Barrier-Free Manitoba shared news about an important step forward in implementing the Accessibility for Manitobans Act.
A major concern that Barrier-Free Manitoba had repeatedly raised with government was the lack of any significant progress in the development of a compliance and enforcement regime. The AMA sets $250,000 as the maximum penalty but no method/s had been developed to assess who is and who is not complying with the accessibility standards. That’s a pretty big problem.
Indeed, our most recent report, released only nine days ago, said:
- We again urgently call on the provincial government to take immediate and dedicated action to develop clear plans for a strong and effective compliance regime.
So we are very pleased that Minister Scott Fielding announced yesterday that Mr. Jay Rodgers, Deputy Minister of Families, has been appointed as the Compliance Director. Now, for the first time since there AMA became law in December 2013, there is clear accountability for developing and implementing the compliance and enforcement regime.
As set out in the AMA, under the control and direction of the minister, the director is responsible for:
(a) the general administration of the AMA.
(b) exercising the powers and performing the duties of the director under the AMA.
(c) advising the minister respecting the administration of the AMA.
(d) performing any other duties assigned by the minister.
This is a limited but very important step forward in implementing the landmark AMA. We look forward to reporting on other important progress by the provincial government in the weeks ahead.