QUÉBEC CITY, March 30, 2018 – Gaétan Barrette, Minister of Health and Social Services; Lucie Charlebois, Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and Healthy Living and Minister responsible for the Montérégie region; and François Blais, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, are disappointed with Walmart’s decision to terminate its on-the-job training program. They point out that it is our collective responsibility to do as much as possible to facilitate the workplace integration of people with disabilities in Québec.
Walmart’s decision is in opposition to our government’s actions, and we want to reaffirm that each day, the Minister of Health and Social Services, along with his many partners, works to give people with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder many opportunities to develop their job skills and find fulfilment in a work environment that will become a place of belonging for many of them.
Now more than ever, social inclusion, active participation in our community and the social participation of all Quebecers in the labour market are determining factors in the development of people with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder. This corporate decision goes against our government’s guiding principles.
The Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux has always been a major contributor to progress when it comes to the integration of disabled people in Québec, since we firmly believe in the considerable value of programs and services for these people in terms of skills development, individual affirmation and social integration. In an inclusive society with a growing labour shortage, the contribution that people with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder can make is crucial to our government. That’s why we find this decision deplorable.
– Gaétan Barrette, Minister of Health and Social Services
Social participation in the labour market is a key factor in the development of people with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder, and now more than ever, I wish to reiterate our commitment to continue to support these individuals in various aspects of their lives. We have always stood by their side, and this will not stop. We believe that integration into the labour market is a good way for these individuals to find fulfilment, and we will continue our outreach efforts in order to break certain taboos and increase awareness of the wealth that these individuals represent for our society.
– Lucie Charlebois, Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and Healthy Living and Minister responsible for the Montérégie region
This corporate decision is the opposite of what needs to be done in terms of employment right now. While Québec is experiencing a labour shortage, we need to recognize the contribution that people with disabilities can make to the labour market now more than ever. We reiterate that everywhere in Québec, employers are telling us that they are ready to integrate disabled people, and that’s what today’s Québec is: an inclusive society.
– François Blais, Minister for Employment and Social Solidarity