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Accessible Canada Act (S.C. 2019, c. 10)

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Act current to 2020-03-05 and last amended on 2019-07-11. Previous Versions

Accessible Canada Act

S.C. 2019, c. 10

Assented to 2019-06-21

An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada

Preamble

Whereas the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, discrimination on the basis of disability;

Whereas the Canadian Human Rights Act recognizes that all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated without discrimination and, in particular, discrimination on the basis of disability;

Whereas a proactive and systemic approach for identifying, removing and preventing barriers to accessibility without delay complements the rights of persons with disabilities under the Canadian Human Rights Act;

Whereas Canada is a State Party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Canada has agreed to take appropriate measures respecting accessibility and to develop and monitor minimum accessibility standards;

Whereas barriers to accessibility can impact all persons in Canada, in particular those with disabilities and their families, and can prevent persons with disabilities from achieving their full and equal participation in society;

And whereas Parliament considers that it is essential to ensure the economic, social and civic participation of all persons in Canada, regardless of their disabilities, and to allow them to fully exercise their rights and responsibilities in a barrier-free Canada;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Accessible Canada Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

Accessibility Commissioner

Accessibility Commissioner means the member of the Canadian Human Rights Commission that is appointed under subsection 26(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act and that is referred to in that Act as the “Accessibility Commissioner”. (commissaire à l’accessibilité)

barrier

barrier means anything — including anything physical, architectural, technological or attitudinal, anything that is based on information or communications or anything that is the result of a policy or a practice — that hinders the full and equal participation in society of persons with an impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment or a functional limitation. (obstacle)

broadcasting undertaking

broadcasting undertaking has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Broadcasting Act. (entreprise de radiodiffusion)

Canadian carrier

Canadian carrier has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Telecommunications Act. (entreprise canadienne)

disability

disability means any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment — or a functional limitation — whether permanent, temporary or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society. (handicap)

Minister

Minister means the member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada designated under section 4. (ministre)

personal information

personal information has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Privacy Act. (renseignements personnels)

regulated entity

regulated entity means an entity or person referred to in subsection 7(1). (entité réglementée)

Standards Organization

Standards Organization means the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization established under subsection 17(1). (organisation de normalisation)

telecommunications service provider

telecommunications service provider has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Telecommunications Act. (fournisseur de services de télécommunication)

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada.

Designation

Marginal note:Designation of Minister

 The Governor in Council may, by order, designate a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as the Minister for the purposes of this Act.

Purpose of Act

Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Act is to benefit all persons, especially persons with disabilities, through the realization, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, of a Canada without barriers, on or before January 1, 2040, particularly by the identification and removal of barriers, and the prevention of new barriers, in the following areas:

  • (a) employment;

  • (b) the built environment;

  • (c) information and communication technologies;

  • (c.1) communication, other than information and communication technologies;

  • (d) the procurement of goods, services and facilities;

  • (e) the design and delivery of programs and services;

  • (f) transportation; and

  • (g) areas designated under regulations made under paragraph 117(1)(b).

Marginal note:Clarification

  •  (1) The area of communication referred to in paragraph 5(c.1)

    • (a) includes the use of American Sign Language, Quebec Sign Language and Indigenous sign languages; and

    • (b) does not include broadcasting as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Broadcasting Act or telecommunications as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Telecommunications Act.

  • Marginal note:Recognition of sign languages

    (2) American Sign Language, Quebec Sign Language and Indigenous sign languages are recognized as the primary languages for communication by deaf persons in Canada.

Marginal note:Interpretation

 Nothing in this Act, including its purpose of the realization of a Canada without barriers, should be construed as requiring or authorizing any delay in the removal of barriers or the implementation of measures to prevent new barriers as soon as is reasonably possible.

Principles

Marginal note:Principles

 This Act is to be carried out in recognition of, and in accordance with, the following principles:

  • (a) all persons must be treated with dignity regardless of their disabilities;

  • (b) all persons must have the same opportunity to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have regardless of their disabilities;

  • (c) all persons must have barrier-free access to full and equal participation in society, regardless of their disabilities;

  • (d) all persons must have meaningful options and be free to make their own choices, with support if they desire, regardless of their disabilities;

  • (e) laws, policies, programs, services and structures must take into account the disabilities of persons, the different ways that persons interact with their environments and the multiple and intersecting forms of marginalization and discrimination faced by persons;

  • (f) persons with disabilities must be involved in the development and design of laws, policies, programs, services and structures; and

  • (g) the development and revision of accessibility standards and the making of regulations must be done with the objective of achieving the highest level of accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Application

Marginal note:Application

  •  (1) This Act applies to the following entities and persons:

    • (a) each entity named or set out in any of Schedules I to V to the Financial Administration Act;

    • (b) each Crown corporation, as defined in subsection 83(1) of the Financial Administration Act that is not referred to in Schedule III to that Act;

    • (c) every portion of the federal public administration that is designated under subsection (3);

    • (d) the Canadian Forces;

    • (e) any person, partnership or unincorporated organization that operates a work or carries on an undertaking or business that is within the legislative authority of Parliament, other than a work, undertaking or business of a local or private nature in Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut; and

    • (f) any entity or person — including a trustee, executor, administrator, liquidator of the succession, guardian, curator or tutor — that acts in the name of, or for the benefit of, any entity or person in the operation of a work or carrying on of an undertaking or business that is within the legislative authority of Parliament, other than a work, undertaking or business of a local or private nature in Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut.

  • Marginal note:Parliamentary entities

    (2) This Act also applies, to the extent provided for in Part 9, to the entities referred to in the definition of parliamentary entity in section 134.

  • Marginal note:Designation

    (3) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c), the Governor in Council may, by order, designate any portion of the federal public administration that is not named or set out in any of Schedules I to V to the Financial Administration Act.

Marginal note:Non-application

 Nothing in this Act applies to the Yukon Government, the Government of the Northwest Territories or the Government of Nunavut or a corporation established to perform any function or duty on behalf of any of those Governments.

 
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