Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee

ODA Committee Homepageblank spaceFactsheet; the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committeeblank spaceWhat's New on the ODA Committee websiteblank spaceCorrespondence between the ODA Committee and the Ontario Governmentblank spaceODA Committee Press Releasesblank spaceHansard from the Ontario Legislature re: ODAblank spaceODA Committee Action Kits and Tipsblank spaceContact the ODA Committeeblank spaceOrganizational Members of the ODA
Who are we?blank spaceMajor ODA Documentsblank spaceODA News Briefsblank spaceODA Handoutblank spaceODA Pamphletblank spaceODA Postersblank spaceblank spaceRegional ODA Eventsblank spaceblank spaceFree Membership form to Join the ODA Committeeblank space

Please Support a Strong & Effective ODA

follow this link for text-based navigation menu

Ontario Government's
New ODA Bill 125

Proceedings of Standing Committee on
Finance on Bill 125

Thursday 29 November 2001


The committee met at 1009 in room 228.


The Chair (Mr Marcel Beaubien): Good morning, everyone. If I could get your
attention --

Failure of sound system.

The Chair: -- some type of decision today. So with that, as I said, the
subcommittee report is in front of you.

Mr John O'Toole (Durham): Mr Chair, I would now like to move adoption of the
subcommittee report. Am I supposed to read it into the record or something?

The Chair: Yes, I think it should be read.

Mr O'Toole: Could you give me a copy? Mine has been all marked and scratched.

If I may, with your indulgence, move the subcommittee report of the standing
committee on finance and economic affairs:

Your subcommittee on committee business met on Monday, November 26, 2001, and
recommends the following with respect to Bill 125, An Act to improve the
identification, removal and prevention of barriers faced by persons with
disabilities and to make related amendments to other Acts, 2001.

(1). That an advertisement be placed in the major paper of each of the cities
to which the committee intends to travel. That advertisements be placed in both
English and French papers, if possible.

(2) That 18 to 20 hits over one, two or three days be placed on radio stations
with the greatest audience in each of the cities to which the committee intends
to travel.

(3) That an advertisement be placed on the Ontario parliamentary channel and on
the committee's Internet page.

(4) That the deadline for people to submit their requests to appear for Ottawa
be 5 pm, Wednesday, November 28, 2001.

(5) That the advertisement that was placed in the Ottawa papers be changed to
reflect the new deadline; if this is not possible, that a new ad be placed.

(6) That the advertisements include information that the witnesses may submit
expenses for reimbursement.

(7) That the deadline for people to submit their requests to appear in all
other locations be as follows: 12 noon, Thursday, November 29, 2001, for
Windsor; 12 noon, Friday, November 30, 2001, for Toronto; 12 noon, Tuesday,
December 4, 2001, for Thunder Bay; 12 noon, Wednesday, December 5, 2001, for

(8) That, if needed, each party submit a prioritized list of witnesses for each
location that the committee intends to hold hearings.

(9) That groups be offered 20 minutes in which to make a presentation, and
individuals be offered 15 minutes in which to make a presentation, subject to
their needs for assistance in making a presentation (to be determined by the
committee clerk in consultation with the Chair).

(10) That any assistive devices that are needed be provided by the committee.

(11) That the committee meet from 9 am to 5 pm, subject to the number of
presenters, in Ottawa, Windsor, Thunder Bay and Sudbury.

(12) That the committee meet from 9 am to 12 noon and from 4 pm to 6 pm in
Toronto on December 4 and 5.

(13) That the deadline for amendments be 12 noon, Monday, December 10, 2001.

(14) That the deadline for written submissions be 5 pm, Friday, December 7,

(15) That the committee clerk can begin implementing these decisions as soon as
Bill 125 is referred to the standing committee on finance and economic affairs
and is authorized to release the information as soon as Bill 125 is referred to

The Chair: Mr O'Toole has moved and read the subcommittee report. Is there any

Mr Ernie Parsons (Prince Edward-Hastings): Just a question; I'm certainly not
challenging it, but a question on the item that refers to "if needed, each
party submit a prioritized list of witnesses." I'm just wondering how that
works technically, when we would have the names, for example, of who was taking
an interest in Ottawa.

Clerk of the Committee (Ms Susan Sourial): The list for Ottawa was sent out
last night, after the 5 o'clock deadline.

Mr Parsons: By e-mail?

Clerk of the Committee: I faxed it out.
The Chair: It's in this morning. I received mine and Mr Martin has his.

Mr Parsons: We're literally having troubles with our fax machine, so I will go
back and confirm. I may need another copy from you, but thank you.

Mr Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie): Just a couple of questions. I note that an
advertisement will be placed in the major paper of each of the cities to which
the committee intends to travel. I guess I'm wondering how those people who
aren't in those cities and who want to come and present will hear about this.
For example, although it's not going to be a problem because we've put it out,
there's a whole bunch of people in the Soo who want to present. I'm not sure
what arrangements have been made to this point, but they've been in contact
with the clerk. But if I wasn't organizing that and we weren't advertising in
the Soo paper -- certainly the Sudbury paper would not get to the Soo. They
could get the parliamentary channel, although it's kind of hit and miss these
days. It's a channel that doubles with the school boards to give out
information, so sometimes it's on and sometimes it's not. I'm wondering if
we've thought at all about how those communities that are far enough away from
the centres we're going to that they wouldn't get their newspapers will find
out about the committee hearings.

The Chair: Usually the newspapers in the larger centres have a distribution
centre that covers probably, I don't know, a 50-mile, 60-mile, maybe a 30-mile
radius around the city. There's no doubt you make a valid point that if you
live in Dubreuilville, it probably would be very difficult, although they do
get the Soo paper. But it would probably be difficult. There's a challenge, but
there are always challenges.

Mr Martin: But it won't be advertised in the Soo paper, it will be advertised
in the Sudbury paper, and the Sudbury paper doesn't go anywhere near --
The Chair: So it would be Sudbury and --
Mr Martin: Thunder Bay, yes. So there are a lot of communities out there that
won't be touched.

The Chair: It's not a perfect system. That's all I can say. This is something
we discussed, as you're aware, at the subcommittee, that we would try to reach
as many people as we possibly could. It's posted on the site, it's advertised
in the newspapers where we're travelling and, as you said, you're doing all you
can as a member for your constituents in that area. I'm sure the other members
are probably doing the same. I don't know what else we can do.

Mr Martin: I just want to mark it as a problem. I'm not sure what else you can
do either, other than advertise across the province, although it's certainly
too late for Ottawa. It's probably too late for Windsor, because you've
probably already done your advertising for Windsor. Is it too late for Thunder
Bay and Sudbury? That's the area where I think, in terms of circulation, the
distance often precludes the Sudbury and Thunder Bay newspapers from going into
big chunks of that part of the province. Is there anything we could do to make
sure all of the communities in the north know that this is going on?

The Chair: As I pointed out, this is a subcommittee report. It probably should
have been raised at that particular point in time. If we wanted to advertise in
different newspapers, it probably should have been discussed by the
subcommittee when we met -- what date was it that we met? -- on November 26.
Mr Martin: Could I make a motion, then, that particularly in the north, where
communication isn't always at its best and the distances are so great, we
advertise in the Sault Star, the Timmins newspaper and the North Bay newspaper?
I think that would probably cover the rest of the province, because the north
is hived up. The North Bay Nugget covers a certain area, the Sudbury Star
covers a certain area, and the Sault Star covers a certain area -- and Thunder
Bay. Those are the other major centres.

