Accessibility Standards Canada and Manitoba take action for a barrier-free Canada

News release

Gatineau, Quebec
Accessibility Standards Canada

Accessibility Standards Canada and the Manitoba Department of Families have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The agreement will improve efforts, coordination, and the sharing of resources dedicated to creating a Canada without barriers.

Harmonizing standards across Canada is especially important for accessibility. National collaboration on accessibility brings benefits for all Canadians:

  • It reduces the potential for differing accessibility standards across Canada.
  • It ensures that standards fully reflect the needs of people with disabilities, regardless of jurisdiction.
  • It promotes equity, and consistency of accessibility for people with disabilities as they live, work, and travel in Canada.

More precisely, this MOU encourages both parties to consider each other’s respective accessibility priorities. This may include aligning or harmonizing work on the development, review, and implementation of accessibility standards, where possible. It may also include the promotion, support, and conduct of research.


“Collaborating with provinces and territories is key. Working together to share best practices, research and tools will lead to stronger standards, time and cost savings, and better results for people in Manitoba and all Canadians. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that accessibility standards reflect the needs of people with disabilities—regardless of jurisdiction. We are making true progress on that front.”

– Philip Rizcallah, Chief Executive Officer, Accessibility Standards Canada 

“This agreement is an important step in removing accessibility barriers in Manitoba. Harmonizing accessibility standards will ensure consistency between federal and provincial jurisdictions. The partnership with Accessibility Standards Canada will strengthen accessibility legislation, both here at home in Manitoba and across Canada.”

– Darren Macdonald, Executive Director of The Manitoba Accessibility Office

Quick facts

  • The MOU between Accessibility Standards Canada and the Manitoba Department of Families formalizes a mutually beneficial working relationship. It acknowledges their complementary roles relating to accessibility standards and research.
  • In Canada, federal, provincial, and territorial governments develop policy and other instruments within their respective jurisdictions. On occasion, there is potential for two or more jurisdictions to establish a collaborative approach. This allows for coordinated efforts and resources to achieve similar or complementary policy objectives.
  • Where possible, the harmonization of standards seeks to optimize everyone’s individual and collective objectives. Sharing knowledge and best practices reduces and eliminates the duplication of resources and efforts to the benefit of all Canadians. 
  • Accessibility Standards Canada is committed to working with all provinces and territories to create similar agreements. Together, we can better deliver on our respective accessibility mandates while contributing to a Canada without barriers. 
  • Accessibility Standards Canada has signed six MOUs with provinces to date. Similar agreements have been signed with the Government of Saskatchewan (1), British Columbia (2), and Ontario (2). 


Associated links

Accessibility Standards Canada
Manitoba Department of Families


Christina Richard
Communications Manager
Accessibility Standards Canada
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Government of Manitoba
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