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Disability Discrimination Ranks No. 1 in Manitoba for 15th Straight Year

Nov 21, 2016

Disability Discrimination Still No. 1 

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission (MHRC) tabled its 2015 Annual Report (PDF) in the Legislature on October 6, 2016. There was no press release, no media coverage and no fanfare. Indeed, it was so much under the radar that even we at Barrier-Free Manitoba missed it.

Although Manitoba is home to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, little if any public attention was paid to the fact that disability discrimination complaints accounted for over 45% of all complaints filed with the MHRC in 2015. Notwithstanding that disability discrimination accounted for more complaints than almost all the other 12 protected grounds combined! (Click here to see our article from back when we only had a decade of data.)

Chart with % of 2015 complaints by ground

 Yikes! Isn't that remarkable? 

Not so much. Disability discrimination has been the no. 1 reason why Manitobans have filed human rights complaints each and every year for the last 15 years (and likely even longer if comparable data were available). Over those 15 years, complaints filed based on disability discrimination accounted for an annual average of 41% of all complaints filed.  The figure for 2015 was the 4th highest on record.  

 Disability complaints as % of all complaints since 2001

What we hope will be remarkable will be the positive impact of the full and effective implementation of the landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA). The purpose of the AMA is to provide for the proactive and systemic removal of the barriers that are faced daily by Manitobans with disabilities and that are the cause of these human rights complaints. The AMA is also designed to prevent the creation of new barriers. 

It took a tireless five-year campaign, supported by more than 100,000 Manitobans, to secure passage of the AMA. With disability discrimination finally recognized as a major, non-partisan public issue, the AMA passed Third Reading with a unanimous, all-member, all-party vote in the Legislative Assembly in December 2013. The AMA commits the provincial government to ensure substantial progress toward full accessibility by 2023.   


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