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Government of Manitoba
Disabilities Issues Office

Accessibility Advisory Council

ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2012   12:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.
ROOM 208, 401 YORK AVENUE

Present: Jim Derksen (Chairperson), Judy Redmond, Diane Driedger, Doug Momotiuk, Diane Scribe Niiganii, Scott Jocelyn, Jim Baker, Lanny McInnes, Eileen Clarke, John Wyndels, Andrew Donachuk
Absent (with regrets): Yvonne Peters (Vice-Chairperson), Chris Summerville, Karen Pirnie

The Agenda, Summary of Discussions, and Minutes of the Meeting of January 16 were approved by all members without changes.

The Chair reminded the Council to consider several points before we began discussions on the Working Document. The Chair asked that the Council provide "substantive direction on the content of the Act and the desired outcome" rather than legal language. The recommendations of these discussions should read more as a narrative, with identified suggestions and rationale for their inclusion.

The Chair and Vice-Chair will be meeting with the Minister on Friday, February 17. Among other things, they will ask about the scope of the word "accessibility" under the proposed legislation, and the establishment of a Human Right Commission committee to advise on how guidelines of the Code and regulations of the Act best fit together.

The question of jurisdiction was raised, namely how this legislation would apply to Aboriginal communities, associated Tribal Councils located off reserve and other Aboriginal organizations off reserve. There was also a question of how the proposed legislation would apply to federally owned, incorporated or regulated entities operating in the province. This will be discussed with the Minister. Discussions with department staff indicate that this can be a complex legal matter that includes issues relating to federal-provincial jurisdiction. Often, strategies for dealing with these jurisdictional issues are developed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the federal government. Legal advice on this will be obtained as required.

It was suggested we look to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for guidance in terms of application and coverage. Articles in the CRPD identify particular areas, such as Health and Education, where "plans of actions", not necessarily standards should apply. It appears that the Council's Working Document is currently broad enough to apply all areas where the Council feels standards should apply. However the Council should consider specifying particular areas if they felt they were not sufficiently identified with the current language.

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