In 2010 Canada became a signatur on the United Nations convention On the Rights Of Persons With Disabilities. Then In 2017 Canada completed it’s obligatory commitment when it acceded to the Optional Protocol to this United Nations convention.

This week Minister Qualtrough championed into law Bill C-81 – the “Accessible Canada Act”.

Donna Jodhan, President, Barrier Free Canada states that, “Canadians with disabilities have worked tirelessly over the years to reach this monumental legislation. We now have an Act of our own that sets a timeline for Canada to become barrier free by 2040“.

The Act is a shell giving the outline or the promise of what is to be“, Robin East, Vice President says. “now, the next five years will fill-up that “shell” through regulations that will make Canada accessible and barrier free“.

We are no longer stakeholders waiting for others to make decisions for us, East says, we are “Rights Holders” and we have taken our place in the fabric of Canadian society“.

Expectations have been raised through the years of consultations with us“, exclaims East, “and I believe that over the next few years, as we build regulations and standards around this Act, our Accessible Canada will be second to none.

This legislation requires federally regulated entities to ensure accessibility in work places, public places, employment, programs, services, and information. We applaud this and, at the same time, recognize that not all of barrier free Canada’s principles are included in this “act”. However, it is a solid foundation for people with disabilities, of which we can build upon.

Our Accessible Canada Act is one more step towards full inclusion and we need to ensure that the momentum we have built continues.” states Jodhan. “Barrier Free Canada and people with disabilities celebrate this historic event and we thank Minister Qualtrough and the thousands of people with disabilities that have worked to make Bill C-81 a reality.

Photo Alt: Canada Day flag with maple leaf on background of Montreal city. Red Canadian symbol over buildings of Montreal town with Barrier Free Canada Logo in English on the left, and in French on the right. Image.

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