Support Accessibility Rights Legislation

March 26, 2011

Approximately 40 per cent of complaints to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission relate to the rights of Manitobans with disabilities. This is a clear sign that people with disabilities are facing far too many barriers to full participation in our communities.

The Manitoba Federation of Labour supports the campaign by Barrier Free Manitoba for accessibility rights legislation in Manitoba. Modeled on the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act of 2005, such legislation would:

  • Establish a deadline for Manitoba to become barrier free for Manitobans with disabilities. Ontario’s law provided 20 years to achieve full accessibility.
  • Identify areas in which accessibility standards must be implemented. These would include customer service, transportation, the built environment, information and communications, and employment.
  • Establish a process by which recommended accessibility standards would be developed. That process would be led by cross-sector committees, involving all stakeholders, including members who are persons with disabilities or their representatives.
  • Make government responsible for determining which standards are implemented to achieve full accessibility.
  • Establish a pro-active enforcement mechanism that includes regular reporting on compliance. This is in contrast with the current complaint-driven system.

The time to act is NOW. Barrier Free Manitoba has organized a postcard campaign urging the Premier to introduce accessibility rights legislation in the upcoming spring session of the Manitoba legislature. Please support this campaign by sending in your message of support here.

You can learn more about Barrier Free Manitoba and accessibility rights legislation on the Barrier Free Manitoba Website.