Bill C-81: An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada

Creator: Parliament of Canada

Date Updated: October 21, 2022

This is a digital version of the Canadian legislation that applies to accessibility in public spaces. It is relatively dense and technical but should be a document any Library Director or manager has on hand. It is one of the few pieces of Canadian legislation that is a reference for accessibility in Canada.

Quick Facts

  • The purpose of this act is to create a barrier-free Canada by 2040 by ensuring all of the following areas are accessible (and more):
    • Physical spaces and buildings
    • Digital spaces (websites, communications, etc.)
    • In the workforce
    • Creating and delivering programs and services
    • All transportation (trains, planes, and automobiles)
  • These principles must be followed when implementing this act:
    • Treat all people with dignity.
    • Make sure all people have equal and fair opportunities.
    • Ensure that everyone contributes to society.
    • Everyone should be free to make their own choices.
    • All services, laws, and policies must consider how barriers and discrimination intersect.
    • Persons with disabilities need to be involved with the design of services, laws and policies.
    • The goal of standards and regulations should always be to create a completely accessible environment.
  • The act applies to federal government agencies and select private sectors (those that the Canadian Government regulates).
  • This act requires organizations to:
    • Plan and report the accessibility requirements for their organization.
    • Create accessibility standards for their organizations.
    • Enforce accessibility standards.

Visit Bill C-81

Visit a Summary of the Accessible Canada Act


Statutes of Canada Bill C-18 (2019). An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada. Bill. Retrieved from:

Government of Canada (2020). Summary of the Accessible Canada Act. Web page. Retrieved from: