• John Jantak

Pincourt receives federal grant to make access easier for people with disabilities


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Pincourt’s Action Plan Committee at a conference on March 13 including Town Manager Michel Perrier (third from left) Mayor Yvan Cardinal (centre, rear) and MP Peter Schiefke (third from right) announces the awarding of a $12,984 federal grant to provide easier access for people with disabilities to the Town Hall.

Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP Peter Schiefke was on hand along with several municipal representatives to announce the awarding of a $12,984 federal grant during a press conference at the Pincourt Library on Tuesday, March 13, that will allow citizens with disabilities easier access to the town’s facilities.

Schiefke said the initiative was made possible through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) which provides funds for community projects across Canada to make public facilities and workplaces more accessible.

Pincourt is the first municipality within the Municipalité Régionale de Comté (MRC) de Vaudreuil-Soulanges to take advantage of EAF, said Schiefke.

Town initiative

“This is really exciting,” Schiefke told The Journal. “I have to give a lot of credit to the Town of Pincourt for putting a committee in place to look at a long-term plan to ensure accessibility for all citizens, particularly those with reduced mobility, seniors, and those with physical disabilities.

“They took the initiative to work with my office to take advantage of the EAF which has existed for a very long time. It’s to ensure city halls, public pools and parks, and all public activities that are run by municipalities are as accessible as they can be to make sure the most number of our citizens can take advantage of them,” added Schiefke.

The grant has already been earmarked to provide easier access to the Pincourt Town Hall on Chemin Duhamel. The project will include installing an automatic door at the main entrance and adding two adapted washrooms.

Citizen participation

Mayor Yvan Cardinal welcomed the federal contribution for the upgrade which will cost $36,000 in total. He added the town has been proactive ever since it introduced its three-year action plan last year as part of its Social Development Policy with the aim of improving the lives of all people with disabilities.

Residents are also encouraged to provide their suggestions to the committee that oversees the program. “We invite all our disabled citizens to participate in our upcoming initiative to help us identify all their needs to make their lives easier and have a better quality of life in Pincourt,” said Cardinal. “We will listen to all their suggestions.”

The action plan committee which drew up the first plan was comprised of council members and employees from various town departments, said Town Manager Michel Perrier. The committee was charged with familiarizing itself with the constraints faced by disabled people and coming up with solutions and recommendations.

“I am especially proud of our team which has come up with a realistic plan that focuses on taking concrete action to implement several measures between now and the end of the year. From now on our community will be able to benefit from the greater participation of disabled people thanks to the work of the action plan committee,” said Perrier.

Grants available to all MRC municipalities

Schiefke’s riding office has also been encouraging all MRC cities and towns to identify their specific needs to provide easier access for the disabled and to take advantage of the available federal grants.

“One of the things we’ve done over the last two years is work with different mayors and let them know this program actually exists within Vaudreuil-Soulanges,” Schiefke said. “A lot of the mayors have taken us up on it so this is the first of many announcements we will make over the coming year. St. Lazare and Vaudreuil-sur-le-Lac have already made their requests and they will be receiving funding in the coming months as well.”

For more information on Pincourt accessibility initiatives for the disabled, visit the town’s website at www.villepincourt.qc.ca/en/145/people-with-disabilities.

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