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Public comments focus on the weak, slow and incomplete implementation of landmark AMA

Jun 21, 2018

Tables of participants watching presentation at yesterday's event.

Weak, slow and incomplete implementation - the key consensus themes from yesterday’s public consultation on the landmark AMA

It could hardly be said more clearly or more commonly - the government has dropped the ball big time on implementing the landmark Accessibility for Manitobans Act. The Act’s promise of achieving major progress toward full accessibility by 2023 is in great peril. So too is the PC’s election commitment to have all five initial standards in place by the next election.

The 3+ hour event featured 10 tables of participants who worked together to answer 8 questions. Most who attended seemed to be Manitobans with diverse and lived experience with disabilities or meaningful ties to our communities.

The event concluded with brief reports from spokesperson/s from each of the tables. While there were some suggestions for the AMA could be strengthened, most comment focused on how a strong law is simply not being anywhere near effectively implemented. Some of the key and critical concepts heard repeatedly in the reports were:

- lack of leadership
- lack of resources
- lack of communication
- lack of compliance
- lack of commitment and follow through
- lack of accountability

The lack of effective engagement with a Indigenous communities was also raised repeatedly.

Ms. Harvey Pruden, the consultant appointed by the Minister to conduct the mandatory comprehensive 4-year review of the Act, listened respectfully and seemed both very open to and interested in the feedback.

One of the big problems is that the deadline for Ms. Harvey Pruden’s report and recommendations is until December 15, 2018 (the result of government delays in getting the review underway). Her report will likely not be made public until early in 2019.

200,000 Manitoban, their families and friends and their communities simply cannot wait for the release of her report for the major actions required of government to get implementation back on any semblance of a reasonable track.

As BFM’s Broken Promise campaign is calling for, we desperately need Minister Fielding, the Minister responsible for the AMA, to provide the immediate leadership and resources required to meet the promise of the AMA. This means the timely development and enforcement of strong accessibility standards with more meaningful roles for Manitoba’s diverse disability communities.

If you have not already done so, please join us in sending this message to the Minister by supporting the Broken Promise campaign. Just click here.

 

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