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S.M. 2011, c. 37
Bill 47, 5th Session, 39th Legislature
The Accessibility Advisory Council Act and Amendments to The Government Purchases Act
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(Assented to June 16, 2011)
WHEREAS under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Canada ratified in 2010, member states are expected to take appropriate measures to ensure accessibility and independent living;
AND WHEREAS the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that every person has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination based on age or mental or physical disability;
AND WHEREAS most Manitobans will confront barriers to accessibility at some point in their lives;
AND WHEREAS achieving accessibility will improve the health, independence and social inclusion of persons disabled by barriers, and of seniors;
AND WHEREAS legislation is needed to establish a systemic and proactive approach for identifying, preventing and removing barriers that will complement The Human Rights Code in ensuring accessibility for Manitobans;
THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
The following definitions apply in this Act.
"barrier" means a barrier described in section 3. (« barrière »)
"council" means the Accessibility Advisory Council established by subsection 4(1). (« Conseil »)
"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)
"organization" means any organization in the public or private sector and includes an unincorporated association, partnership, sole proprietorship or trade union. (« organisme »)
The purpose of this Act is to enhance accessibility by identifying barriers that disable people and the ways in which those barriers can be prevented and removed.
For a person who has a long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment, a barrier is anything that interacts with that impairment in a way that may hinder the person's full and effective participation in society on an equal basis.
The following are examples of barriers:
(a) a physical barrier;
(b) an architectural barrier;
(c) an information or communications barrier;
(d) an attitudinal barrier;
(e) a technological barrier;
(f) a barrier established or perpetuated by an enactment, a policy or a practice.
ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COUNCIL
The Accessibility Advisory Council is hereby established.
The council is to consist of at least 6 and not more than 12 members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council must make the first appointments to the council within three months after the coming into force of this Act.
In appointing members to the council, the Lieutenant Governor in Council must include
(a) persons who are disabled by barriers or representatives from organizations for persons who are disabled by barriers; and
(b) representatives of persons or organizations that have the ability to prevent and remove barriers that disable people.
A member of the council is to be appointed for a term not exceeding three years.
A member whose term expires continues to hold office until he or she is re-appointed, the appointment is revoked or a successor is appointed.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council must designate one member of the council as chair and another member as vice-chair to act if the chair is absent or unable to act.
The council must
(a) meet at least six times each year; and
(b) meet with the minister at least once every 12 months.
Subject to the approval of the minister, the council may establish one or more committees and assign to them the functions that it considers appropriate.
Members of a committee are to be appointed by the council and may include persons who are not members of the council.
The minister may approve the payment of remuneration and reasonable expenses to the members of the council and a committee of the council.
The minister may provide resources from his or her department to support the work of the council or a committee of the council.
MANDATE OF THE COUNCIL
The council is to advise and make recommendations to the minister respecting
(a) provisions that may be enacted by legislation or regulation that, once enacted, will put in place a process for the systematic and timely identification, prevention and removal of barriers that disable people;
(b) other measures, policies, practices and requirements that may be implemented by the government to improve accessibility;
(c) long-term accessibility objectives for furthering the purpose of this Act; and
(d) any other matter relating to accessibility on which the minister seeks the council's advice.
In carrying out its mandate, the council must have regard for the following principles:
Access: barriers should not prevent a person from accessing places, events and other functions that are generally available in the community.
Equality: barriers should not prevent a person from accessing those things that will give the person equality of opportunity and outcome.
Universal design: access should be provided in a manner that does not establish or perpetuate differences based on a person's impairment.
Systemic responsibility: the responsibility to prevent and remove barriers rests with the public or private organization that is responsible for establishing or perpetuating the barrier.
In preparing its recommendations, the council must
(a) consult with
(i) persons who are disabled by barriers or representatives from organizations for persons who are disabled by barriers, and
(ii) representatives of persons and organizations that have the ability to prevent and remove barriers that disable people; and
(b) have regard for
(i) the nature of the barriers that the measures, policies, practices and other requirements are intended to identify, prevent or remove, and
(ii) any technical and economic considerations that may be associated with identifying, preventing or removing a barrier.
The council must
(a) make its initial recommendations to the minister within 12 months of the day this section came into force; and
(b) after the initial recommendations are made, make additional recommendations whenever the council considers it appropriate to make additional recommendations.
The council must attempt to achieve a consensus among its members on the recommendations made to the minister, but one or more members may submit separate recommendations if a consensus is not achieved.
The minister must make the council's recommendations available to the public by posting them on a government website and by any other means the minister considers advisable.
Within 45 days after the council's recommendations are made public, a person may submit written comments about the recommendations to the minister.
Within 90 days after the period for public comment ends, the minister must provide a written response to the council about
(a) the council's recommendations; and
(b) any written comments received by the minister in respect of those recommendations.
The council must submit to the minister an annual report of its affairs and activities at the time specified by the minister.
The minister must include the council's annual report in the annual report of his or her department.
AMENDMENTS TO GOVERNMENT PURCHASES ACT
The following is added after clause 7(1)(b):
The following is added after clause 17(c):
(c.1) establishing barrier-free purchasing guidelines for the purpose of clause 7(1)(b.1);
C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND COMING INTO FORCE
This Act may be cited as The Accessibility Advisory Council Act and referred to as chapter A1.7 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.
This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.
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