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Federal Consultation Participation Options: A Primer

Sep 25, 2016

(The following is available for download as Word and PDF documents) 

One of the highlights for Canadians with disabilities leading up to the 2015 federal election was the commitment made by three of the political parties to pass a Canadians with Disabilities Act if elected. One of those parties, the Liberal Party of Canada, was elected to form the new government. Almost one year into its mandate, the new government recently launched an engagement process that will lead to the introduction of this landmark national accessibility legislation.

Limited information has yet been made available on the engagement process.

This primer for Manitobans has been developed to share the information that is available on the process and how stakeholders and interested members of the public can participate.

Further resources will be developed and/or distributed as the consultation process proceeds.

The Consultation Basics

Following the election, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Carla Qualtrough as Canada’s ever first Minister of Sports and Persons with Disabilities. As part of the appointment, the Prime Minister directed the new Minister to lead an engagement process with provinces, territories, municipalities, and stakeholders that will lead to the passage of this new legislation.

The engagement strategy is expected to include:

  • A public consultation process conducted by the federal government that is open to all Canadians;
  • A government-funded process led by a partnership of national disability organizations designed to engage the broader disability community in a dialogue about the proposed legislation.

Only information on the public process has been made available to date.

The Public Consultation Process

The federal government announced and launched a public consultation process on August 23, 2016 to ask Canadians to share their ideas for what has been described as “new national accessibility legislation to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities”.

This public process is being led by the federal Office of Disability Issues (ODI) and will include both in-person public sessions held in 18 urban centres across Canada, a one-day National Youth Forum and an online survey. The ODI is posting information on the public process at:

The government has committed to sharing information on the viewpoints received once this public consultation process is completed in February 2017.

The Public Sessions

The basic timetable for the public sessions was first released in late August with the session to be held in Winnipeg scheduled for October 3rd. Additional details were made available in mid-September, just two weeks before the date of the Winnipeg session.

The schedule for the Winnipeg event has been confirmed:

4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Monday, October 3rd
Room: Delta AB
Delta Hotel by Marriott
350 St. Mary Avenue, Winnipeg

The following is the agenda that has been provided for the public sessions:


  • Welcome and opening remarks
  • Public discussion
  1. What are the main barriers to accessibility that Canadians with disabilities face?
  2. What would it take to fix those barriers?
  3. How can we change attitudes in Canada to better include and respect people with disabilities?

Pre-registration for the public event is optional but recommended, especially for individuals who require accessibility accommodations. Persons and organizations wishing to pre-register have been asked to contact the Office of Disability Issues:

Phone: 1-844-836-8126
TTY: 819-934-6649
Fax: 819-953-4797
Email address:
Mailing address:
Consultation - Federal Accessibility Legislation
c/o Office for Disability Issues
Employment and Social Development Canada
105 Hotel-de-ville St., 1st floor, Bag 62
Gatineau QC K1A 0J9

The National Youth Forum

Minister Qualtrough will host a one-day national forum for youth with disabilities and youth who have life experience, work experience or academic experience related to disability. The forum will take place on November 1st, 2016, in Ottawa.
Participation in the forum is based on an application process with regional, linguistic, gender and other demographic factors being taken into account in selection.

The deadline for applications was September 18, 2016.

The Online Survey

Completing an online survey is an alternative or additional way to participate in the public consultation process. The online survey includes many more questions than the three questions in the agenda set for the public sessions.

The online survey asks respondents to voluntarily share basic personal and demographic information. The survey asks a series of questions about attitudes and awareness. This is followed by a series of sub-questions grouped under each of the following main questions:

  1. What is the goal of the legislation?
  2. What approach should the legislation take to improve accessibility and remove barriers?
  3. Who should be covered by the legislation?
  4. What accessibility issues and barriers should the legislation address?
  5. How should compliance with the legislation be monitored and enforced?
  6. How should organizations be supported to improve accessibility?
  7. How will we know if the legislation is effective in improving accessibility and removing barriers?

The online survey provides basic background information related to the consultation objectives, the proposed legislation and each of the main questions. The online survey is posted at:

An accessible PDF version of the survey in the form of a discussion guide is available at:

The federal consultation website also invites respondents to submit their “feedback in the language of their choice (English, French, American Sign Language or Langue des signes québécoise) and preferred format such as online, handwritten, video or audio submissions. These can be arranged through contact with the Office of Disability Issues (see contact information provided above).


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