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Financial Support for Accessible Building Construction and Retrofits

In the fourth review of the AODA, Rich Donovan states that Ontario will not be fully accessible by 2025. In other words, the provincial government will not meet its own deadline under the AODA. Limited creation, implementation, and enforcement of AODA standards impacts the well-being and safety of Ontarians with disabilities. Therefore, Donovan recommends that the Ontario government should declare this lack of progress on accessibility a crisis. This crisis state should last six (6) months. During this time, the Ontario government should form a crisis committee to implement crucial accessibility improvements in the province. The Premier should act as the chair of this committee, and the Secretary of Cabinet should act as co-chair. Furthermore, Donovan outlines tactical recommendations the province should follow to fulfill its remaining responsibilities in the public sector. One of these tactical recommendations is financial support for accessible building construction and retrofits.

Financial Support for Accessible Building Construction and Retrofits

The previous review of the AODA made many recommendations to promote building accessibility in Ontario, including:

However, the current review states that organizations lack the resources required to retrofit buildings. Nonetheless, buildings need accessibility improvement. For example, the review points out that the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) requires organizations it governs to do business in fully accessible buildings. For example, some organizations that will soon need fully accessible facilities include:

  • Banks
  • Telecommunications companies
  • Companies providing transportation between provinces or outside the country

These and other businesses will no longer be able to lease buildings that are not accessible. As a result, landlords will begin to lose business if they cannot make buildings accessible.


Therefore, the review recommends that social impact bonds to fund AODA compliance should be available for businesses constructing or retrofitting buildings. In addition, the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade should offer negative interest loans to businesses retrofitting buildings. If a business removes physical accessibility barriers during their retrofit, they should receive negative interest. Businesses leased to organizations that operate under the ACA should receive these loans first. Then, the Ministry can offer these loans to other organizations, based on the number of people impacted by barrier removal.