April 22, 1999
Pre-election Throne Speech Commitment
Ontarians with Disabilities Act
posted February 29, 2000 at 6:02 PM
April 22, 1999 was a breakthrough day for the ODA Committee at Queen's
Park. As a result of all our hard work, the ODA was referred to in the Throne
Speech for the first time since the Harris Government was elected. This is a major
breakthrough. Here is the text of the passage from the Throne Speech, ocurring
mere days before the Government called the 1999 provincial election:
"The people of Ontario also value freedom and human rights.
Today, we pray for all the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, especially those risking their lives to protect minorities in other countries.
Our thoughts are with all peoples on earth seeking refuge from persecution.
Events half a world away remind us that our province has been shaped by the contributions of men and women from around the globe.
This time of year is important to many different members of the Ontario family, including those of the Jewish faith commemorating Passover, Baha'is recognizing the holy period of Ridvan, Christians celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Sikhs and Hindus marking Vaisakhi, Muslims commemorating Eid-ul-Adha,
and Buddhists marking Vesakha.
These - and other - religious observances, remind us that, whatever our background, we are united by common principles of family, tolerance, responsibility and compassion.
These principles led your government to conduct province-wide consultations on barriers to accessibility faced by persons with disabilities. Last fall, your government introduced legislation - the first of its kind in Canada - aimed at breaking down those barriers.
Concerns expressed about this pioneering legislation, however, have been heard. In response, your government will take the time necessary to gather additional input, and will consult further
before reintroducing a bill for consideration by the Legislature."
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