Consulting With Canadians on a Federal Accessibility Legislation

AuthorYosie Saint-Cyr
DateNovember 03, 2016

Between July 2016 and February 2017, the federal government is consulting Canadians on planned federal accessibility legislation. The goal of the law would be to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of every day life. It is expected that the new legislation will incorporate many features from Ontario and Manitoba’s accessibility laws that would include the process or processes that the Government would use to develop the accessibility standards, as well as the areas or activities to which the standards would apply.

It is also important to note that the federal accessibility legislation is in addition to obligations under the Canadian Human Rights Act duty to accommodate persons with disabilities to the point of undue hardship.

The federal government is seeking input to develop the planned new Canadians with Disabilities Act, including:

  • feedback on the overall goal and approach the government should take;
  • whom it should cover. Should it apply to federally regulated employers, such as banks, cross-border transportation providers, and telecommunications companies; Parliament of Canada; Departments, agencies and institutions of the Government of Canada etc.?
  • what accessibility issues and barriers it should address? For example, the legislation could state that it will improve accessibility and remove barriers in specific areas, such as: the built environment; program and service delivery; the procurement of goods and services; employment; online services; transportation; and information and communications;
  • how it could be monitored and enforced. The legislation would likely contain a section or sections that describe how compliance with the...

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