Statement on Matthew MacKnight

In response to ‘Nova Scotia Liberal candidate removed for Down syndrome tweet‘:

The Canadian Down Syndrome Society believes that derogatory slurs and speech against any community undermines the values of inclusion, diversity and acceptance that Canadians are known for. Our vision, a society where, “All people are valued, fully participating citizens,” depends on acts of respect – for every member.

While we were disheartened to hear of the comments on social media made by Matthew MacKnight, former Pictou East candidate, we invite him to learn more about Canada’s incredible Down syndrome community. People with Down syndrome are contributing to society in important ways – by attending post-secondary institutions, having careers and jobs, volunteering in their communities, and making lasting and meaningful connections and friendships. Nova Scotia has a vibrant Down syndrome community, one that all Nova Scotians should be proud of.

We also extend our appreciation to the Nova Scotia Liberal Party for their response to this matter.

The Canadian Down Syndrome Society encourages all Canadians to reach out to their local Down syndrome community groups and get to know those in their communities who may be part of marginalized communities, like people with Down syndrome. By learning more about one another, we stand to gain a much more inclusive – and ultimately, positive – society.