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Recap of Eight Days of Social Media Posts on Serious AMA Related Concerns

Sep 10, 2018

 Rewind logo with the word "Recap"

Read BFM's eight daily Facebook posts and Tweets on major concerns related to the shortfalls in the implementation that started on September 1, 2018.

The Minister and Deputy Minister's office were appraised on August 18th of our plans, in the absense of other developments, to begin postiing these. No response was forthcoming. 

There are presented from most recent to least recent.

September 8, 2018 - Should Manitobans with disabilities be worried?

We profiled a different one of our major concerns about the slow, weak and incomplete implementation of the landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) each day over the last week. While we still have other concerns, we're hitting the pause button.

The new Minister is not responsible for the serious shortfalls of the past. Indeed, she now has the opportunity to provide the committed, principled and accountable leadership that has often been lacking.

BFM has shared our concerns directly with those in charge for more than three years. But with the concerns left largely unresolved, we have more recently felt compelled to make our concerns public:

  • first with the report card we issued this Spring (see:
  • then with the Broken Promise campaign (June)
  • and now with this last week's social media postings (early September)

So yes, we believe that Manitobans with disabilities have plenty to be worried about given the record of implementation to date.

Major changes are urgently needed. We believe that an important starting point is to acknowledge past shortfalls and the need to change. The next vital step is to make the changes required.

Please Minister Stefanson, take the immediate measures required to get the implementation of the AMA on track. Given the looming November 1, 2018 compliance deadline for over 35,000 organizations, time is rapidly running out.

September 7, 2018 - What? No compliance framework yet?

BFM has consistently been raising the importance of the government developing and implementing a strong compliance and enforcement framework to ensure the effectiveness of the AMA for over three years now. Part of this was the strong recommendation that our disability communities be consulted to identify and assess options for this framework.

We were hopeful when the Minister's 2017-18 implementation plan set September 2017 as the target for the framework's development.

But that date came and went. It's now a year later, the first compliance deadline for 35,000+ organizations is less than two months away and our communities have not been consulted. There still is no compliance and enforcement framework.

You gotta wonder whether the government thinks compliance is important?

You gotta wonder if obligated organizations will take the standards seriously?

September 6, 2018 - Still no public discussion paper after 420 days on the AMA’s the accessible information and communication standard

The Information and Communication Standard Development Committee, the group responsible for developing initial recommendations for this 3rd standard under the AMA, met for the first time on July 13, 2017.

That's 14 months ago and the Accessibility Advisory Council has yet to release the discussion paper to begin the public discussion of this essential standard.

You gotta wonder what is taking so long.

September 5, 2018 - Work began on the AMA's accessible employment standard 1,028 days ago: still no standard

The Employment Development Committee, the group responsible for developing initial recommendations for the second accessibility standard to be established under the AMA had its first meeting on November 12, 2015

That's roughly 32 months or 1,028 days ago.

The last major development was the release of the final proposed standard by the Minister in November 2017. That was 10 months ago.

It's now early September and Manitobans are still waiting for this critical standard to be finalized and made into law.

You gotta wonder what has been holding things up for so long.

September 4, 2018 - BFM still waiting for a response from the new Minister to our request to meet and discuss BFM's serious concerns

BFM sent a letter of congratulations and comment on August 2, 2018 to the Honourable Heather Stefanson, the newly appointed Minister of Families now responsible for the landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act.

Here's en excerpt from our letter:

"We have found our efforts to support effective implementation to be particularly challenging and frustrating. This applies to our work during the last two years of the previous government’s mandate and the first two years of your government.

On the one hand, we have secured landmark legislation with all-party endorsement that establishes clear processes, deliverables and timelines with the legislated promise of achieving major progress toward full accessibility by 2023. We also secured recommitments from all the major parties, including the Progressive Conservative Party, to ensure the full and timely implementation of the AMA as part of the last general election.

On the other hand, government implementation efforts to date have been slow, weak and incomplete. Government has often not met its own obligations by the Act’s established deadlines. Moreover, government has not met all of the requirements even after the deadlines."

Accordingly, we requested a meeting with the Minister at the earliest possible date.

We continue to wait for a response.

September 3, 2018 - Still no formal response from the Minister to the Broken Promise campaign and BFM's June 28, 2018 letter

BFM launched the Broken Promise campaign asking for the Minister responsible for the AMA to provide the immediate leadership and resources required to meet the Act's promise. This was to include the timely development and enforcement of strong accessibility standards with more meaningful roles for Manitoba’s diverse disability communities.

Individuals and organizations representing more than 1 in every ten Manitobans signed on in support of the campaign.

The campaign culminated on June 28 with the delivery of post cards to the Legislature and a letter to the Minister from BFM.

The letter set out a road map for getting the implementation of the AMA back on track and requested a formal response.

Click here to see a copy of the letter.

More than 2 months later, we have yet to receive a formal and substantive response.

You gotta wonder why?

September 2, 2018 - Minister’s 2018-19 AMA Implementation Plan now 5 months late

The landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) requires that the responsible Minister prepare and make publicly available an annual implementation setting out the work to be completed over the coming year.

It would seem only reasonable that the implementation plan for 2018-19 would have been made available on or shortly after April 1, 2018. It's now September 2 and it still has not been released.

That's a full 5 months late.

Of course, each of the three previous plans have been late too.

You gotta wonder just how important government thinks it is to meet its own legislated responsibilities under the landmark Act.

September 1, 2018 - Yikes! The first AMA compliance deadline for 35,000+ Manitoba organizations is only 2 months away

November 1, 2018 is the compliance deadline for the first accessibility standard (the Customer Service standard) established under the landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) for more than 35,000 organizations across the province.

Click here to see a primer on the requirements on this standard.

You gotta wonder:

  • How many of these organizations have even heard of the AMA, not to mention their obligations under the standard?
  • How many organizations are going to be in compliance by the deadline?
  • How is government going to monitor compliance, not to mention enforce it?

With the compliance deadline set in law almost 3 years ago, you also gotta wonder why we find ourselves in this situation.

BFM has been asking these questions for over 8 months now. No answers yet!  

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