the Annotated Accessible Canada Act (ACA)
The Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada, S.C. 2019, c. 10, which is commonly known as the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) came into force on July 11, 2019. It is Canada’s first piece of federal legislation focusing on accessibility for persons with disabilities. The ACA aims to achieve a “Canada without barriers” by January 1, 2040.
The ACA regulates accessibility for those sectors of the economy that fall under federal jurisdiction pursuant to s. 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867. This includes federal works and undertakings, and businesses and organizations such as banks, airlines, railways, marine and other interprovincial transportation carriers, the Canadian Forces, parliamentary entities such as the Senate and the House of Commons, and most Crown corporations such as Canada Post.
However, the Act itself has a number of exemptions which lead to a patchwork approach to its application across federally regulated entities.
In this book, we cover the most significant parts of the ACA from the perspective of members of the public who may use it: people with disabilities, advocates and lawyers, as well as disability rights researchers and scholars.
In 2017, Statistics Canada reported that 22% of the population of Canada aged 15 years or older identify as people with disabilities. With a population in Canada of approximately 38 million, those with disabilities comprise over 7 million people.
We hope that this resource will help interested individuals, especially people with disabilities in Canada, to unravel, interpret and examine the implications of the Accessible Canada Act, and to know their rights within it.
The LDSC Project is releasing the first part of The Annotated Accessible Canada Act today, with the rest to follow early in the new year. The Annotated Accessible Canada Act is currently available through the LDSC Project’s website and the University of Windsor’s Scholarship Repository. The authors plan for it to be circulated further through CANLII: Canadian Legal Information Institute, a non-profit organization managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.