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New ODA Bill 125
hansard December 11, 2001
Ontario Hansard Tuesday, December 11, 2001
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES LEGISLATION
debate on a Government "Time Allocation" motion on another
I've got four of our colleagues, including myself, who want to speak on this time allocation motion for a number of reasons. I want to deal specifically with the time allocation portion and I'll leave our critic and others to speak about the details of the bill.
You will know that this is not the first time the government has brought a time allocation motion to this Legislature. In fact, it is now the norm. There are very few times in this Legislature under this current regime that we have seen the government actually introduce a bill that went the regular course when it comes to passing through this House. I think that is really a problem, not only for us in the opposition but, I would argue, for the government and backbench members as well. I think it speaks to the point that this Legislature has become dysfunctional as a result of the various rule changes we've seen in this House.
To the government I'm going to say you're greatly responsible for that, but you're not the only ones. All parties, quite frankly, have had their hand at changing the rules in this Legislature, to the point we are now, that there isn't really good debate any more where there is an exchange of ideas to bring to the floor of the assembly the points our constituents raise with us with the full knowledge that the government might listen and make amendments to legislation.
I bring to your attention, for example, my good friend Tony Martin, who right now is working on the Ontarians with Disabilities Act. He has travelled the province with the committee for a mere five days. We've had to do that during the session. In many of the places people have gone, they have found there was not adequate time to deal with the issue. But the point is, there are a number of really good amendments that Mr Martin is trying to put forward on behalf of the disabled community at committee as we speak, and the government has time-allocated the bill to the point that there is virtually no time to deal with the amendments. Even if the opposition was to have the time, there would not be an attempt on the part of the government to make any changes to their legislation because the rules in this House have made it such that a government can pass anything it wants and doesn't have to have due regard for the process of the Legislature or for what opposition members have to say. I say that's a really sad point and that we need to change the rules in this House and we need to find a way to make this Legislature work yet again for the people of Ontario.