02/04/2013 04:27 EST | Updated 04/03/2013 05:12 EDT

Government Should Hire The Disabled

I mentioned to a friend, the idea that the government should hire the disabled and he immediately gave me a long lecture on the importance of a small and efficient government that should not get involved in anything extra. I agreed with him all the time, but I don't think he ever got my point.

Our efficient and small government should give preferential hiring to the disabled as another way our society can show it cares; that we are all in this together, and that no one is left out.

This would mean giving political direction to the government's human resources department to have meaningful leeway to pass on a slightly more qualified candidate for the position, who is not disabled, in favour of a slightly less qualified candidate who is disabled. The candidate who is not

disabled should have no trouble finding work in the private sector.

And all within reason, it would not apply to active fire or police, but why not intentionally give the dispatch job to someone in a wheel chair?

Disabled people are at a disadvantage in the workplace. Not all businesses are profitable all the time, and building special wheel chair ramps both inside and outside can be onerous. But for the government, making special provision for the disabled in its workplace would not be difficult and there would be economies of scale.

Also, I think there would be a bonus, that disabled people would very much appreciate being given this opportunity to prove how much they can contribute. And would serve enthusiastically, encouraging us all to do our best.

In a way, as a society, the way we treat people less advantaged than ourselves, is our grade, and in Canada and Alberta, I think we are doing already, comparatively, very well. But we can do better.

In some countries, the disabled are left to fend for themselves on the streets. In some countries, it's as if people just don't care. But, thankfully, not in our country, not in Canada.