In June 2018, Bill C-81 was introduced in the Canadian House of Commons. Also known as the “Accessible Canada Act”, this was the first-ever proposed national legislation of its kind. This bill affects all Canadians – and especially people with disabilities.
Over a 10-month period (May 2018 – March 2019), more than 50 non-profit, Canadian organizations are working together, including CACL, and with the Government of Canada, to ensure there is strong, effective federal accessibility legislation. Together, these organizations are known as the Federal Accessibility Legislation Alliance (FALA), of which CACL is a partner.
After the first draft of Bill C-81 was introduced in the House of Commons in June, FALA wanted to better understand it. A team of lawyers who understand disability really well looked at it. The lawyers compared the recommendations FALA made when the bill was being created with what is in the first draft of legislation. The lawyer team has made further recommendations. In truth, it is a pretty good bill. But it can be better.
Later in September, FALA will send out a survey asking people about their insights and perspectives on Bill C-81. What do you think is important in the bill? What is the impact the proposed legislation will have on your life? The information FALA receives from people’s answers will be sorted in an anonymous way. It will be shared with its memberships and used to advise the government on how they can change the draft legislation to make it as strong as possible.
FALA knows it is important that people understand Bill C-81. Legal wording and the length of the bill can make it difficult to read. FALA has developed a short, plain language version for sharing. Read the plain language version here.
All of these resources will be shared on the FALA website at include-me.ca. FALA will also have other resources about Bill C-81. Follow FALA on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed on the latest progress on making this draft legislation a reality.