Canada launches consultation on planned new accessibility legislation

The Government of Canada is committed to eliminating systemic barriers and delivering equality of opportunity to all Canadians living with disabilities.

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities announced the launch of a national consultation process to inform the development of planned legislation that will transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility.

Minister Qualtrough highlighted the critical importance of accessibility and affirmed the Government of Canada’s commitment to ensuring all Canadians are able to participate equally in their communities and workplaces. She outlined that many Canadians continue to face barriers that affect their ability to participate in daily activities that most people take for granted. Barriers could include:

  • physical, architectural  and electronic barriers that impact the ability of people with disabilities to move freely in the built environment, to use public transportation or to access information or use technology;
  • attitudes, beliefs and misconceptions that some people may have about people with disabilities and what they can and cannot do; and
  • outdated policies and practices that do not take into account the varying abilities and disabilities that people may have.

The Government of Canada is seeking input for this planned legislation, including:

  • feedback on the overall goal and approach;
  • to whom would apply;
  • what accessibility issues and barriers it could address;
  • how it could be monitored and enforced; and
  • what else the Government of Canada could do to improve accessibility.

Canadians from around the country have already begun sharing their views on what an accessible Canada means to them. Minister Qualtrough encouraged all Canadians to have their say in the consultation process, either by attending an in-person engagement session or by participating in the online consultation which will be launched in the coming weeks. In-person consultations, including roundtables and town halls, will start in September across Canada. The consultation process will run until February 2017.

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