News release

Province Will Not Appeal Human Rights Decision

The province will not appeal the Sept. 6 decision of a human rights board of inquiry.

The Department of Environment was ordered to require restaurants to have accessible washrooms in order to comply with the food safety regulations, unless that requirement can be shown to cause undue hardship.

The province will fast track an action plan that will ensure the human rights decision is implemented in a timely fashion. This plan will be developed in collaboration with stakeholders, including the disability community and the restaurant industry.

“Nova Scotians with disabilities should have equitable access to infrastructure, information, programs and services – and ensuring that restaurants have accessible washrooms is part of our work,” said Justice Minister Mark Furey. “This is important work.”

This effort will be supported by the newly established Accessibility Directorate and the Nova Scotia Accessibility Advisory Board, the majority of which are persons with disabilities.

Government is committed to an accessible Nova Scotia.

The Accessibility Act and the province’s recently released accessibility strategy, Access by Design 2030, demonstrate that commitment. Funding is available under the Community ACCESS-Ability Program and Business ACCESS-Ability Program for community organizations and businesses to make improvements, such as building entrance ramps and renovating washrooms.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province will not appeal the decision of a human rights board of inquiry related to accessible washrooms in restaurants.

That board ordered that the Environment Department require restaurants to have accessible washrooms to comply with the food safety regulation, unless that requirement can be shown to cause undue hardship.

The province will fast track an action plan to ensure the human rights decision is implemented in a timely fashion.

Justice Minister Mark Furey says Nova Scotians with disabilities should have equitable access to infrastructure, information, programs and services – and ensuring that restaurants have accessible washrooms is part of that work.

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Media Contact:

Heather Fairbairn
902-717-2151 Email: