Make Manitoba Accessible
Manitobans with disabilities have the basic human right to fully participate in all aspects of life in the community such as work, study, shopping, and recreation. However, people with disabilities continue to face serious barriers that prevent their full participation in parts of life that most Manitobans take for granted.
The landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) was passed with unanimous, all-member, all party support in 2013 to provide a clear and proactive process for the identification, prevention and removal of barriers. The AMA mandated that significant progress be made toward achieving full accessibility by 2023 – by this year.
The slow, weak and poorly resourced implementation of the AMA has been a major disappointment. Moreover, measures have been taken to further limit the AMA’s impact, including:
- Reducing compliance requirements on 95% of organizations in the province;
- Eliminating the requirement that 156 government appointed agencies prepare, update and make publicly available their plans to proactively remove barriers;
- Excluding the accessibility of buildings from the proposed Built Environment Standard and narrowing the focus instead on only outdoor spaces and public spaces;
- Restricting consultations with the disability community on many aspects of the AMA and disregarding recommendations to strengthen the Act;
- Failing to establish an effective system to monitor, report on and enforce compliance.
As it stands, a full decade into implementation, leaders from nearly four in every ten Manitoba businesses report that they have no or only a limited understanding of the AMA and their legal and human rights responsibility to remove barriers under the Act.
Questions for the Parties: If elected to form the government...
- What will your party do to strengthen the implementation of the AMA and ensure timely and significant progress toward an accessible Manitoba?
- How will your party ensure the timely and comprehensive prevention and removal of barriers in facilities, buildings, and structures?
- How will your party ensure that persons most impacted by barriers to accessibility are meaningfully consulted on all matters related to the AMA?