Mr Joseph Spina (Brampton Centre): You meant Timmins, Tony? You said Thunder

Mr Martin: Yes. What I meant was Sault Ste Marie, Timmins and North Bay. Those
are the three major centres that have major papers, and that would hit

The Chair: Mr Martin has moved an amendment to the subcommittee report that we
advertise in the Soo, Timmins and North Bay papers. Is there any further
discussion? Do I have unanimous consent on it? Agreed? OK.


Mr Martin: I appreciate that.

Another question on numbers 9 and 10 in terms of somebody who comes forward
presenting with some challenges in terms of presentation, and the 15 minutes.
That's the first question. I take it from here that we are going to be somewhat
flexible, to make sure that somebody who needs to have interpretation -- it may
take twice as long, because in some instances there may be interpretation both

The Chair: We don't have a problem so far with the presenters in Ottawa. I
think we'll be able to stay on schedule because the clerk has already contacted
these people. With regard to the other communities, you're correct. I think it
was the intent that we would be flexible with the time we would allocate to
some individuals if there's a problem or a challenge.

Mr Spina: Just to assist, I think item 10 in the subcommittee report indicates
that assistive devices needed would be provided. Also, I think there was
another element here that referred to assistance that would be required.

Mr Martin: For travel? Yes, there is.

Mr Spina: That they "may submit expenses for reimbursement." That's in number
6. I thought those pretty well covered or at least addressed those needs.

Mr Ernie Hardeman (Oxford): I misunderstood, then. I thought Tony's question
was more that if an individual came in and what normally would be a 15-minute
presentation takes half an hour because of the devices and the process he has
to use, we agreed we would be flexible on that time. I think in the discussion
we also agreed we would then have to be flexible, as a committee, on shortening
some of the other times for our questions in order to make sure that all those
who had been scheduled to appear would get time to appear. Obviously if, for
whatever reason, you extend one, you have to find that time somewhere else. Or
if you extend two or three, then all of a sudden you get to the end and there
isn't time to get in those who have made application, have been accepted and
were asked to come and present. My understanding was that we were going to try
and be flexible to facilitate anyone who had a disability and required more
time, and we would work together to work around that.

The Chair: For instance, in Ottawa there are a couple of individuals who will
be presenting who do require some additional time. That has been implemented in
the agenda that you have in front of you. The clerk has already discussed how
much time they would need to make their presentation, so that's taken into

Mr Parsons: When I raised the issue, I felt that item 9, "offered 20 minutes
... subject to their needs for assistance in making a presentation," gave the
Chair the flexibility to vary the time.

Mr Martin: I do have some difficulty with shortening [Image]somebody else's
time. This is their opportunity to say their piece. If they're only getting 15
minutes to begin with and you shorten it to 10, and they've travelled the
distance to do that, it will probably seem to them that we're not really
interested in everything they have to say.

I make that point to make another point, which is one that Mr Parsons and I
have been making since we found out we were going to be doing these hearings as
quickly as we are and trying to get them in before Christmas. It just makes it
really difficult, in the time we have, to hear from everybody and to make sure
that we do provide that flexibility. I realize, Mr Hardeman, that we're going
to try as best we can, and we'll co-operate with that, given the short
timeline, but it's unfortunate that the timeline is so short.

Mr Hardeman: I was not inferring that we had agreed that the presenters would
be cut short from their presentation; it would be the accommodation that if
they have 15 minutes and they spend seven minutes making their presentation,
the Chair would be able to recover some of the time taking away from us, not
from the presenters. So I think it's to accommodate, to try and make sure that
for those who need the extra time it will be there. If it's being arranged
prior to the hearing to say, "I can't make my presentation in 15 minutes," then
I think that can be timed in as it's being done in Ottawa. But if they come in
at the last minute, they have 15 minutes and they can't get it done in 15
minutes, I think we should be considerate enough to let them go for 20 minutes
or 25 minutes. But we'll have to find as best we can, to accommodate, that time
in the rest of the day.

