Ontario Government Pays Tribute to Canada’s Man in Motion, Rick Hansen

Published: April 28, 2004
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Hansen Recognized for his Outstanding Contributions to Spinal Cord Injury and Disability Awareness

TORONTO, April 29 /CNW/ – Premier Dalton McGuinty and Dr. Marie Bountrogianni, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration with responsibility for disability issues, paid tribute to Rick Hansen at a reception today at Queen’s Park celebrating Hansen’s latest project, Wheels In Motion.

“When Rick Hansen wheeled around the world, he made us all proud to be Canadians,” said Premier McGuinty. “He’s asked all of us to help keep alive the dream that started with the original Man in Motion World Tour. I encourage Ontarians to get involved in upcoming Wheels in Motion events – together, we can accomplish great things.”

Hansen, well-known for his legendary Man In Motion World Tour (1985-87), is calling on all Ontarians to participate in Wheels In Motion on June 13th, 2004. Wheels In Motion raises funds to improve the quality of life of people with spinal cord injuries and for research leading to a cure. Money raised has also gone to improving peer support, community and residential access ramps, training assistance dogs, accessibility to children’s play park structures and other quality of life initiatives.

“I am excited about the Government of Ontario’s support and encouragement for Wheels In Motion and the issue of spinal cord injury. This support embodies the government’s service to the community and its residents with SCI and illustrates the necessary leadership and to ensure that people with SCI have the best possible quality of life everyday. I look forward to working together to make a difference,” said Rick Hansen, President and CEO, Rick Hansen Man In Motion Foundation.

Minister Bountrogianni shares the Premier’s enthusiasm and pointed to the importance of ensuring people with disabilities have the opportunity to participate fully in society. “In addition to our support of Wheels In Motion, we are moving quickly on our plan to introduce measures to make the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 strong and effective – and bring about real, positive change for all Ontarians,” said Bountrogianni.

“Our recent public consultations on the act have confirmed the need for greater awareness of the barriers to accessibility facing people with visible and invisible disabilities,” added Bountrogianni. “Rick has been raising awareness and breaking down barriers for a long time now. Our government recognizes this and it is why we are honouring him today.”