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RSNL1990 CHAPTER B-10

BUILDINGS ACCESSIBILITY ACT

Amended:

1992 c43; 1997 c13 s4; 2005 c27; 2006 c10; 2006 c40 s21;
2012 c38 ss3 & 4; 2014 c9

CHAPTER B-10

AN ACT RESPECTING ACCESSIBILITY TO BUILDINGS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

2006 c10 s1

Analysis



Short title

        1. This Act may be cited as the Buildings Accessibility Act.

1981 c90 s1

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Definitions

        2. In this Act

             (a)  "apartment-type building" means a building intended for residential purposes in whole or in part that contains more than 4 residential units, and whether consisting in whole or in part of condominium units or rental units;

             (b)  "board" means the advisory board established by section 18;

             (c)  "building" means

                      (i)  a public building,

                     (ii)  an apartment-type building,

                    (iii)  a hotel, and

                    (iv)  a building link;

             (d)  "building link" means a structure which connects a building to another building;

             (e)  "condominium" means a condominium within the meaning of the Condominium Act;

             (f)  "department" means the department presided over by the minister;

             (g)  "director" means the director appointed under section 8;

             (h)  "hotel" means a building or facility in which lodging, with or without food or beverage, is provided to guests for a fee and includes a cabin, cottage, housekeeping unit, inn, lodge or motel;

              (i)  "inspector" means an inspector appointed under section 9 and includes the director;

              (j)  "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;

             (k)  "owner" or "person who owns" includes, in relation to a building under construction, the contractor or person responsible for the construction of that building;

              (l)  "persons with disabilities" means persons with physical or sensory disabilities;

           (l.1)  "persons with physical disabilities" means persons with mobility impairments, whether they are ambulatory or use a wheelchair, and includes persons with reaching or manipulation disabilities;

           (l.2)  "persons with sensory disabilities" means persons with visual or hearing disabilities;

           (m)  "public building" means a building and includes the parking, walkway or other facilities of that building to which the public and employees employed in the building are admitted but does not include those buildings in a group prescribed by the regulations; and

             (n)  "tribunal" means the appeal tribunal appointed under section 20.

1981 c90 s2; 1984 c40 Sch B; 1989 c12 s4; 1989 c25 Sch B; 1990 c55 s1; 2006 c40 s21; 2006 c10 s2

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Purpose of Act

        3. The purpose of this Act is to require

             (a)  in the case of public buildings, the entrances, parking, walkway and other facilities available to and accessible by members of the public for lawful purposes and employees employed in the building, to be available to and accessible by persons with disabilities;

             (b)  in the case of apartment-type buildings, the entrances, including the entrance to each individual residential unit, parking, walkways and other common facilities, not including facilities contained within the individual residential units, to be available to and accessible by persons with disabilities;

             (c)  in the case of hotels, the entrances, parking, walkway and other facilities available to and accessible by employees and members of the public for fee or otherwise to be available to and accessible by persons with disabilities; and

             (d)  in the case of building links, that access to or from a building on or over a building link to be available to and accessible by persons with disabilities.

1990 c55 s2; 1992 c43 s1; 2006 c10 s3

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Non-application of Act

        4. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to apply this Act or to enable this Act to apply to private homes, foster homes, boarding houses, lodging houses or bed and breakfast accommodation, except a lodging house, bed and breakfast accommodation or boarding house in which sleeping accommodation is provided for more than 10 boarders, guests or lodgers.

2006 c10 s4

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Application to existing buildings

        5. (1) This Act does not apply to buildings existing on December 24, 1981 except the buildings or class of buildings that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may prescribe by regulation.

             (2)  Where, on December 24, 1981, a building conforms to the requirements of this Act and the regulations, the director shall, if of the opinion that a person is causing it to stop conforming with that requirement, direct the person to provide, within the reasonable period that the director may specify and in a manner satisfactory to him or her, the access or facilities in respect of which the building previously conformed to a requirement of this Act and the regulations.

2006 c10 s5

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Prohibition

        6. (1) A person shall not build, construct, occupy or own a building unless that building complies with the requirements of this Act and the regulations.

             (2)  A permit, licence or other authorization for the construction of a building shall not be issued unless the drawings and specifications of a building or part of them have been registered by the director as required by the regulations.

             (3)  Registration of drawings and specifications may be subject to terms and conditions in accordance with the regulations and as required by the director.

