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Portage to be entirely accessible come 2023

By Aaron Wilgosh, The Graphic

File photo.

File photo.

Accessibility was highlighted at this week’s City Council meeting in Portage la Prairie.

The Province of Manitoba’s mandated 2023 as the deadline for cities, towns, and municipalities – greater than 10,000 residents - to be fully accessible for people in their communities and Portage la Prairie’s working on getting caught up.

“During committee, council accepted considerations for a management prepared accessibility policy and implementation,” says Finance, Legislative, and Properties Chair, Brent Budz. “It really just addresses some of the things council, and the city, need to consider as they relate to the accessibility act that the province approved. It’s a comprehensive document covering many different areas but it’s really addressing the context of what we should’ve been doing many years ago.”

The amount of infrastructure and budget is still something council’s working on, but some of the accessibility changes have already begun.

“The Portage la Prairie School Division has been very proactive in their accessibility work over the past year,” adds Budz. “We are going to have to invest dollars to ensure the services we provide to citizens of Portage is as accessible as possible.”

Portage’s City Hall is still an area they’re looking at, as it’s currently a historic building so there could be some challenges faced upgrading the building’s accessibility. Budz plans to approve the accessibility policy next council meeting.

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