Ottawa will implement Senate proposals to strengthen accessibility law: minister
Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Service and Procurement and Accessibility stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, May 23, 2019 5:26AM EDT
Canada's accessibility minister says the government will be acting on the Senate's proposed recommendations to strengthen the country's first piece of accessibility legislation for people with disabilities.
Carla Qualtrough sent a letter to disabled advocates saying the government planned to accept all the amendments senators had proposed for Bill C-81, also known as the Accessible Canada Act.
Earlier this month, the Senate committee on social affairs, science and technology adopted several amendments that nearly a hundred disability organizations said were necessary to make the law effective.
Chief among them was a call to set a timeline requiring the act to be fully implemented in all areas under federal jurisdiction by 2040, as well as recognition of sign language as an official language among deaf Canadians.
The federal government had resisted some of those measures as the bill worked its way through the House of Commons, but Qualtrough says all proposed Senate amendments will now be included.
The amended bill is expected to come back before Parliament for final consideration next week.