Article from Global News 

The Canadian Press 

The minister tasked with crafting laws to make Canada more accessible to people with disabilities says employment will be a key focus of her efforts.

Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, says removing accessibility barriers will be crucial to tackling long-standing high jobless rates among the country’s disabled population.

Qualtrough says most aspects of the anticipated Canadians with Disabilities Act will address employment issues in some way, citing examples such as targeted programs or improving building standards that might make future workplaces more accessible.

Data has long shown that Canadians with disabilities are greatly under-employed compared to their non-disabled counterparts, with multiple studies finding that only half of disabled Canadians have found work.

Qualtrough says details of the Canadians with Disabilities Act are still in the works, adding a series of 18 consultations across the country will play a key part in shaping the new laws.

She says she hopes to have the act before parliament by this time next year.

The prospective act, which disability rights advocates have been seeking for years, would govern areas that fall under federal jurisdiction. Major examples include financial services such as banks, telecommunications, and interprovincial transportation.