Ontario businesses and nonprofits are on the clock. Any Ontario business or nonprofit (with more than 50 employees) whose website doesn’t meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 standard by the end of June will be fined. (Currently, Ontario is the only Canadian province to call for WCAG 2.0 compliance.)
Fines start at only $500 but can go up to $100,000 per day, though the way the law is written makes that $100,000 punishment unlikely ($15,000 is the much more probable fine for a series of major legal violations). “The legislation has teeth … but the penalties are a lot less stiff than they otherwise would be,” explains Paul Boshyk, a lawyer.
Companies that don’t meet the WCAG 2.0 standards won’t be left to fend for themselves, explains Boshyk. “When an organization files their report and identifies a gap in compliance that’s typically where the ministry would get involved.” The government will then set up a schedule to assist the company in achieving the WCAG 2.0 standards.