Mr Spina: I'm happy. This is at the discretion of the Chair and the clerk to
discern whether more time is need. That's always been the case in most
committees. I would trust the clerk, with the Chair, to use discretion, and if
it's something beyond the usual amount of discretion, the Chair asks us for
unanimous consent. Any of us would be stupid not to give consent if someone who
needs more time. I agree with you, Tony. We shouldn't be restricting other
presenters if someone took a little more time. I'm happy to trust the Chair and
the clerk on that.

The Chair: Any further discussion?
Mr Martin: Yes, just a couple of other questions. On the issue of assistive
devices, have we been able to secure and tie down the devices that we need, the
interpreters or whatever?

The Chair: I'll let the clerk explain to you, because she's been working very
diligently on this issue.

Clerk of the Committee: For Ottawa we've got three sign-language interpreters
arranged and one what is called an intervener because one of the presenters is
deaf-blind. So far I have one sign-language interpreter for all the other
locations and I'm working on getting two more for each location. In all the
other locations, we will also have real-time captioning. Unfortunately, we
don't have that for Ottawa, but we will have it for all the other locations.

Mr Martin: OK, and are we going to need the real-time captioning in Ottawa?
Will that be a big problem for anybody?

Clerk of the Committee: It's hard to say. None of the presenters are
hearing-impaired. However, I don't know who in the audience will be
hearing-impaired. Although the signers are there, I think the captioning is
just a backup for the signers.

Mr Martin: And just the question of transportation. Have there been any
problems there at all? Are we able to accommodate anybody who needs help
getting to the --
Clerk of the Committee: So far in Ottawa that wasn't an issue. There was one
presenter to whom I offered the transportation, and she said she had a
volunteer driver. But other than that there hasn't been any issue.

Mr Martin: In terms of -- and I'm becoming a bit parochial here -- Sudbury and
the fact that we're at Cambrian College, and I'm assuming, maybe wrongly, that
the reason we're going there is because it has the facilities to accommodate a
number of challenges, are we able to conference with other centres or other

Clerk of the Committee: We're looking into that. Broadcast and Recording is
looking into seeing if we can conference with Sault Ste Marie.

Mr Martin: Yes, because the group in the Soo were hoping, and there are a
significant number of them, that they might be able to beam in and not have to
travel to Sudbury but actually be present via that medium. So you're working on
that. OK, that's great, because it would certainly be convenient that the whole
whack of them not have to travel, given that it's snowing up there now and
we're skiing -- a little advertisement there.


Mr Martin: No, not yet. They're working on it. We will be, yes. There'll be big
snow machine races this weekend out at Searchmont. Anyway, that's an aside;

They're hoping in the Soo to be able to beam in and participate in that way,
and it would be great if that was able to be accomplished, so thank you. Those
are all my questions.

The Chair: If there are no further comments or questions, I will call the vote
on the amended subcommittee report. The amendment is that we advertise in the
Sault Ste Marie, Timmins and North Bay newspapers.

All those in favour of the amended subcommittee report? Opposed? That's

The other issue we have to deal with: as you're aware, on Friday, we're going
to be in Ottawa, and the list has to be in by noon on Friday for the presenters
in other communities. We need to fax that list somewhere. I'd like to get some
direction as to who, and we also have to set a time limit to send it back to
the clerk, because the clerks have to schedule these people. For the Toronto
hearings, we need 10 names and 10 alternates to put on the schedule. In other
words, there are more presenters in Toronto than we have spaces available. The
deadline for Toronto is noon on Friday. We're coming back to Toronto on Tuesday
and Wednesday. If the deadline is noon on Friday, we need to know the
presenters that each party would like to have present to the committee on
Tuesday and Wednesday. But we must give the clerk a period of time in order to
schedule these people. I would suggest that if we fax or provide the list by
noon, it probably should be back to the clerk's office by 4 o'clock or 5
o'clock so that they may schedule the presenters on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mr Martin: When will we get it?

The Chair: We'll get it at noon on Friday.

Mr Martin: On Friday.

