Press Releases


VISUALLY IMPAIRED CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE TO SPEAK AT PHILIP E. LAYTON SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND SEPT. 26

Repercussion Theatre

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 17, 2008-    Philip E. Layton School, based at the  Montreal Association of the Blind (7000 Sherbrooke Street West) in N.D.G., will be hosting a rare event connected to the federal election. On Friday, September 26 (9:30 a.m.) Conservative Party candidate Luc Labbé, who is legally blind, will speak to students about the many challenges he has overcome  and why he decided to enter politics.

In addition to the students and staff from the Phil E. Layton School, which is part of the English Montreal School Board, and  clients from the Montreal Association of the Blind (MAB), some students from local elementary and high schools will also be in attendance.   Mr. Labbé is the director general of Horizon Travail, a non-profit organization which promotes the integration of visually impaired individuals in the workplace. He is running in the  East End riding of Hochelaga.  “I am prepared to show everyone that I am capable to hold an elected post in Parliament,” said Mr. Labbé, who is the father of four children and has been legally blind since birth. “For me a visual handicap should not be an obstacle. Better yet, if I can be a role model for these students that will make me very happy.”

The MAB was founded in 1908, making it the oldest rehabilitation centre of its kind in Canada for the English-speaking blind population. Prior to this  there were no services for English-speaking blind children in Quebec, and no activity of any kind to help the adult blind population in all of Canada. Philip E. Layton, a blind person and the great grandfather of  New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, became keenly aware of these conditions shortly after his arrival from England in 1887. Twenty years later, with the assistance of many outstanding associates, he founded the Montreal MAB.  In 1922, a graduate of the MAB's elementary school named after Mr. Layton became the first blind student in Canada to be enrolled in a local high school.

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Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213
E-mail: mcohen@emsb.qc.ca