CANADIAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION
********************* Canadian Diabetes Association fights discrimination with the RCMP TORONTO - Yesterday, during Diabetes Awareness Month, the Canadian Diabetes Association proudly announces that people using insulin for diabetes are no longer barred from applying to work as a regular constable for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Canadian Association applauds the RCMP for adopting a policy of individual assessment and implementing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Diabetes Mellitus Medical Guidelines. The RCMP's new 2006 medical guidelines are a result of a Canadian human rights complaint filed by Ken Hall in 2001.
After applying for employment as a regular constable, Mr. Hall, a resident of Calgary, was told he was unsuitable for employment with the RCMP because he has type 1 diabetes.
After five years of support and assistance from the Canadian Diabetes Association and pro bono legal work provided by the firm of McCarthy Tetrault, LLP in Calgary, the RCMP agreed to modify its hiring policy, to be inclusive of people with type 1 diabetes, for regular constables. "The Canadian Diabetes Association believes that all people with diabetes should be eligible for employment in any occupation for which they are individually qualified," said Karen Philp, executive director, national office of public policy and government relations, Canadian Diabetes Association.
"People with diabetes have the right to be assessed for specific job duties on their own merits, based on reasonable standards that are consistently applied," Philp said.
"It took a long time, but we're very pleased the RCMP has opened a door that has long been closed for people with diabetes," she said.
"I asked for help from the Canadian Diabetes Association because they speak for people like me with diabetes," said 35-year old Ken Hall.
"Having lived with diabetes for 28 years, it's important for people, like me, to be judged on our ability to do a job not our diabetes," Hall said.
"I didn't want anybody else with diabetes to be a victim of discrimination," he said.
"The struggle for new medical guidelines for RCMP officers was a lengthy process but it was worth every ounce of my time and energy."
"I would never have been able to do this without the help of Joan King from the Canadian Diabetes Association and Dean Hutchinson from McCarthy Tetrault, LLP to whom I'm very grateful."
Canadians with diabetes are protected by law from employment-related and other types of discrimination under the Human Rights Act and provincial and territorial human rights codes.
The Association works to empower those affected by diabetes by providing them with the knowledge, support and tools necessary to advocate for their rights.
The office provides referrals to other resources and assistance in negotiating the often confusing and difficult maze of different systems and services.
You can visit the Association's advocacy website at Diabetes.ca.
The Canadian Diabetes Association works to prevent diabetes and improve the quality of life for those affected, through research, education, service and advocacy.
With a presence in more than 150 communities, the Canadian Diabetes Association's strong network of assistance includes volunteers, employees, healthcare professionals and partners.