, and coalition-building.

Our team includes:

  • Family members of individuals living with long-term disability
  • Service providers
  • Policy analysts and Economists
  • Business people
  • Retired senior executives from Canada’s public service
  • Young, savvy researchers and coordinators

What Are We Doing?

Gathering information on…

  • The services offered in each province and territory in Canada – What are the strengths and weaknesses of these? How do provincial/territorial systems compare? To date we have not found any other research, other than our own, comparing the different provincial/territorial systems of services.
  • Alternative models of support – What are other countries doing?Are their systems effective? How does Canada compare? Can we in Canada do something similar to the best practices in other countries?
  • Data on persons with long-term disabilities – There is insufficient national information to plan improvements in services. How many people in Canada live with long-term disabilities? How much is spent on people with long-term disabilities? How many individuals are on waiting lists for services, support, or housing?

Public outreach…

  • Connecting with Canadian politicians and policy makers – We are meeting with those in politics and figuring out who would support a national solution.
  • Bringing together disability groups – Many experts have told us we will only be effective if disability groups (including family groups, persons with disabilities, service providers, disability policy advocacy organizations, and labour unions) unite with one message. We are reaching out to these groups to achieve a unified effort for change.
  • Educating the public – Few Canadians are familiar with the tough emotional realities of living with or caring for persons with long-term disabilities.  If Canadians don’t know about the crisis in disability services, they can’t join us in our efforts to improve it. We have been developing tools (such as this website) and starting discussions with Canadians to raise awareness and gain support.