Thursday, July 19, 2018 Kelowna, British Columbia, July 19, 2018 Canadians with disabilities may have been offered an on-ramp to the inclusive society with the tabling of the Accessible Canada Act on June 20, 2018.
The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), a grassroots peer support and advocacy organization, has been active for the past two years in the pursuit of a piece of federal legislation which would remove existing barriers and prevent the creation of new ones for Canadians with disabilities. On June 20, 2018, Bill C81, the Accessible Canada Act, was tabled in Parliament by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.
"Although there have been many consultations held and many personal and organizational briefs submitted over the past two years leading up to the initial release of this landmark legislation, the work to ensure it is strong enough to protect our rights, remove existing barriers and prevent the creation of new ones is just beginning,” said Peter Field, National President. "AEBC looks forward to participating in the important next steps: the refinement and improvement of the legislation so that, when it is finally proclaimed into law, it will truly make a difference in the lives of Canadians with disabilities."
AEBC's members will be demanding stronger guarantees that all necessary regulations will be created and that the bar will be set as high as possible. Timeframes must be specified so that the government and all regulated entities can be held accountable and so that Canadians with disabilities will not be forced to wait longer than absolutely necessary for true equality.
It is true that, near the end of its mandate, the government has finally initiated the process to live up to an election promise to Canadians with Disabilities, but will Parliament get the act passed prior to the next election?
For further information: Marcia Yale Chair, Accessible Canada Working Group Tel.: 705-571-4445 Email: email@example.com