Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, issued this statement on a report published by the Office of the Auditor General on the Government of Canada’s efforts related to accessibility in transportation:
“Transportation is essential to everyone’s daily lives, including for persons with disabilities. They must be able to get to their destination without barriers and obstacles. As the Minister responsible for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, VIA Rail Canada, and the Canadian Transportation Agency, I agree that even more work must be done to make sure that persons with disabilities do not face barriers in Canada’s transportation system.
“In particular, I acknowledge recommendations to increase consultation with persons with disabilities on how to best improve their travel experience. The lived experience of persons with disabilities needs to be considered more, for example, when designing websites for planning and booking trips, selling tickets, and building new infrastructure.
“The Report found that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, VIA Rail Canada, and the Canadian Transportation Agency took action to improve the accessibility of the transportation sector. In some cases, organizations already identified, removed, and prevented some barriers and offer:
- Web-alternate formats,
- Assistance with luggage, and
- Training for providing physical assistance.
“All three organizations agree that some barriers remain and that more can be done to address them.
“This acknowledgement and the plans established to address the audit findings demonstrate our government’s commitment to achieving a barrier-free transportation system. I will continue to support these organizations as they implement the recommendations in the report.
“While these are independent, arm’s-length organizations, Transport Canada helps each organization acquire the resources and authorities necessary to deliver on its mandate. Transport Canada will continue to work with the various organizations to support an accessible and barrier-free Canada by 2040.
“I will also bring the Auditor General’s recommendations to the attention of the other Crown corporations in the Transport Portfolio and encourage them to review their compliance with the Accessible Canada Act and implement the relevant recommendations.”