Manitoba

Disability-rights group applauds Manitoba bill

Advocates for Manitobans with disabilities are happy with a new accessibility-rights bill the provincial government has introduced.

Advocates for Manitobans with disabilities are happy with a new accessibility-rights bill the provincial government has introduced.

The bill proposes "collaborative, long-range planning" between governments, the private sector and advocacy groups to make private businesses and public spaces more accessible to people with disabilities.

Jennifer Howard, Manitoba's minister responsible for persons with disabilities, announces on Wednesday that an accessibility-rights bill has been introduced in the legislature. (CBC)

Jennifer Howard, the minister responsible for persons with disabilities, announced on Wednesday that the bill has been introduced in the legislature.

"I think it kind of marshals a new era in the way we address our obligations in terms of human rights to accessibility," Patrick Falconer of Barrier Free Manitoba told CBC News.

"I think it's a giant step forward. It's a new era. I think the legislation is game-changing."

There are nearly 200,000 people in Manitoba with disabilities, according to Barrier Free Manitoba, a group that has been calling for accessibility legislation in recent years.

Falconer said Ontario has had accessibility laws since 2005, and hopes Manitoba will improve on that legislation.

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