The Chair: Where do we send the list? Where would you like the list sent?

Mr Martin: For me, it would be two places. If you could give it to me in
Ottawa, I could take a look at it, and if you would send one to our research
department, probably Trish Hennessy -- no, I'm sorry -- if you could send it to
my constituency office, care of Sarah Jordison, then I'll connect with them.
You want the 10 names back by when?

The Chair: I'm asking for some direction, but I would say we should have it
back by 4 in order to give the clerk some time to schedule these people.

Mr Martin: By 4 on Friday.

The Chair: On Friday. It should go back to the clerk's office in Toronto here.
That's right. The clerk, Susan, will be travelling with us, so the list should
go back to the clerk's office in Toronto here.

Mr Martin: For me, I'm going to be alone on the committee and it's going to be
hard for me to take any time away from the committee itself, so I'll need to
make sure I get it by noon. I'll do what I can over the noon hour to talk with
my staff to get something back for 4. Is that going to work for you, Ernie?

Mr Parsons: That was the only thing that would work for me, I think.

The Chair: So where would we send your list? To your research department here?

Mr Parsons: I would like it to go to both Queen's Park and my constituency
office, but it will only work, I think, if I can get a copy at noon.

The Chair: We'll provide you with a copy of it in Ottawa.

Mr Hardeman, where would you like this list?

Mr Hardeman: I won't be in Ottawa, so I would have it sent to my Woodstock
office. I'll endeavour to get it to the other people who need it, and hopefully
we can get it back to the clerk's office here by late Friday afternoon.

The Chair: You'll undertake to do that, OK. So we need 10 names and 10
alternates, on a priority basis.

Mr Martin: If I said my constituency office, I meant my Legislative Assembly
office here at Queen's Park.

The Chair: OK. I think that's all I need. Anything else that members want to

Mr O'Toole: I just want to bring up a question on the record. My itinerary for
today is unsatisfactory. I'm not leaving at 11 o'clock tonight. I don't know
how come I'm leaving at 11. I'm not sitting around here until 11 o'clock.

The Chair: Tonight, you mean?

Mr O'Toole: Yes.

The Chair: I don't know. We probably can make arrangements --

Mr O'Toole: I would not like to show up at the airport and then have to sit
around there either. Is there nothing else, Susan?

Clerk of the Committee: No, it was in consultation with your office. They said
that was the only time you were free.

Mr O'Toole: Jeez, 11 o'clock on Friday.

Mr Hardeman: Maybe you were supposed to be doing something else this evening.

Mr O'Toole: No, I've just got my schedule. I'll work with you, Susan, because
I'd like to leave with everybody else.

The Chair: The committee is now adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1035.


Thursday 29 November 2001

Subcommittee report F-445


Chair / Pr1sident

Mr Marcel Beaubien (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex PC)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Pr1sident

Mr Doug Galt (Northumberland PC)

Mr Marcel Beaubien (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex PC)

Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton West / -Ouest ND)

Mr Doug Galt (Northumberland PC)

Mr Ernie Hardeman (Oxford PC)

Mr Monte Kwinter (York Centre / -Centre L)

Mr John O'Toole (Durham PC)

Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt L)

Mr Joseph Spina (Brampton Centre / -Centre PC)

Substitutions / Membres remplaJants

Mr Carl DeFaria (Mississauga East / -Est PC)

Mr Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie ND)

Mr Ernie Parsons (Prince Edward-Hastings L)

Clerk / GreffiMre

Ms Susan Sourial

Staff / Personnel

Mr David Rampersad, researh officer,

Research and Information Services


Back to Proceedings of Standing Committee on Finance on Bill 125 index page

back to ODA Bill 125 Index page



Top of Page



Website maintained by Barbara Anello

Please email your feedback on the website.

Last updated February 4, 2002

Web Design Courtesy of Barbara Anello 
of AWS: Anello Web Services 
URL: http://welcome.to/aws