Accessible Canada Act (S.C. 2019, c. 10)
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Act current to 2023-05-17 and last amended on 2023-04-27. Previous Versions
Accessible Canada Act
S.C. 2019, c. 10
Assented to 2019-06-21
An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada
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:
Marginal note:Short title
1 This Act may be cited as the Accessible Canada Act.
2 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 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 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 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)
Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty
3 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada.
Marginal note:Designation of Minister
4 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
5 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:
(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).
5.1 (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.
5.2 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.
6 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.
7 (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.
(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.
8 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.
Marginal note:Canadian Forces
9 Nothing in this Act is to be construed as affecting the principle of universality of service under which members of the Canadian Forces must at all times and under any circumstances perform any functions that they may be required to perform.
Marginal note:Royal Canadian Mounted Police
10 Nothing in this Act is to be construed as affecting the principle that certain physical and other qualifications are necessary for appointment under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act or to prevent the establishment of requirements that are necessary to carry out functions and duties within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
PART 1Minister’s Powers, Duties and Functions
11 (1) The Minister’s mandate is the realization of a Canada without barriers on or before January 1, 2040.
(2) In carrying out his or her mandate, the Minister may, among other things,
(a) provide information, advice and assistance in relation to matters relating to accessibility; and
(b) promote, support and conduct research into the identification and removal of barriers and the prevention of new barriers.
Marginal note:Minister’s powers, duties and functions
12 The Minister’s powers, duties and functions extend to and include all matters relating to accessibility over which Parliament has jurisdiction and that are not by law assigned to any other Minister or to any department, board or agency of the Government of Canada.
Marginal note:Policies, programs and projects
13 The Minister may initiate, recommend, implement and promote policies, programs and projects in relation to matters relating to accessibility.
Marginal note:Grants and contributions
14 The Minister may make grants and contributions in support of the Minister’s programs and projects in relation to matters relating to accessibility.
15 Subject to the Statistics Act, the Minister may collect, analyse, interpret, publish and distribute information in relation to matters relating to accessibility.
Marginal note:Coordination with provincial and territorial authorities
16 The Minister must make every reasonable effort to collaborate with provincial or territorial authorities with a view to coordinating efforts in relation to matters relating to accessibility.
PART 2Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization
Marginal note:Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization
17 (1) A corporation is established to be known as the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization.
Marginal note:Agent of Her Majesty
(2) The Standards Organization is an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada.
Marginal note:Head office
(3) The head office of the Standards Organization is to be at a place in Canada that is designated by the Governor in Council.
18 The Standards Organization’s mandate is to contribute to the realization of a Canada without barriers, on or before January 1, 2040, through, among other things,
(a) the development and revision of accessibility standards;
(b) the recommendation of accessibility standards to the Minister;
(c) the provision of information, products and services in relation to the accessibility standards that it has developed or revised;
(d) the promotion, support and conduct of research into the identification and removal of barriers and the prevention of new barriers; and
(e) the dissemination of information, including information about best practices, in relation to the identification and removal of barriers and the prevention of new barriers.
19 The Standards Organization, in carrying out its mandate, may
(a) enter into contracts, agreements or other arrangements with any person or entity, including any government, in the name of Her Majesty in right of Canada or in its own name;
(b) make grants and contributions;
(c) establish and register its own marks under the Trademarks Act and authorize and regulate their use subject to that Act;
(d) license, sell or otherwise make available any patent, copyright, industrial design, trademark or other similar property right that it holds, controls or administers;
(e) charge a fee for any accessibility standard that it develops or revises and any information, product or service that it provides under this Act;
(f) spend any money that it receives through its activities, in the fiscal year in which the money is received or in the subsequent fiscal year;
(g) acquire any money, securities or other personal or movable property by gift or bequest and expend, administer or dispose of the property subject to the terms, if any, on which the gift or bequest was made; and
(h) undertake any other activities that it considers conducive to the furtherance of its mandate and the exercise of its powers.
- 2019, c. 10, s. 19
- 2019, c. 10, s. 205(E)
Marginal note:Other powers
20 The Standards Organization may develop accessibility standards for — or provide any information, product or service related to accessibility standards to — any person or entity, including any government in Canada or elsewhere.
Marginal note:Ministerial directions
21 (1) The Minister may issue general directions to the Standards Organization respecting the carrying out of its mandate.
Marginal note:Non-application of Statutory Instruments Act
(2) The Statutory Instruments Act does not apply to directions issued under subsection (1).
Board of Directors
Marginal note:Establishment and composition
22 The Standards Organization is to have a board of directors consisting of not more than 11 directors, including a Chair and a Vice-Chair.
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