Released: Friday, December 3, 2021 8:45 AM
The Province has appointed 11 British Columbians as the first members of the Provincial Accessibility Committee (PAC), marking the next step in government’s work to remove barriers for people with disabilities in B.C.
“I’m thrilled to announce the PAC membership today and highlight the important people who will be advising government on accessibility,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “These members are a diverse group with a broad range of skills and experiences. I thank them for their service and look forward to the work ahead.”
Under the Accessible British Columbia Act, the committee’s work will include advising government on the implementation of the act, helping government prioritize accessibility standards and overseeing the process of developing standards in areas such as employment, education, transportation and customer service. The committee will be supported by technical committees with expertise specific to that standard.
“I’m passionate about ensuring every British Columbian is able to participate in society and live their life in a full and meaningful way,” said Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility. “I look forward to working with the committee to develop new accessibility standards that will help us build more accessible and inclusive communities. Building a barrier-free B.C. is in the best interest of us all.”
Committee membership aims to reflect the diversity of British Columbians and includes people with disabilities, individuals and organizations that support people with disabilities, and Indigenous representatives. The committee will meet at least four times a year.
The committee will be jointly chaired by Coulter and Spring Hawes. Hawes was selected because of her knowledge and experience, community involvement and her familiarity with local government.
- In 2017, there were an estimated 926,100 British Columbians over the age of 15 who reported having a disability.
- Government will issue an annual progress report each year.
- Implementation of the Accessible British Columbia Act will be reviewed independently every five years for the first 10 years.
- British Columbia is the fifth province to introduce comprehensive accessibility legislation.
Biographies of PAC members are available here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/accessibility/committees/provincial-accessibility-committee
More information about the Accessible British Columbia Act and a plain language summary can be found on the ministry website: www.gov.bc.ca\accessibility
Read the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
Accessibility Directorate: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/accessibility