1981 c90 s6; 1990 c55 s3; 1992 c43 s2; 2005 c27 s1

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Reconstructed buildings

        7. (1) A person shall not reconstruct, add to or change the use of a building unless provision is made to have the building comply afterward with the requirements of this Act and the regulations.

             (2)  A person shall not issue a permit, licence or other authorization to reconstruct, add to or change the use of a building unless the design of the reconstruction, addition to or change of use of that building is registered with the department.

             (3)  Where a person makes alterations to a building existing prior to December 24, 1981 to improve the availability and accessibility of the building to persons with disabilities, the alterations shall comply with the requirements of this Act.

1990 c55 s4; 2006 c10 s6

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Director

        8. (1) The minister may appoint an officer of the department to be a director for the purposes of this Act.

             (2)  The minister may appoint a person to be acting director in the place of the director in the case of illness or absence of the director or of a vacancy in the office.

1981 c90 s8

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Inspectors

        9. (1) The minister may, in the manner authorized by law, appoint those persons as officers and inspectors that may be necessary for the purpose of this Act and the regulations.

             (2)  A person may not be an officer or inspector if that person has a financial interest in the manufacture, sale, installation or maintenance of machinery, equipment, building material, or another item used to provide compliance with the requirements of this Act and the regulations.

1981 c90 s9

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Powers of director

      10. (1) The director shall require the submission of the prescribed drawings and specifications of a building or part of them and may require from the person who owns or operates a building further information in relation to that building.

             (2)  The director may require an inspection of a building or part of it either at a stage during or upon completion of construction of the building or part of it.

             (3)  The director may require an inspection of a reconstruction of or addition to a building or part of it either at a stage during or upon completion of the reconstruction of or addition to the building or part of it.

             (4)  [Rep. by 2005 c27 s2]

1981 c90 s10; 1990 c55 s5; 2005 c27 s2

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Delegation of power

      11. The director may authorize 1 or more officers or inspectors to exercise or perform his or her powers or duties upon the conditions or in the circumstances that the director may prescribe.

1981 c90 s11

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Power of inspector

      12. (1) An inspector may, for the purposes of this Act and the regulations, and at all reasonable times, on production of proof of his or her appointment as an inspector, enter a building or property for the purpose of inspection or investigation to ensure compliance with this Act and the regulations.

             (2)  An inspector may by written notice, countersigned by the director, require the attendance before the director of a person at the noted time and place and examine that person under oath or affirmation in relation to an inspection or investigation carried out under this Act and the regulations.

1981 c90 s12; 2006 c10 s7

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Duty of inspector

      13. It is the duty of an inspector who makes an inspection under this Act and the regulations to satisfy himself or herself by reasonable examination that the requirements of this Act and the regulations have been complied with.

1981 c90 s13

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Order of inspector

      14. (1) Where an inspector is not satisfied with the design, construction or installation of items being surveyed, inspected or investigated under this Act, that inspector shall

             (a)  order in writing the change to be made to the building or part of it within a specified period so that there will be compliance with this Act and the regulations; and

             (b)  report a failure to meet the requirements of this Act and the regulations to the director.

             (2)  Where an inspector issues an order under this section, the person to whom the order is issued shall comply with the order within the time specified in the order.

             (3)  Where an inspector has issued an order under this section, a person shall not occupy that building until the person who owns the building has

             (a)  complied with the order of the inspector; and

             (b)  notified the inspector that the order has been complied with.

             (4)  Notwithstanding subsection (3), the director may determine for the purpose of the occupancy or continued occupancy of a building or part of a building that the submissions and inspections required by this Act have been completed if the director is satisfied that the equipment, device, work or fixture to be installed or completed will be fully installed or completed within a prescribed period.

1981 c90 s14; 1992 c43 s3; 2005 c27 s3

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Notice to director

      15. A person who owns a building shall notify the director of the construction, reconstruction of or addition to a building before and immediately after that construction, reconstruction or addition.

1981 c90 s15

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Fees

      16. A person who owns a building or his or her agent shall pay the fees, expenses, charges or levies made in accordance with this Act and as prescribed by the minister.

2006 c10 s8

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Appeal to director

      17. (1) Where a person is aggrieved by a notice, decision, direction or order of an inspector under this Act or the regulations, that person may appeal to the director in writing, within 7 days of that notice, decision, direction or order.

             (2)  The director shall begin his or her investigation of the appeal within 24 hours of the director's receipt of it.

