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BFM Press Release

May 15, 2019


For Immediate Release:


Title: Barrier Free Manitoba calls on the Province to meaningfully address barriers to access to buildings through the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA)

When the AMA became law in 2013, it included provisions for specific Standards to be created to address barriers to accessing the “Built Environment”. The legislation dictates that this includes “facilities, buildings, structures and premises”.
In a hastily called public presentation yesterday, the Province acknowledged that they had no plans to address buildings as part of the Standard and have renamed the Standard, “Design of Public Spaces”. The standard will only address “planning, organization, and construction affecting the exterior environment, as well as the maintenance of these spaces.

The Province suggests that the Manitoba Building Code currently addresses such issues and/or will do so in the future. This is cause for significant concern to people who experience barriers as well as disability advocates, including Barrier Free Manitoba. The process of updating either the National Building Code or the Manitoba Building Code (which can exceed minimum standards of the National Code) is lengthy, cumbersome and does not focus on accessibility not to mention the principle of universal design, called for in the AMA.

If the full promise of inclusion and accessibility for Manitobans outlined in the AMA is to be realized, there needs to be meaningful standards created to address barriers where Manitobans spend most of their time, in indoor spaces and places.
A number of advocates expressed frustration and outrage at the Province’s plan and walked out of the presentation in protest.
Contact info: or 204-250-4226


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