Canada: Nouvelles Protections Légales Pour Les Personnes Handicapées À L'échelle Nationale

Last Updated: September 18 2018
Article by Conseiller De L'employeur and Simmy Sahdra

Most Read Contributor in Canada, September 2018

Loi fédérale sur l'accessibilité et engagements du gouvernement de la Colombie-Britannique à adopter une loi similaire

Cet été, le gouvernement fédéral a déposé le texte de la première loi canadienne destinée à améliorer l'accessibilité des personnes handicapées et s'est engagé à consacrer 290 millions de dollars sur six ans à l'atteinte des objectifs de cette nouvelle législation. Le projet de loi C-81, Loi canadienne sur l'accessibilité, vise à favoriser la participation pleine et égale dans la société de toutes les personnes, particulièrement par la reconnaissance, l'élimination et la prévention d'obstacles. Le projet de loi définit un obstacle comme « tout élément – notamment [...] de nature physique ou architecturale, qui est relatif [...] aux comportements ou à la technologie [...] – qui nuit à la participation pleine et égale dans la société des personnes ayant des déficiences physiques, intellectuelles, mentales ou sensorielles, des troubles d'apprentissage ou de la communication ou des limitations fonctionnelles »1.

Si le projet de loi est adopté, la plupart des employeurs et des fournisseurs de services relevant de la compétence fédérale devront, entre autres obligations prévues par la législation : dresser des plans sur l'accessibilité et les rendre publics, établir des processus pour recueillir la rétroaction sur l'exécution de leurs plans sur l'accessibilité ou sur les obstacles, et préparer et publier des rapports d'étape sur l'exécution de leurs plans sur l'accessibilité. La Loi canadienne sur l'accessibilité exige le ciblage et l'élimination des obstacles dans les domaines suivants : emploi, environnements bâtis (espaces publics et édifices), technologies de l'information et des communications, approvisionnement en biens et en services, prestation de programmes et de services, transports et autres domaines prévus dans la réglementation.

Les employeurs ontariens sont déjà assujettis, en vertu de la législation sur l'accessibilité de leur province, à des obligations similaires à la plupart de celles que prévoit ce projet de loi, qui imposera aux employeurs et aux fournisseurs de services des normes quant à l'identification, l'élimination et la prévention de nouveaux obstacles en matière d'accessibilité.

La Loi canadienne sur l'accessibilité établira également les modalités de son administration et de son application, notamment :

  • des inspections et le pouvoir de procéder à des inspections afin de vérifier la conformité aux exigences de la loi;
  • le droit, pour les personnes qui subissent un préjudice, de déposer une plainte, et la mise en Suvre d'un processus pour ces plaintes;
  • les sanctions pécuniaires, avec des amendes pour non-conformité jusqu'à 250 000 $; et
  • l'indemnisation des individus qui ont subi des préjudices physiques ou psychologiques, des dommages matériels ou des pertes économiques ou ont été autrement lésés par suite d'une contravention à une disposition des règlements.

Actuellement, le projet de loi est en première lecture. Par suite du plus récent remaniement du cabinet fédéral, Carla Qualtrough est la ministre responsable du projet de loi C-81, et on s'attend à ce qu'elle réitère le ferme engagement du gouvernement fédéral en matière d'accessibilité.

Compte tenu des vastes répercussions de la Loi canadienne sur l'accessibilité, les employeurs devraient s'y préparer en cherchant de manière proactive à identifier et à éliminer les obstacles pour les personnes handicapées.

La loi sur l'accessibilité devrait être mise en Suvre aux niveaux provincial et fédéral partout au Canada. Trois provinces ont déjà adopté des lois en la matière : l'Ontario avec la Loi sur l'accessibilité pour les personnes handicapées de l'Ontario adoptée en 2005; le Manitoba avec la Loi sur l'accessibilité pour les Manitobains adoptée en 2013; et la Nouvelle-Écosse avec la Nova Scotia Accessibility Act adoptée en 2017. De plus, la Colombie-Britannique s'est engagée, en juillet dernier, à établir une loi provinciale sur les personnes handicapées cet automne.

Avec la généralisation des législations en matière d'accessibilité à l'échelle du pays, les employeurs devraient se demander comment ils vont gérer la mise en Suvre de ces lois provinciales et fédérales et, d'une manière plus générale, les questions liées à l'accessibilité et à l'accommodement en milieu de travail.

Footnote

1 Parlement du Canada – Projet de loi C-81: Loi visant à faire du Canada un pays exempt d'obstacles. En ligne. <http://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/fr/42-1/projet-loi/C-81/premiere-lecture>

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