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New ODA Bill 125
hansard November 27, 2001
Ontario Hansard Tuesday, November 27, 2001
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES LEGISLATION
Ms Marilyn Mushinski (Scarborough Centre): My question is for the Minister of Citizenship.
Minister, during second reading debate in the Legislature last week, opposition members argued that the Ontarians with Disabilities Act will have no effect on the private sector. The Liberals went to the Ontarians with disabilities action committee and held consultations of their own, but I have yet to hear from the Liberals what recommendations they have of their own. In the House, the Liberals say Bill 125 should include legislation that imposes sanctions on the private sector immediately. Do you have any idea where the Liberals stand on the ODA?
Hon Cameron Jackson (Minister of Citizenship, minister responsible for seniors): Like all members of the House, I listened to the debate from the Liberals across the floor and --
Hon Mr Jackson: Well, you ask the questions. That's what you're supposed to do. You're not asking any questions on the ODA. People in Windsor kind of like the program.
What we have heard from the Liberals is the following: first, they did an Ontarians with disability review and never talked to the private sector, never talked to hospitals. They talked to a handful of disabled persons and promised them nothing. They didn't promise anything in the last election and they still, with this bill on the floor of the Legislature, have not made one promise to the disabled community. Yet they're out there throwing around comments, like the member for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough, who says, "I don't care what this costs. The taxpayers should pay for it." The member for Windsor-St Clair says, "You're going to have to wait two years" to hear from the Liberal Party and where they stand on the disabled and the disabilities issues. All we've heard from the Liberals is that there is no commitment from their consultation, they want to delay the agenda of reform in this province and they want to play politics with the needs of the disabled.
The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Supplementary?
Ms Mushinski: My question is again to the Minister of Citizenship. Opposition members have also suggested that Bill 125 should be put on hold while further consultations take place. Interestingly enough, this Liberal opposition tactic coincides with concerns expressed by the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee, who wanted this act passed by November 23. Minister, disabled persons in my riding of Scarborough Centre have told me that they want us to get on with this legislation and the disabled community council wants to work with government partners, especially municipalities, to implement the regulations. Notwithstanding that the Liberals want to delay, delay, delay, how soon can this government get the ODA up and running?
Hon Mr Jackson: As members of the House know, the committee of the Legislature is going to five different cities in the province to conduct the reviews and public hearings on the bill. We hope to have the bill back here for clause-by-clause and a bill for third reading in the House in December so that we can complete this legislation as promised to the disabled persons.
I want to remind members of the House that the bill contains, in section 22, 10 specific clauses with respect to regulatory and regulation-making authority put in the hands of the disabled community, who will advise the government on making those regulations. It's the seventh principle of the eleven principles of the ODA resolution stated in this House. These regulations will be developed by the disabilities community. We hope that this will be proclaimed by the end of the year and hopefully then the first elements to be proclaimed in this legislation will be the regulatory power and the new --
The Speaker: The minister's time is up. New question.