(May 16/17) Nova Scotia wants to be accessible by 2030. After Ontario and Manitoba, Nova Scotia is the third province to introduce accessibility legislation. This Act allows the development of standards in a number of areas, including the delivery and receipt of goods and services.
What does this mean for your business now?
The Act doesn’t include any standards, so there’s no immediate impact on your business. It may take years for each standard to be developed. The Act requires reasonable and fair timelines for compliance, and exemptions may be applied. The government can also add financial incentives to encourage businesses to meet or exceed standards. An awareness and education program will also be included to help businesses understand the changes.
We are pleased the government is listening to us. Here are the key recommendations we presented to the Law Amendments Committee of the Legislature:
Develop an education program to raise awareness, and help small businesses and their staff accommodate employees and customers with disabilities.
Ensure legislation has reasonable timelines, and is flexible enough to recognize the physical diversity of restaurant locations, particularly in historic or older commercial core locations.
Introduce tax credits to help businesses make renovations for greater accessibility.