On July 8th Shelley Ann Morris and Kim Kilpatrick from the Canadian Council of the Blind spoke with Craig Oliver about being visually impaired community radio hosts on CKCU’s Welcome to My World, a program devoted to the issues facing persons with disabilities. You can watch the Youtube video here, or click the link below to watch on AMIs site.
Starting today, passengers have new rights under the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA) Air Passenger Protection Regulations when they travel by air. The new regulations, a major CTA regulatory initiative, require airlines to meet certain obligations towards passengers, such as:
communicating to passengers, in a simple, clear way, information on their rights and recourses and regular updates in the event of flight delays and cancellations;
providing compensation of up to $2,400 for bumping a passenger for reasons within the airlines’ control;
ensuring passengers receive prescribed standards of treatment during all tarmac delays and allowing them to leave the airplane, when it’s safe to do so, if a tarmac delay lasts for over three hours and there is no prospect of an imminent take-off;
providing compensation for lost or damaged baggage of up to $2,100 and a refund of any baggage fees; and
setting clear policies for transporting musical instruments.
To help passengers navigate their new rights, the CTA has launched an online service for air passengers at airpassengerprotection.ca. This dedicated website is a one-stop-shop for air passengers to learn about their rights, file an travel complaint, and find tips for hassle-free travel.
Beginning December 15, 2019, airlines will also have obligations towards passengers during flight disruptions and when seating children.
“This is an important day for the millions of Canadians who take flights to see family and friends, visit new places, do business, or seek medical treatment. The Air Passenger Protection Regulations establish clear, fair, balanced obligations that will help ensure fair treatment when people travel by air – whether they’re flying from, to or within this vast country.” Scott Streiner, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency
In May 2018, the CTA began developing Air Passenger Protection Regulations to establish airline obligations towards passengers, including minimum compensation levels and standards of treatment in different circumstances.
The CTA consulted broadly for three months with the travelling public, consumer rights groups, and the airline industry through a variety of channels, including public sessions across the country, online questionnaires, surveys of passengers in airports, face-to-face meetings with key experts and stakeholders, and written submissions and comments. Following pre-publication of the regulations in Part I of the Canada Gazette, the CTA reviewed all feedback received. The CTA took all consultation input into account in finalizing the regulations.
About the Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and regulator that has, with respect to all matters necessary for the exercise of its jurisdiction, all the powers of a superior court. The CTA has three core mandates: helping to keep the national transportation system running efficiently and smoothly, protecting the fundamental right of persons with disabilities to accessible transportation services, and providing consumer protection for air passengers. To help advance these mandates, the CTA makes and enforces ground rules that establish the rights and responsibilities of transportation service providers and users and level the playing field among competitors, resolves disputes using a range of tools from facilitation and mediation to arbitration and adjudication, and ensures that transportation providers and users are aware of their rights and responsibilities and how the CTA can help them.
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2018 was an extremely busy year for
the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB). As the National President I travelled
from coast to coast in Canada, into the USA, Switzerland and Turkey
representing CCB at various meetings.
This year we worked on many advocacy
issues as an organisation and with a variety of other organizations. One of the
first items is a project we partnered with Neil Squires Foundation and CNIB on a
project called “Enabling Access to Retail Payment Systems by Persons with
Disabilities”. Canadians with disabilities such as blindness are not offered
the necessary assurances of security, verification and independence to which
every Canadian is entitled. A described video
was made and then we invited some of Canada’s senior representatives from government,
banking and industry to motivate them to take action. This continues to be a
work in progress.
On behalf of myself as National President and the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) I extend our deepest condolences to Marie, Jeffery and Chantal – their spouses and as well to the grandchildren. We all have been shocked by Chris’s sudden passing. Chris has made major contributions to blind and partially sighted Canadians for which we are truly grateful and will not be forgotten.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this very difficult time.
Chris Stark (1947-2019)
Christopher (Chris, Bobo) James Stark, born November 4, 1947, passed away peacefully on June 3rd, 2019, surrounded by his ever-loving family. He is survived by his loving wife of 46 years Marie, children Jeffrey and Chantal, grandchildren Rowan, Abigale and Nathan, daughter-in-law Jenn and son-in-law John, and faithful guide dog Banksy.
Chris’s tireless passion for advocating for and improving the lives, experiences and independence of persons with disabilities was the cornerstone of his personal life and career, focusing mainly in travel and transportation, telecommunications, banking services and guide dog access. One of his proudest achievements was the implementation of accessible automated banking machines with audio features which can be used independently by customers with disabilities including persons who are blind. He earned several awards including a letter of commendation from Queen Elizabeth II, the Governor General 125th Anniversary of the Confederation Commemorative Medal, and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. He authored several articles and books including a book about his experiences as a child at the Halifax School for the Blind (HSB), and another about the history of HSB. More information about his life and achievements is available at: His Website – http://bobo.blackspheretech.com/
The Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) has
been working with the Government of Canada and its agencies, including the
Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), The Canadian Radio-Television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as well as collaborating with blindness
organizations toward the creation of an Accessible Canada Act. All organizations of persons with
disabilities have worked tirelessly, especially since Canada signed on to the
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
CCB is pleased to see that the Accessible
Canada Act has passed and will receive Royal Ascent very soon. While we now have a timeline toward 2040, as
the National president of CCB, I hope to see our Government take action now so
that many of the accessibility issues we currently face will be overcome well
before that date.
We can all work together as Canadians to
ensure that the built environment, employment, programs and services as well as
access to information are barrier-free for all.
CCB declared during our 2019 White Cane
Week celebrations that this is ‘our year of accessibility.’ At our White Cane
Dinner, the Hon. Carla Qualtrough was recognized as our “Person of the
Year.” We would like to acknowledge Minister
Qualtrough’s work in making the Accessible Canada Act a reality, and
congratulate her, and all others involved.
We look forward to continuing our work to improve the Act wherever
possible – Nothing about us without us!
Enabling functional Ability Post-Conference Education Webinar Series
June 5, 2019 12:00-1:00 Eastern Daylight Time
20/20 Ageing: A Life Course Approach to Vision Health Translating Evidence for the Decade of Healthy Ageing
Ms Louise Gillis President Canadian Council of the Blind Mr. Thomas Simpson Head, Public Affairs and Central Lead, Advocacy, Canadian National Insitute for the Blind Moderated by: Mr. Greg Shaw Director of International and Coporate Relations International Federation on Ageing