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Opinion: Canada’s Pending Accessibility Law Comes Off As the Liberals Just Fulfilling An Election Promise

Unlike similar legislation in the U.S., the ACA’s scope will be limited to federal agencies and programs Gabrielle Peters · for CBC News · Posted: Feb 07, 2019

We are getting sunny words about equal participation, opportunity and dignity, written around legislation that is too broad to actually achieve it.

Canada is finally on the verge of passing federal disability legislation. So why aren’t I, a disabled woman, celebrating?

Because Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act is not the legislation many disabled Canadians asked for or need.

Advocates Say Accessible Canada Act is too Weak to Be Effective

The Canadian Press
Updated: December 19, 2018

The cautious optimism that prevailed in Canada’s disabled community when the federal government tabled historic accessibility legislation earlier this year has given way to widespread concern that the law won’t lead to meaningful change.

Major disability organizations, grassroots advocacy groups and disabled individuals said they’ve raised numerous concerns about the power and scope of the Accessible Canada Act, which the Liberal government first introduced in June.

They said the government has largely ignored those concerns as the bill worked its way through debate in the House of Commons and are now calling on the Senate to introduce amendments that they say would make the bill more effective.

A Wake Up Call on the Urgent Need to Remove Barriers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA: Canada has received a wake-up call in recent months about the urgent need to remove physical barriers in the built environment and improve accessibility for people of all abilities.

In June 2018, the federal government tabled the Accessible Canada Act, a means to ensure equality, inclusion, and full participation in society for all Canadians. This historic event was welcomed by disability groups and advocates across the country, as Canada currently has no set national standard for measuring accessibility and implementing change.

Meow Cat Café Dispute Highlights Canada’s Accessibility Problem, Paralympian Jeff Adams Says

The owners of the business argued that wheelchairs pose a danger to their cats. By Emma Paling
The Huffington Post
08/14/2018

Paralympian and law student Jeff Adams spent an uncomfortable few hours at Meow Cat Café in Toronto after hearing the business turned away a 16-year-old because he uses a wheelchair.

The issue of accessibility in Canada is larger than one cat café in Toronto, paralympian Jeff Adams says.

Meow Cat Café was in the news all weekend when Global News reported that a 16-year-old wasn’t allowed inside for a birthday outing because he uses a wheelchair.

Editorial: It’s time to start talking about territorial accessibility legislation

Now that Ottawa has tabled its new accessibility law, the Yukon needs to prepare to follow suit Aug. 10, 2018

At the beginning of the year Yukon Hospital Corporation unveiled a $72-million makeover at the Whitehorse General Hospital.
For that money the territory got itself a snazzy new emergency room complete with a bunch of changes designed to streamline the process of seeing a doctor.
But officials forgot something. The new ER came with a new entrance. That entrance doesn’t have a cutout in the sidewalk directly outside the front door which is what’s needed for wheelchair users to easily get inside.

Minister Duncan Introduces the Proposed Accessible Canada Act

From: Employment and Social Development Canada
News release

Most significant progress for people with disabilities in over 30 years
June 20, 2018 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, following the most inclusive and accessible consultation with Canadians with disabilities and with the disability community, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, introduced the proposed Accessible Canada Act to Parliament. This historic legislation would enable the Government of Canada to take a proactive approach to end systemic discrimination of people with disabilities.

Canada’s First National Accessibility Law Tabled in Ottawa

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Canadians with disabilities felt a surge of tempered optimism on Wednesday as they watched Canada table its first piece of federal legislation aimed at improving accessibility for people with disabilities.

Disabled residents and advocacy organizations said the introduction of the Accessible Canada Act marked a key step towards greater inclusion and contained several critical points community members had named as priorities during a lengthy cross-country consultation process that helped shape the new bill.

But they also raised concerns about provisions the draft bill appears to lack, such as measures to ensure new accessibility barriers do not work their way into future government laws.