The Canadian health care system may count as one of the 4.41 million Canadians that self-identified as being disabled in the 2006 Census, according to Michael Prince. Absent Citizens: Disability Politics and Policy in Canada, Prince's new book, launched on October 22nd at the University of Victoria where Prince is a social policy professor. Prince's book reveals the lack of opportunity and care provided for mentally and physically disabled Canadians. The book launch for Absent Citizens, hosted by the Friends of UVIC Libraries in the McPherson Library Staff Lounge, was well-received by the 40 guests in attendance for Prince’s talk and book signing.
Susan Henderson, the Communications Officer at the UVic Libraries, said about the event: “Even though the topic was serious and Michael didn’t mince words when it came to describing the absence of leadership, the lingering stereotypes and policy failures, everyone appreciated the refreshments and opportunity to linger and meet the people who came to the event.”
Karen Wallace-Prince (left, Michael’s wife), Wendie McHenry (Assistant University Librarian), Michael Prince, and Deirdre Roberts (Friend of UVic Libraries) share in the success of Prince’s launch at UVic.
Prince was recently interviewed by The Georgia Straight about his new book, saying that Absent Citizens is a "'...challenge' to the conventional wisdom that we are doing enough for people with disabilities in this country."
Absent Citizens was reviewed by the Toronto Star this weekend. Disabilities Columnist Helen Henderson says she couldn’t agree more with Prince’s argument that Canada needs more ‘positive action legislation.’ Prince believes that “if the Harper government is developing an [federal disability] act, then the disability community needs to engage in that process.”
With the launch of Absent Citizens, Prince is revealing that it’s not Canadians with disabilities who are absent, but rather the Canadian government with their lack of inclusive policy for people with disabilities. However, with the release of Prince's book, and events such as those at UVic, Prince is making his move to correct the public policy that has left Canadians with disabilities on the wayside.
Photo taken by Susan Henderson (Communications Officer, UVic Libraries)