             (3)  The director may confirm, revoke or vary the notice, decision, direction or order and shall provide reasons, in writing, for his or her decision to the aggrieved person.

1981 c90 s17; 2006 c10 s9

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Advisory board

      18. (1) The Buildings Accessibility Advisory Board consisting of a chairperson, representatives of persons with disabilities, one representative of the department, other than the director, and those other members that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint is continued.

         (1.1)  The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint a person as the vice-chairperson of the board.

         (1.2)  In the absence of the chairperson, the vice-chairperson shall act as the chairperson.

             (2)  The members of the board shall be appointed for a period of 2 years from the date of appointment and are eligible for reappointment.

         (2.1)  Where the term of a member of the board expires, he or she continues to be a member until reappointed or replaced.

         (2.2)  Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of the board, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint a person to replace that member and that person shall be a member for the unexpired term of the person he or she is replacing.

             (3)  All members of the board, other than the members of the public service, may be paid for services the remuneration that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council fixes and all members of the board are entitled to be paid for travelling and other expenses necessarily incurred in connection with the business of the board.

             (4)  Notwithstanding subsection (2), at least one half of the members next appointed or reappointed following the commencement of this subsection shall be appointed for a term of 2 years and the remainder for a term of 3 years and all subsequent appointments of members to the board shall be for a term of 2 years.

1981 c90 s18; 2006 c10 s10; 2012 c38 s3; 2014 c9 s1

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Duties of board

      19. The board shall report to and advise the minister on the application of this Act and the regulations, and on other matters in relation to this Act and the regulations that may be assigned to the board by the minister.

1981 c90 s19

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Appeal tribunal

      20. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint an appeal tribunal consisting of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and 3 persons, one of whom shall be a representative of persons with disabilities.

             (2)  A member of the tribunal shall not be a public employee of the province.

             (3)  The members of the tribunal shall be appointed for a term of 2 years and are eligible for reappointment.

         (3.1)  Where the term of a member of the tribunal expires, he or she continues to be a member until reappointed or replaced.

         (3.2)  Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of the tribunal, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint a person to replace that member and that person shall be a member for the unexpired term of the person he or she is replacing.

             (4)  Where a member of the tribunal resigns or his or her term of office expires, in relation to a matter before the tribunal in which that member was involved before that resignation or expiry, that member may continue to exercise his or her powers and perform his or her duties with regard to that matter as if he or she had not resigned or the term had not expired.

             (5)  Notwithstanding subsection (3), at least one half of the members next appointed or reappointed following the commencement of this subsection shall be appointed for a term of 2 years and the remainder for a term of 3 years and all subsequent appointments of members to the tribunal shall be for a term of 2 years.

1990 c55 s6; 2006 c10 s11; 2012 c38 s4; 2014 c9 s2

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Remuneration and expenses

      21. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council

             (a)  shall determine the terms of office, remuneration and allowable expenses of members of the tribunal; and

             (b)  may by regulation determine the rules of procedure respecting the proceedings of the tribunal.

             (2)  All expenses incurred in the administration of the tribunal shall be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

1990 c55 s6

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Chairperson

      22. (1) The chairperson of the tribunal shall preside at all appeals attended by the chairperson.

             (2)  Where the chairperson cannot attend or act the vice-chairperson shall act for the chairperson and shall have all the powers of the chairperson.

1990 c55 s6

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Appeal

      23. (1) A notice, decision, direction or order confirmed or varied by the director under section 17 may be appealed to the tribunal by written notice of appeal within 30 days of the director's notice, decision, direction or order.

             (2)  Upon receipt of a notice of appeal under subsection (1) the tribunal shall hear the appeal not later than 30 days after receipt of that notice and shall give its decision, in writing, within 45 days of hearing the appeal.

             (3)  A notice or other document required to be served on the tribunal may be served on the chairperson or on the vice-chairperson of the tribunal.

1990 c55 s6; 2006 c10 s12

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Powers

      24. (1) For the purpose of an appeal under section 23, the tribunal has all the powers that are conferred on a commissioner by the Public Inquiries Act .

             (2)  The tribunal shall, after it has heard an appeal, confirm, revoke or vary the action taken by the director under section 17, and may specify a period of time by which action must be taken.

1990 c55 s6; 1992 c43 s4

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Right to counsel

      25. The director and the person who has given notice of the appeal may appear and may be represented by counsel at an appeal before the tribunal.

1990 c55 s6

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Appeal to Trial Division

      26. (1) An appeal lies to the Trial Division from an order, ruling or decision of the tribunal.

             (2)  An appeal under subsection (1) shall be made within 30 days from the date of the order, ruling or decision appealed from.

1990 c55 s6

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Protection from liability

      27. An action does not lie against an inspector, the director or a member of the tribunal for anything done in good faith under this Act or the regulations.

1990 c55 s6

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Conflict of interest

      28. A member of the tribunal may not participate in the hearing of an appeal in which that member has a direct or personal interest or in which the chairperson determines there is a conflict of interest.

1990 c55 s6

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Effect of appeal

      29. An appeal under section 17, 23 or 26 shall not affect the notice, decision, direction or order appealed against and that notice, decision, direction or order shall remain in force pending the outcome of the appeal.

1990 c55 s6

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General regulations

      30. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

             (a)  exempting certain buildings from this Act either generally or in particular respects;

             (b)  prescribing different classifications of buildings in relation to the description of occupancy in them;

             (c)  prescribing what will constitute reconstruction of or addition to a building for the purposes of this Act;

             (d)  fixing standards for the design and construction of machinery, equipment or facilities required for compliance with the requirements of this Act and the regulations;

             (e)  prescribing the machinery, equipment or facilities required for compliance with the requirements of this Act and the regulations;

             (f)  prescribing the symbols to be used to designate an access to entrances to or facilities in buildings for the convenience of persons with disabilities;

             (g)  prescribing the drawings and specifications that shall accompany an application for registration of a design of a building;

             (h)  prescribing the areas within a building or premises in which the symbols are to be located in order to designate the access to facilities in relation to a building for the convenience of persons with disabilities;

              (i)  prescribing the agencies who will be considered as acceptable to conduct inspections required by this Act on behalf of the department;

              (j)  prescribing the manner in which inspections are to be carried out on buildings;

             (k)  respecting the procedure to be followed in the hearing of appeals under this Act;

              (l)  respecting equipment, devices works or fixtures to be installed or completed under subsection 10(4);

           (m)  prescribing requirements for the location, type, placement and manner of installation of accessible entrances, elevators, vertical or other lifts;

        (m.1)  prescribing terms and conditions of registration; and

             (n)  prescribing the matters that are required to be prescribed by the regulations.

             (2)  Regulations may be in relation to buildings generally or in relation to particular prescribed classifications of buildings.

1981 c90 s22; 1990 c55 s7; 2005 c27 s4; 2006 c10 s13

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Fees

      31. The minister may set fees for the purpose of this Act.

1997 c13 s4

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Adoption of codes and standards

      32. (1) For the purpose of carrying out this Act and the regulations, the director may adopt by reference a code or standard fixed by the National Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Standards Association, or another recognized association or standards-writing organization as they relate to the accessibility to a building with respect to design, construction, installation, and inspection.

             (2)  Codes or standards adopted under subsection (1) may be adopted with or without modification and may include amendments that are prescribed by the director or prescribed by the regulations.

1981 c90 s24; 1990 c55 s8

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Offences

      33. (1) A person is guilty of an offence who

             (a)  contravenes or fails to comply with this Act or the regulations, or an order;

             (b)  hinders or obstructs an inspector, in the performance of duties under this Act or the regulations;

             (c)  wilfully makes a false or misleading statement in supplying information required by the minister, director or inspector under this Act or the regulations; or

             (d)  refuses to give the information to the minister, director or inspector as required for the purposes of this Act or the regulations.

             (2)  A natural person who is guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $5,000 and as well shall be ordered to have the building which is the subject-matter of the action comply with the requirements prescribed by the Act and regulations within a specified time.

             (3)  A corporation that is guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $25,000 and as well shall be ordered to have the building which is the subject-matter of the action comply with the requirements prescribed by the Act and regulations within a specified time.

             (4)  A natural person or corporation that is guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine, in addition to a fine imposed under subsection (2) or (3), of not less than $200 and not greater than $2,000 a day for every day beyond the time specified for correction of the offence during which the offence continues.

1981 c90 s25; 1992 c43 s5; 2006 c10 s14

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Act binds Crown

      34. This Act binds the Crown.

1981 c90 s26

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Limitation from period

      35. Notwithstanding section 8 of the Summary Proceedings Act , an information or complaint under section 33 shall be laid or made within 2 years from the date that the alleged offence is brought to the attention of the director.

1992 c43 s6