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Improving services for air passengers with disabilities: Transport Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada to hold National Air Accessibility Summit

News release

March 18, 2024                 Ottawa, Ontario                   Transport Canada  

The Government of Canada continues to work towards becoming the most accessible and inclusive country in the world. Barriers faced by Canadians with disabilities while travelling are completely unacceptable. That is why the Government of Canada continues to advocate for accessibility and the full inclusion of Canadians with disabilities, working closely with the disability community, stakeholders, all orders of government and international partners.

Today, the Minister of Transport, Pablo Rodriguez, and the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, Kamal Khera, announced that Transport Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada will co-host Canada’s first National Air Accessibility Summit, which will take place on May 9, 2024, in Ottawa.

The National Air Accessibility Summit will convene a range of participants across Canada representing the air sector as well as representatives from the disability community. It will focus on:

  • discussing issues currently facing passengers with disabilities;
  • working to identify potential solutions and action plans to address ongoing issues; and
  • reporting on progress made since the coming into force of the Accessible Canada Act in 2019, and the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations in 2022.

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring transportation is accessible and barrier-free by 2040. It is vital that all Canadians, including those with disabilities, have equal opportunities to contribute to their communities and workplaces. The Government of Canada will continue to promote initiatives and activities to further strengthen and enhance accessible and equitable travel for everyone – in support of seamless, door-to-door access.

Quotes

“Canadians with disabilities have the same rights as all of us. They deserve equal access to air travel and a dignified experience. Our commitment to work with our partners in the air sector to guarantee that our national transportation system is accessible to all Canadians is a top priority. We must continue working together to ensure a more accessible and inclusive Canada.”

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport

 “Equitable and dignified access to air transport for Canadians with disabilities is non-negotiable. Recent events demonstrate that our airlines are not meeting the standards that Canadians with disabilities expect or deserve. It’s time for action, and it’s time for change. Through the National Air Accessibility Summit, we will ensure airlines take responsibility and deliver long-term and sustainable solutions to guarantee that all Canadians regardless of their abilities enjoy barrier-free air travel.”

The Honourable Kamal Khera
Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities

Quick facts

  • On June 21, 2019, the Accessible Canada Act, which commits to achieve a barrier free Canada by 2040, received Royal Assent.
  • Through a proactive and systemic approach, the Accessible Canada Act aims to identify, remove, and prevent accessibility barriers in seven priority areas within the federal jurisdiction, including transportation (airlines, as well as rail, road and marine transportation providers that cross provincial or international borders).
  • The Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (June 2019) were developed to protect the human rights of persons with disabilities to an accessible transportation network, by providing legally binding requirements across different modes of transportation – air, passenger rail, marine, and bus, as well as security and border screening.
  • The Accessible Transportation Planning and Reporting Regulations (December 2021) were developed to proactively identify and remove barriers for persons with disabilities who use services offered by federally regulated transportation service providers, as well as prevent new barriers from emerging.

Contacts

Laura Scaffidi
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
laura.scaffidi@tc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055
media@tc.gc.ca

This is on Govt of Canada website go to the link here

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