Consultation Paper - General summary - New rules to help travellers with disabilities

General summary

This is a short version of our consultation paper, in plain language. The complete paper has more information and questions.

This is not a legal document. It explains who we are and talks about our rules in a general way only.

Who we are

We are the Canadian Transportation Agency. We make rules and decisions about many transportation issues in Canada.

An important part of our work is helping travellers with disabilities. We do this by making rules that protect the rights of persons with disabilities to an accessible transportation system.

Our rules

We have rules called the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations. These rules come into force on June 25, 2020. They tell transportation companies how to help travellers with disabilities, including:

  • How to communicate with travellers with disabilities.
  • How to train transportation workers to help travellers with disabilities.
  • How to make planes, ferries, trains, and buses accessible.
  • How to make terminals accessible. This means airports, ferry terminals, train stations, and bus stations.
  • What help to give travellers with disabilities in a terminal or on board.

Only large companies have to follow the rules. This includes large airlines and airports, and large ferries and ferry terminals. It also includes the biggest train and bus companies in Canada, plus their stations.

Possible new rules

We want to expand the rules. There is a lot to consider first. Then there are three things we might do.

  1. Make small companies follow the rules when this is possible for them. This would include small airlines, trains, ferries, and buses in remote areas and the North.
  2. Add rules. The new rules could help people travel with Emotional Support Animals. They could also help people travelling to or from Canada who need extra seats for free for their disability. (For example, for a support person or large service dog.)
  3. Tell transportation companies how to make accessibility plans. This means plans to make travel easier for persons with disabilities. Companies would have to consult persons with disabilities about how to do this. They would also have to report on the progress they make on their plans.

Consultation questions

We want to know what people think about expanding the rules. Please send us your comments! If you want, you can answer the questions below. Your answers will help us make rules that are helpful and practical.

  1. What is it like for travellers with disabilities in remote areas and the North? Do these parts of Canada have their own, unique accessibility challenges?
  2. Right now, the rules say large planes, trains, ferries, and buses must accept trained service dogs. Should the rules also tell them to accept Emotional Support Animals? If yes, what kind of animals should they let on board (dogs, cats, rabbits, other)?
  3. Right now, the rules say large planes, trains, ferries, and buses must give travellers one or more extra seats for free, if they need it for their disability. They only have to do this for trips inside Canada. Should they have to give extra seats on international trips, if international law allows it?
  4. When companies make accessibility plans, what is the best way for them to consult persons with disabilities? Should they meet in person, or just use email and videos?

How to send us your answers

You can write us an email, or send us a video using American Sign Language or Quebec Sign Language.

  • Our address is consultations@otc-cta.gc.ca
  • Deadline was extended to February 28, 2020. The consultation is now concluded. We are analyzing the input

We will make your email or video public. This means we will put it on our website, along with your name. If there is something in your email or video you think should not be public, please contact us.

Alternate formats

Please note that the Consultation paper: Phase II of the ATPDR is available in alternate formats

Date modified: