NAVY LEAGUE OF CANADA, SUDBURY BRANCH
LAURENTIAN UNIVERSITY SPECIAL NEEDS OFFICE
BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF SUDBURY AND DISTRICT, ONTARIO BRAIN INJURY
NORTHEASTERN ONTARIO REGIONAL ALLIANCE FOR THE DISABLED
CANADIAN HEARING SOCIETY, SUDBURY OFFICE
CENTRE FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH
SUDBURY DISABILITY COALITION
WEST NIPISSING NATURAL RESOURCES ACCESS GROUP
SAULT-ALGOMA ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT COMMITTEE
Friday 7 December 2001 Vendredi 7 decembre 2001
The committee met at 0959 at Cambrian College, Sudbury.
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2001
LOI DE 2001 SUR LES PERSONNES HANDICAP6ES DE L'ONTARIO
Consideration of Bill 125, An Act to improve the identification,
prevention of barriers faced by persons with disabilities and to make
amendments to other Acts / Projet de loi 125, Loi visant " am1liorer
rep1rage, l'1limination et la pr1vention des obstacles auxquels font
personnes handicap1es et apportant des modifications connexes "
The Chair (Mr Marcel Beaubien): Good morning, everyone. I'd like
to bring the
standing committee on finance and economic affairs to order. We're
consider Bill 125.
There are a couple of items I would like to bring to everyone's attention.
Copies of the bill are available at the back of the room in Braille.
have audio tapes and disks. It's also available in French.
On behalf of the committee, I would like to recognize the passing
away of Dr
Frank Marsh at the young age of 51 years on November 11. Dr Marsh
was the third
president of Cambrian College. On behalf of the committee, I'd like
our condolences to his family, to the staff and students of Cambrian
and to the community because Dr Marsh, although I did not know him
was involved tremendously in the community.
With that, I'll ask our first presenter, the Navy League of Canada,
branch, to please come forward and identify yourself for the record.
Interjection: The screen is wiped out, Chair.
The Chair: I guess we'll have to take a break for a couple of minutes
screen is back on.
The committee recessed from 1000 to 1004.
The Chair: I would like to introduce the committee members. I'll
start on my
left with Mr Rick Bartolucci, Mr Tony Martin, Ms Shelley Martel, and
then on my
right, Mr Carl DeFaria, Mr Joe Spina and Mr Ernie Hardeman. Mr John
not here but will be shortly. I'm Marcel Beaubien.
NAVY LEAGUE OF CANADA,
The Chair: I'm sorry for the technical difficulty, but we won't dock
your time. We'll start now. On behalf of the committee, welcome.
Mr Bryan Chapelle: Thank you very much. On behalf of the Navy League
Sudbury branch, I bid everybody good morning. I was asked to come
and speak on
behalf of disabled people mainly because we have the Brain Injury
of Sudbury and District in our building, which is great. I guess in
a lot of
ways we feel we have first-hand knowledge of this. I'm going to start
presentation and give you an idea of how we look at disabilities in
League of Canada.
The Chair: Before you start, could you identify both of you?
Mr Chapelle: My apologies. This is Mr Bill Lee, my public relations
hang around together because we need each other. It doesn't hurt at
all to have
someone else from the branch with me. Given the fact that Mr Lee is
he is technically blind; he was injured in the Canadian navy -- and
he is a
member of our branch, this shows how people can function, even with
disabilities. Do you have anything to say, Mr Lee?
Mr Bill Lee: No.
Mr Chapelle: All right, I'm going to start my presentation. We at
League of Canada, Sudbury branch, like to think we are setting an
the rest of the community when it comes to issues of disabilities.
understand first-hand the barriers that face people living with disabilities.
The Sudbury branch has two board members who have become disabled
life. In our cadet corps, we have serving cadets who have certain
conditions that require special care. We encourage integration, not
discrimination. We are now trying to accommodate the needs of the
within our community.
I have to look back. We have a cadet corps. We sponsor now three
Financially, it costs a lot, but one of them is the Admiral Mountbatten
Cadet Corps. It has a terrific history. It's one of the top corps
It's the only corps in Canada that has wiped the field over army and
individual and team competitions. That was in 1977, and the second
about four and a half years ago.
At that time we had two disabled young adults in our corps. When
it came to
judging, we asked that the judges not judge them on their disability,
their position. One was in the guard and one was in the band. That
Borden and we wiped the field. If you're part of the Mountbattens,
what standing you are, we teach these kids to perform and not to win.
why we win all the time. They've got to enjoy it. They have to be
a part of it.
So any child who's disabled has to work just as hard at the ones who
there. The difference is they help each other.
So we'd never exclude anybody who was disabled. If someone was disabled
they couldn't do certain things, we would compensate for them to do
things -- not demeaning things, because the idea is they all progress
I think the positive thing about cadet corps is we all lack confidence
lives. If there's anything this organization brings, it's confidence.
Secondly, as I said earlier, we donate office space to the Brain
Association of Sudbury and District, and we'd like to do the same
charities, but because of the current design of our building, the
Hall, it is inaccessible to all persons in a wheelchair. Anybody with
impairment has a tough time negotiating the stairs. Our washrooms
facilitate anyone in a wheelchair with any dignity.
I think at the Navy League of Canada, Sudbury branch, we're too easy
senses, but we take in people. We're family. I think the one thing
about the Navy League of Canada is we're family. The brain injury
has become family to us. We have helped them. A member of our branch
their branch. We're a frugal bunch and we intend to make this group
know how to raise money even in difficult times, but they needed guidance.
are very smart people, but they have to learn how to focus, and that's
have worked on. I see now in the last few months -- and even the mayor's
has told me how impressed they are -- how they have come along. That's
They stay there free of charge. We don't charge any money. If it's
a rental, a
dance or something, that's a different story. We offset our costs
the building. But the way the building was designed by the Mine Mill
approximately 50 years ago -- it's a very strong building -- it does
itself freely to wheelchair accessibility. So it will be quite costly.
with the grants, it will be costly.
We have initiated fundraising. We've been talking about this for
months at the
Navy League branch. Our elections are next Sunday, so I can't go into
because I can't commit the branch to a new project that will run into
thousands. I have a lot of confidence it will go anyway, but being
and as my term is coming up -- I can run for one more year, which
I will -- I
can't put a burden on the new incoming executive. That's on the whole,
we're planning to put so much money away a year that actually would
away from our cadet corps, from our main organization. That's the
because the grant structures as they stand will cover only about 50%,
on whatever you do. So if you've got a $100,000 price tag for that
looking at raising at least $50,000 yourself. I'm already running
a budget of
about $100,000 to $120,000. I would figure this year, because we picked
started a corps in Little Current, it will be closer to $120,000.
The lady from the Trillium Foundation says, "How do you do it?"
It's the people
we have, it's the dedication, ex-veterans, ex-navy, ex-Navy League
come together, and we work hard. We have had some tight times even
but we hang on and we push and we come through it. We're going to
have to lay
out a plan on how we're going to do it, and that will come about after
Sunday. We pretty well know how.
We would like to know if there is going to be a time limit on this
retrofitting the project at the Navy League hall. Looking at the year
just the branch alone we're talking $48,000. That was for two cadet
the branch costs. We're pretty frugal, but at the same time our corps
spoiled. We must have $50,000 or $60,000 invested in band equipment.
completely sponsor the Navy League Cadet Corps ourselves -- uniforms,
everything -- because they don't come under national defence. So that
costs a lot of money. The sea cadets, everything the debt doesn't
honour, in a
sense -- they provide a building and they provide their uniforms.
We pick up
everything else that corps needs, so it gets pretty expensive as it
run a sailing centre. So we've got a lot of overhead. We're paying
mortgage. The only good thing about the mortgage is that Ontario division
the Navy League of Canada paid cash for the building, so we pay Ontario
division. If we did run into a problem this month, let's say, we would
phone Toronto and they'd say, "Well, pick it up in the next two
or three months
or whatever." We don't perceive a problem, but we haven't had
Since we've taken the building over, we've paid them.
I have a vision for us. If we are going to fundraise ourselves, you're
at anywhere from two to five years for us to have the money raised
can go for grants. What we're concerned about is, if Bill 125 is going
me that I have to do this within two years or three years, that's
going to put
a heavy strain on us and, I would imagine, a lot of organizations,
and it could
financially put us into --
Mr Chapelle: It wouldn't bankrupt us; it would make it close.
There's got to be a lot of thought going on here. In Sudbury we're
the same economic spectrum. We're pulling from the different groups,
businesses and that. The big thing with us is that up to our 50th
1993 we had over 5,000 sea cadets pass through the corps. They have
to us financially; in fact we're starting an alumni now. A lot of
businesses, so in turn we've been lucky that way. But there are so
charities and everybody's going after the same dollar value. It becomes
Another problem, on which I was asked to do a survey by one of the
-- I believe it was culture and something; I forget -- was the effect
gambling coming to a city. It does have a great effect. Even with
racetracks down -- I was running a bingo and when the racetrack opened
revenues dropped. So it does have an effect. And in five years they're
about allowing the tables to go in. I think that will just about finish
charities in Sudbury and area. That's my personal view, and I didn't
Being part of the Navy League of Canada, where there are charities
been affected by racetracks, the maximum you can get is $5,000 a year.
these organizations in the area I'm talking about have teamed up together,
or five of them, and run bingos. They had their own bingo halls. They
sell everything. Like one guy said, "You lost $40,000 out of
your budget that
you could use to help people. Then you went to council and they gave
whole -- they didn't have to give you five grand; they might give
He said that every group within that area was affected, whether it
who was disabled, or any of the groups -- cancer society, heart fund
there was more money going out to these areas, especially gambling.
I figure we're looking at anywhere from $100,000, maybe $120,000.
I went to the
city, and we have to hire an architectural engineer because of the
age of the
building. It's a strong building. We've already had it checked out
structural engineer. They said it's unbelievably well built. But that's
cost, and it will be a pretty penny.
I've looked through the material, because I've done fundraising.
the guy who applies for the grants. I've learned there's a knack to
for the grants, especially in how you fill out the answers. That took
time. But grants aren't always the total answer. I think groups like
groups will have to do one thing -- and they might be a little angry
for saying this -- but they're going to have to take part, even including
own fundraising to assist, whether it's groups or themselves. I find
to do more. You have to get involved. I can't sit back, or Bill, or
and hope that money comes in. We have to go out and hustle for it.
So I think,
as a group, there's money out there and you can get it. They have
to be do more
of that. Some people may jump on me for that.
I just take the group that we have in the hall now. They're fundraising
own money. I remember one of the meetings I sat in on, and they had
ideas, which everybody loves. We get ideas of grandeur sometimes.
"Wait. You have to learn how to crawl before you walk."
Every quarter, dime,
nickel or dollar you get, that's money you never had before. The Navy
never looks at hundreds or thousands; we look at pennies, nickels
and dimes. I
think a lot of these groups have to look at it in that sense and I
have to come out in the community -- I know they're disabled, but
I know a lot
of them can do a lot of things. It would probably give some extra
their lives and show people that they don't need society to totally
that they're more than capable. I think our cadet corps show that,
children are capable of going on.
Our aim at the Navy League of Canada in Sudbury is to make the hall
to everybody, and we will do it and we will do it as fast as we can.
Access to partnership: we're going to try that with different companies.
a little tough too, because if you're living up here in northern Ontario,
don't have that many to feed off, because you've got all these other
But we're going to try that approach. I have a few ideas knocking
Perhaps this way, with our own fundraising and if we can partner with
and with the grants, I think we should be able to make that hall accessible
everybody, and to all the charities.
That's been our main function since we've taken over that hall. Even
we opened that hall free of charge, the kitchen, everything, for violence
against women prevention and their march. Anything to do with the
free. Last Christmas a company phoned up and they were going to have
children coming through. They were giving them free toys; they had
This is a true story. They phoned up and said to the lady we have
much would you charge for the hall for a day at Christmas?" They
said it was
for youth and that, you know. She said, "I don't know. I'd have
to talk to the
treasurer." He was next door and she said to the treasurer, "How
much do you
charge, Gary?" He said, "Well, $50." Anyway, Gloria
went back to the woman and
she wouldn't believe her. She said, "I've got to talk to that
person -- $50."
She'd already talked to a few halls and it was $400, $800. Gary said,
to charge something. I've got to pay somebody 50 bucks to clean that
because it was around Christmas and a lot of us were gone, doing things.
We don't overkill. So the idea is to open the hall, make it more
There are a lot of groups in Sudbury and area that have people who
disabled. They don't have to be part of the organization, but you
can have many
groups that need facilities. So our aim is to make it accessible as
Our concern on this Bill 125 is that I've never heard a timeline.
concerns me, because if we can't do it in two years -- it might take
years -- are we going to be cornered in a timeline because of that?
main concern. If you have any questions --
The Chair: Thank you very much. I'll allow for a minute. We've just
got a very
brief time. I'll start with the government's side, Mr Hardeman, a
Mr Ernie Hardeman (Oxford): Thank you very much for the presentation
pointing out all the good work that your organization does in the
the disabled but also for the community in general.
I noticed you mentioned fundraising and you referred to the Trillium
your organization taken advantage of and been able to use that, and
work? Obviously the province put in place the Trillium process to
to assist in the areas where the slot machines would take away from
fundraising capabilities of your organization. So does it work well
Mr Chapelle: It worked well. I have no complaints about the Trillium
at all, because at that time I applied for $24,000 and we got $17,000.
expect to get the $24,000, but we got $17,000. We built a monument
Sudbury that actually reflects a true value of about $52,000. We did
project in nine months. The building came open to us within two months
monument. So we have a double whammy. We took on the building, we
took on the
monument. We've done both. Then we moved to open the cadet corps.
The Trillium fund is great. I don't think funds or grants should
everything, I really don't, because that's the wrong approach. If
you're a true
organization, whether it's the Lions Club, the Shriners or anything,
be out there getting money. I don't think the government should be
the whole community. I think citizens have to get out and do their
own part. I
think it's excellent.
Mr Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury): I'd like to introduce Ernie Parsons,
who is our
critic in this area and will be doing the majority of the questioning
will certainly want to ask just one question to Bryan and Bill, but
before I do
that I want to tell you that there's absolutely no question about
commitment of your organization to our community and to the kids.
It is very
inclusive. Certainly over the years your attendance at my schools
wonderful in ensuring that there is complete and positive growth of
and then as they move on in life.
David Lepofsky, the chair of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act
said that this act is a weak act. He has offered 28 pages of amendments.
Because you work directly and because you said you see the importance
inclusive, would you suggest to the committee, and of course in turn
government, that they adopt the amendments set out by people with
across this province who have studied this legislation, who find weaknesses
the legislation, who want to ensure that it's a strong piece of legislation
its final draft? Would you suggest to them that they adopt the resolutions
outlined by the chair of the Ontarians with disabilities?
Mr Chapelle: When I look at it, they have a lot of concerns, and
I can see it.
Sometimes their needs aren't met at all. There are a lot of things
be adopted in that paper. There are some things that should be looked
though, and reviewed. There are areas that concern me. I think the
thing is financial. I don't care what government is in there, and
commitment; personally, I think it's going to take maybe, in my guess,
years to implement everything. That's my personal view. It might be
if you look at how the system works -- I know the biggest thing is
want to be part of life. I've worked all my life and I've been fortunate.
want to be part of that community. They want to feel that self-worth.
very important to them. And there are not enough avenues open to those
So there are a lot of things, I agree, that should be in. There are
things that should be reviewed and looked at a little deeper, in depth.
sure there are a lot of professional people --
The Chair: Thank you very much. Ms Martel.
Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): Thanks, Bryan, for being here this
I'll probably make a comment more than actually ask a question. In
bill doesn't have timelines for accessibility and it doesn't have
enforcement mechanism for accessibility. You might find some comfort
based on what you said, but my argument would be that because it doesn't,
think it really makes the issue of buildings becoming accessible --
sector, public sector, municipal, community buildings like yours --
don't see where the end will be in terms of making sure all of these
accessible for the disabled.
It does come down to the point you raise, which is finances. We are
have to invest in our communities if we are going to help those groups
trying to do as you were trying to do, make their buildings accessible.
bill doesn't talk about financial investment in any way, shape or
So if we're going to move forward -- and we have to -- we really do
have to be
putting money on the table to make this happen. Otherwise, without
without timelines and without money, we're not going to see any great
Mr Chapelle: I agree there, partly. The government will have to put
money, and industries. I think industries and companies have an easier
than charitable groups. I would envision us -- between you and me
and the fence
post, if everything works out, I would figure probably in two and
maybe less. We're a frugal bunch, but that's not everybody. When we
lock in and
decide to do something in the Sudbury branch, we lock in. So if we're
raise another $50,000, we'll do it.
The Chair: With that, I have to bring it to an end. We've run well
time. On behalf of the committee, thank you very much for your presentation
The Chair: Our next presentation is from Malia Dub1. I would ask
to come forward, please, and state your name for the record. On behalf
committee, welcome. You have 15 minutes for your presentation this
Mrs Malia Dub1: Good morning, everybody. I am pleased to have been
with the opportunity to speak to this committee today. I would like
to share my
thoughts and suggestions on the proposed legislation.
Bill 125 may indeed be the first step toward a barrier-free Ontario.
there are certain amendments that will have to be made before this
have a positive impact on the daily lives of my family and myself.
I'm going to be talking about today.
There are three persons with disabilities in my family: my daughter,
and myself. We all have different impairments and we all have different
of barriers that if eliminated would make our lives so much easier.
one small group, there is so much diversity. My family is like a microcosm
the reality of the disabled community. I believe that it is extremely
that terms such as "disability" and "barrier"
have as broad and inclusive a
meaning in the legislation as possible. I am now going to describe
some of the
barriers that present the greatest challenges to myself and my family.
My daughter is 16 and she is a person with an invisible disability.
which she has had to learn to cope with is invisible as well. It is
the lack of
sensitivity or understanding of what it is like to process information
different way. We have had our struggles in the past with various
organizations and individuals because of this lack of understanding.
example, we were told, "She'll grow out of it," when she
couldn't read certain
words like "what" and "there" even at the end
of grade 3. She was also still
writing her letters backwards, but we were still told she'd grow out
of it. We
have always told her that sometimes you have to try hard to strive
dreams, and when others tell you that will never happen, you don't
listen. My daughter's dream is to become a veterinary assistant.
In spite of many setbacks, my daughter is beginning to win her battle
the attitudinal barriers that at one point almost crushed her self-esteem.
will be integrated into two applied courses in high school in January.
thinking of going to Cambrian College. She has a part-time job, and
little extra training, she is now one of the most reliable members
staff, according to her new boss.
The positive things all began to happen because I had an old computer
had upgraded and were able to connect with the Internet. She found
her job on
the Net. She does all her school work on the computer. Now the teachers
understand what she has written. She has learned to read and spell
help of a screen reader, which also assists me in my course work at
So just one device, one piece of equipment, has helped two people
of their dreams.
My husband is a relative newcomer to the ranks of an ever-growing
persons with disabilities. He was injured at work and had to have
removed. He now suffers from chronic pain from osteoarthritis. The
parking fine which has been proposed in Bill 125 may help him at some
however, it won't matter where he parks the vehicle if he has to walk
several stairs to get into the building or open some heavy doors or
unyielding doorknobs. A barrier-free building makes things easier
for both of
us. Ramps are also more convenient for everyone, including my dog,
choose a ramp over stairs every time.
The Chair: Smart dog.
Mrs Dub1: She does, too, especially in the wintertime.
Accessible doors are easier for my husband to open. If they are made
enough, both myself and the dog are able to enter a building at the
We don't block traffic and we are both safe by entering the building
same time. Accessible washrooms are great for people who use service
dog isn't out in the road in the middle of the traffic. She's with
me and she's
out of the way. Having an accessible building to go to can make chores
shopping a pleasure rather than a trial for both of us.
The barriers that present the greatest challenges for me are of three
attitudinal, technical and financial. The most frustrating barrier
for me is
obtaining access to the written word. I am a fourth-year student at
University and the largest challenge for me over the past several
been access to information. I need to be able to access scientific,
and research publications in order to produce the high-quality work
expected of students at this level of education.
It is now much easier to produce material in alternate format. The
government has made some progress in this area, but much more is needed.
achieve a truly barrier-free Ontario, all government ministries and
must begin to provide information in alternate format.
For me, attitudinal and financial barriers are connected. I will
in May. I know that I will be facing one of the largest challenges
in my life:
I have to find a job. The barriers I face are not really related to
blindness when it comes to finding a job; they are the attitudes about
with disabilities that unfortunately are still all too common in today's
society. Status in society is measured by one's place on the socio-economic
ladder. If there is one thing I would really like to happen in my
would be to get off the bottom rung. I want to participate fully in
the life of
the community as a taxpaying citizen.
I have tried to provide a snapshot of the everyday barriers faced
by myself and
my family in order to make certain points. Removing barriers will
groups of people at the same time. Removing barriers makes good economic
The construction projects will provide jobs. A barrier-free environment
attract tourists with disabilities to Ontario. Best of all, a barrier-free
Ontario would mean that most of us would have jobs, thus increasing
base in every municipality.
We, the experts, who face these barriers every day want to assist
you in making
Ontario a better place to live. Improving opportunities and being
only the first step. Provide the opportunity for persons with disabilities
assist with the removal and prevention of barriers within a specific
frame. Provide the opportunity for persons with disabilities to assist
develop the regulations, guidelines and mandatory standards that we
need to be
full citizens in this province. This is the type of opportunity and
the type of
involvement we are really looking for.
In conclusion, I would like to recommend that the amendments proposed
ODA Committee be adopted. This will make the legislation not just
be the first
step toward a barrier-free Ontario, but a giant stride toward a better
for all Canadians. Thank you.
The Chair: Thank you very much. I'll allow a very brief question
side. I'll start with the official opposition.
Mr Ernie Parsons (Prince Edward-Hastings): As elected officials,
we often hear
from groups or individuals who want special treatment. This is unique
we're hearing from individuals who want to be treated like everyone
want simply to be on a level playing field.
If you've examined the bill, as I know you have, you know that "not
doesn't apply to private industry, doesn't include funding, has no
It applies only to provincial and municipal buildings when they're
new buildings. It doesn't even require that the province put Braille
elevators. I don't know how much that costs -- but not very much.
won't even do that. If the bill is passed as it stands, without the
how will it improve life for you and your family?
Mrs Dub1: Quite simply, to answer that, it won't make a difference
at all. I
don't know if I mentioned that in my speech anywhere, but no, it really
have any significant impact on how we go about our daily lives.
Ms Martel: A comment and then a question. I've been in politics for
Malia, and I get very nervous speaking in public. You did a fine job
morning and I wanted to let you know that.
Mrs Dub1: Thanks.
Ms Martel: Secondly, if it's not going to make a difference, if the
aren't included in the bill, does it make sense to pass the bill at
Mrs Dub1: Oh, you're putting me on the spot there. If you pass the
bill the way
it is, no, it doesn't make sense to pass it, but if you even adopt
-- and I'm
qualifying this because, as I said, I recommend all the amendments
that the ODA
Committee proposed. There have to be at least some changes or it doesn't
sense. There's no timelines, there's no regulations. It won't affect
Mr John O'Toole (Durham): I would just like to thank you, Malia,
presentation -- very well delivered and a genuine story of how a family
today. You were speaking of your daughter, who is 16 and has had problems
the last number of years, I gather, in terms of some learning disability.
Clearly, we've heard repeatedly the issue of attitude. In your presentation
today -- and we've heard the voice of the people, some 60 presenters
-- one of
the biggest barriers seems to be attitude itself. It takes the courage
people like yourself to come forward and explain not just the big
but the reality of the changes you need for accessibility.
I liked the emphasis you placed on the key word "opportunity,"
because I really
believe that the empowerment that comes with opportunity and --
The Chair: Question, please.
Mr O'Toole: This first step will provide a seat at the table, and
I would like
your response to that. It's coming down to the voice of the directorate,
the advisory committees will have a voice at the table, reporting
Mrs Dub1: I would definitely like to be part of that process, providing
what we do on those committees would be looked at seriously and there
regulations or standards in place to address the barriers once we've
The Chair: On behalf of the committee, thank you very much for your
presentation this morning.
Before I ask for the next presenter to come forward, we've had a
Rachelle Proulx to address the committee this afternoon. I seek unanimous
consent for a 15-minute presentation after the last presentation this
afternoon, which would be around 2:30. Agreed? OK, thank you.
SPECIAL NEEDS OFFICE
The Chair: Our next presentation this morning is from the Laurentian
special needs office. I would ask the presenter to please come forward
state your name for the record. On behalf of the committee, welcome.
20 minutes for your presentation this morning.
Mr Earl Black: My name is Earl Black. I'm the coordinator of special
Laurentian University here in Sudbury. I began my employment with
1989. When I started there, we had eight students. Now we have 240.
We try and work to make our buildings accessible but we're all taxed
We actually did an audit of our buildings and we worked out that the
would be about $2 million, but that's really not much when you look
total operating dollars of a big institution like that. What we've
done is set
aside X number of dollars each year to go toward access.
There's a quick story I'd like to tell you. I had a young fellow
when I started
there in 1989 who had cerebral palsy and was confined to a wheelchair.
him seven years to finish his honours degree in economics. Six months
called me and he's looking for work. In the cover letter he was putting
was mentioning, "Could you mention to the employer to allow a
little extra time
for my transportation to get to and from my work?" Not one of
the resum1s he
sent out was answered. I told him, "Take that off your cover
letter and just do
a blind one." So that's what he did. He did a blind cover letter,
talking about his credentials, and he got interviews, but when he'd
show up for
the interview, people's jaws would drop. In other words, "What
are you doing
here? You didn't tell me you're disabled." Here's a guy who's
years post-secondary education, four years honours in economics, an
average, and he can't get a job. Something's wrong here. This guy
years of his life. Why didn't he just stay home?
That's the Ontario we have right now. I don't see things happening.
in a wheelchair for the last 26 years and now this bill comes forward.
was a three-page bill three years ago. I really don't see much difference
this bill. The three-page bill before was OK. "We will take a
identify our barriers, we'll make recommendations," and that's
the end of the
dance. We're done. Everything gets shelved again.
I was on the Ontario Advisory Council on Disability Issues from 1990
1995. All of a sudden we just got discontinued. We were no longer
of service to
the Ontario government for some reason. But you know what? Out of
least we got low-floor buses that are integrated in the community.
We helped a
lot with the assistive devices program to make it work more effecttively.
We had the opportunity to get bills before. Before they would even
the advisory council would advise the government and say, "What's
with this bill?" "It's a proposal." "OK, here's
a group of people who are
visually impaired, people who have hearing impairments. They had input
this bill." That doesn't happen any more. How come? I don't understand.
some reason, we just got shut right out of the picture. In this last
years, we've been put on the back burner by every government there
is, and that
goes for all levels. I'm not taking sides or anything; I see it right
Anyway, this bill doesn't address older buildings, from what I see
in it. As
far as I'm concerned, it doesn't even address some of the new ones.
example, there's a Tim Hortons that just opened down the street from
buddies and I would go for coffee at this new Tim Hortons that opened.
some wheelchair spots to park in, but then when you come up to the
can't get in. You're waiting for the people inside and you're waving
"Can you come and let us in?" It's a brand new building.
Tim Hortons does not
sell enough coffees to pay for a door? I don't think so. The rule
is not there.
There's no compliance to say, "If you don't put this door in,
we're going to
stop letting you sell coffee." Where in this bill does it say
that Tim Hortons
should do this? Tim Hortons will not do this until somebody tells
have to do it. I've been around long enough to know that. That's the
it's going to happen. There needs to be enforcement in this law. If
enforcement, it's useless. Do you know what it will do? It's going
to create a
bunch of assessments and recommendations and they're going to go on
too, just like the Ontario advisory council did. Our project took
about two or
three years to put together. It's called Workable. One hundred and
recommendations are there. A lot of them aren't implemented today.
collecting dust, and so will this. All this bill will do if it goes
and it probably will -- is just collect dust once it's put together.
just the government. It's got nothing to do with the private sector.
private sector's actually just sitting on their hands.
If I want to get into Tim Hortons, I've got to go to the Human Rights
Commission and file a complaint. I've done this before. I've been
road many times. I'll go there and it's probably going to take about
a year or
so and then finally we might get our door in. That's going to be hemming
hawing back and forth, go to mediation, blah, blah, blah. You know
what I mean?
It's just a long road. We're just trying to get into buildings to
service. I'd even buy lots of cups of coffee there, I promise you.
There are no
mandatory regulations. These are just a couple of little examples.
Parking is a big issue in this bill. Do you want to borrow mine?
That's how easy they are. It's not going to matter. Why do we want
charging people $5,000 for parking in handicapped parking? That isn't
problem. The problem is these are used all over the place. Everybody
them in their own vehicles. "Here, borrow my vehicle. You can
park." You know
what I mean? This needs to be looked at again. It's being abused.
For the right
people it should be used, but right now it's being abused. That's
lacking parking. Maybe there should be not only just a wheelchair
perhaps an ambulatory one for people who can walk a certain distance,
the wheelchairs off closer to the front of the buildings. That's what
I have to
say about that one.
Education: I get many students who come to the university, and their
by the time they hit university, want to pull their hair out. They'll
me, "OK, what are you going to do for our son or daughter to
I'll say, "What happened in high school, in grade 12 or 13?"
"Well, they had
this, this, this." I say, "That's what we're going to do,"
and they go, "Is
that it? You mean we don't have to go through every class and make
sure this is
done for them?" I say, "No, that's my job." They sit
back stunned with just
relief on their face, going, "You mean I don't have to go fight
principal or the next teacher?" "No." That person has
a right to an education
here, and under the Human Rights Act and our policies that have been
introduced, they will get an education.
But then there are situations -- like, we're taxed. Special needs
taxed right across the province. We've had no increases since 1989.
example, if you get a student like Malia, I can understand and I can
there are not enough resources to put the information she needs in
formats. That also leads to the fact that I don't see where any of
talks about electronic formats being accessible as well. That's the
going. Certainly technology has assisted us a great deal and in order
for us to
progress forward, we need to also keep technology in this bill.
I'm just going to go through a few other things here. I notice this
about -- it's the same definition of "disability" as the
Ontario Human Rights
Code. It doesn't seem to be any different. There are a lot of people
with fibromyalgia; also environmental disorders, just ill from non-medical
conditions due to that. I don't see that in here. I think that's going
to be a
You can just flag me when my time's coming up. Meanwhile I'll go
There need to be fines in this bill. I'm talking about the architects
these designs. I know at the university, I have to chase them. I have
up and see what they're doing. If they're not doing it, then perhaps
should be fined. The contractor I think has some responsibility here.
need to be timelines to buildings being accessible, both in government
public, but government's got to lead by example. I think the government
Ontario has got to begin first. Let's assess our buildings. Let's
deadlines, though, on making these buildings accessible.
Timetables perhaps should be based on overall budgets of that ministry
example, for a university, you would go by the overall operating budget
institution. I don't expect, like the gentleman who was speaking before,
non-profit organizations all of a sudden knock down the barriers.
I don't think
anybody who has a disability -- physical or whatever -- would expect
changes overnight. We just want some commitment from the government
going to be done. Then if it's not done, there has to be a deterrent,
of compliance measure to say, "OK, you didn't do this. You had
ample time to do
this. Now you have to face the consequences."
Right now, as it is, the Ontario Human Rights Code doesn't work for
case by case. What we want is a proactive law. Proactive law is good
everybody. My complaints now come when a power door breaks down in
university. Sometimes it's the multimedia centre calling and telling
power door has broken down. That's so you can get all the AV equipment
and not break all your TV sets, and for people walking through with
It's good for everybody. It's good for people with strollers. We have
population coming to the university now and they don't have to push
fire doors open any more. Isn't this what it's all about? We're all
able-bodied anyway. Think about it. It's just a matter of time until
going to wind up with some type of impairment and then you're going
"Jeez, I wish that was accessible." You have a chance with
this bill to do it
I think that's all I have to say. I'm open to any questions.
The Chair: There's time for one minute from each caucus and I'll
start with the
Ms Martel: Earl, thank you for your candour here this morning and
for giving us
some concrete examples about what it means just to get into the new
and how ridiculous it is that you can't. I'm going to ask you the
that I asked Malia. The ODA has put some recommendations on the table
would take us forward. If they're not implemented -- maybe I can ask
questions. If they're implemented, would that be enough, and if they're
it worth supporting this bill?
Mr Black: No and no.
Ms Martel: To both?
Mr Black: Yes.
Mr Carl DeFaria (Mississauga East): Mr Black, I just want to correct
statement you made. You indicated that older buildings that are being
would not be caught by the act. Section 9 provides that when renovations
supported partly or wholly by government-funded capital, those renovations
would have to comply with the accessibility plans.
The other thing is different sectors of the private sector. Section
about the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. That directorate is
"develop and conduct programs" and work with different sectors
in the private
sector, sector by sector, to encourage accessibility and develop standards
The Chair: Question, please.
Mr DeFaria: There are a lot of things in the bill that I would ask
consider, whether that would not amount to a first step, something
that we put
in place and have the different committees work on different issues
be addressed by regulations as time goes by.
Mr Black: What I see you having here is almost this Ontario advisory
again. All this information usually goes to this advisory committee
the discretion of the minister. So then the minister wants, "OK,
going to do this today. We're aren't going to do that." Do you
know what I
mean? This has to be a law that says you're going to do it.
The Chair: I have to bring it to an end. We've run out of time. Mr
Mr Parsons: I've also appreciated your openness and candour on this.
as you understand, that this is a fundamental human right that is
for. If in 1920 a provincial government said to municipalities, "We
encourage you to let some women vote," it would have been recognized
fundamentally wrong. There was a right there that had been denied,
and you have
had a right denied.
You are in a unique position in that I suspect there isn't a disability
name that you could not put a face to, having worked with students
years. In your years here and with the students you've interacted
with, can you
think of any who would benefit from this bill if it were passed without
Mr Black: No, sir.
The Chair: On behalf of the committee, thank you very much for your
presentation this morning.
BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF
SUDBURY AND DISTRICT
ONTARIO BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION
The Chair: Our next presentation this morning will be from the Ontario
Injury Association and the Brain Injury Association of Sudbury and
would ask the presenter or presenters to please come forward and identify
yourself for the record.
Mr Denis St Pierre: My name is Denis St Pierre. It is an honour to
the committee today on a subject that is very important to our entire
I am here today representing the estimated 1,479 northeastern Ontarians
will sustain an acquired brain injury this year alone. I am also a
the Ontario Brain Injury Association and work in the field as a professional
with brain injury rotation. I am pleased to have Nancy Baron, a brain
survivor, with me today.
To start, I want to relay a few facts about brain injury. Acquired
is the leading cause of death and disability in Ontario for those
under 45. A
brain injury is an organic neurological disorder whereby the results
can last a
lifetime, even after intervention has been provided. Therefore, the
are present lifelong. This means the problem does not go away.
In previous hearings, you've been made aware of the leading causes
injury. Here in the north we have a unique situation in that we have
rate of incidence compared to the provincial rate. The provincial
rate is 1.9
per 1,000; ours is 2.1. The main contributing factors to this increase
incidence rate are industrial accidents, specifically logging and
well as the greater number of undivided highways we have in northern
Brain injury does not distinguish itself by age, gender or socio-economic
status. However, we have significant numbers of injuries related to
consumption while participating in outdoor recreational activities,
specifically while driving an ATV, a motor boat or a snowmobile.
As well, I must remind you that overnight, even today, this could
happen to any
one of us in this room -- while at work, while playing, or even driving
kids home from a meeting or a school play. This is what makes a brain
significantly different: folks before the injury are normal and know
life, therefore they know their rights and what their needs and interests
Chances are that at least one person you know or work with or love
experienced the effects of this kind of injury, and you know that
are lifelong. As well, since no two brains are alike, it means no
injuries are alike, therefore rendering the problem even more severe.
Brain injuries cut across all disability groups. The nature of the
being global, affects multiple functions, therefore leaving survivors
physical, cognitive, language and behavioural impairments. It is very
survivors, family members, friends and employers to understand the
deficit, which is, why has the automatic pilot shut off? Why can't
as easily as they used to, like taking my bath, organizing my thoughts,
processing information and everything happening simultaneously?
What I've been speaking about are the invisible deficits. These invisible
deficits are huge challenges that survivors of acquired brain injuries
contend with on a daily basis. Because they are invisible, often the
brain-injured have been referred to as the walking wounded. They appear
and we cannot see where the abnormalities are. Not only is the normalcy
their physical appearance deceiving, but the absence of these visible
and barriers creates a false sense of performance and need.
For example, presently I know of a young mother with an ABI who has
to care for
her two-month-old. Physically she appears without any deficits and
also has no problems. The child is very healthy. In attempting to
services for this young lady so she can care for her child, she has
services on the basis of mandates. She does not need help, nor does
but she needs help to schedule the feedings, the diaper changes, to
the stove and remember to put the child down for a nap. No services
rendered to this young lady at this present time. Again I must emphasize
in this situation she needs help to care for another, rather than
herself -- once again, another invisible deficit.
Why are we here today? As you have heard from many of my colleagues
province throughout the hearings, we are here because we want to be
part of an
Ontario that is fair and encompasses all individuals, so that everyone
the opportunity to participate as fully as possible in all aspects
of life in
Ontario. Like many other individuals and advocacy organizations, we
very much involved with trying to make changes within legislation.
Regarding the ODA, we would have been more comfortable if the plan
had laid out
explicit timelines for the removal of specific barriers. It would
been comforting to have assurance that these timelines would be effectively
It is also imperative that the terms of reference for the advisory
address the following: representation from a full range of disabilities,
appointed by their respective provincial bodies; length of term of
making sure the reports are made public, with a specific plan of action
responsive to the issues and doesn't become a dormant government policy
procedure manual; the advisory councils be given the authority to
and all barriers and make recommendations for their removal.
To further illustrate the invisible deficits I've been speaking about,
will tell us her story. Nancy is a survivor of a brain injury as the
a sagital sinus thrombosis with global damage.
Ms Nancy Baron: As Denis has said, I am one of the many brain injury
in the Sudbury area. Before my injury three and a half years ago,
I was a
part-time university student in the field of psychology working full-time
truck stop as a cashier, waitress and cook, as well as having a very
social life. I was driving and I had just come back from holidays
the day prior
to my injury. In essence, my life was very complete and very worthwhile
Since my injury, I am not as much fun to be around as I am more irritable,
especially toward my family. They are not able to tease me as I get
easily. This is on a constant basis. I used to laugh whenever anybody
me; now that's not the case. I have lost many friends, meaning that
am more isolated, all because the people do not understand what brain
means and think or assume it is an illness they will get since it
contagious. I can assure you, it is not contagious.
My attention is also affected so that when I ask for directions,
I remember the
first direction said, which is, maybe, "Turn right." That's
the only thing. Ask
me anything afterwards, don't remember. So in essence if I really
want to get
somewhere, I need to have somebody with me. It can be frustrating
If I am sitting in a meeting or in a classroom, after a short period
of time of
about 45 to 60 minutes, I have lost what is being talked about. If
I am writing
notes from somebody who's speaking, I always have to ask them to repeat.
gets frustrating for everybody else in the room. To actually organize
somebody take notes for me is very difficult because you never know
teacher per se is going to give notes orally that you have to write
I need to be very organized if I want to be able to get through my
day. I have
to have everything written down so that I know what I am doing when
I get out
of an appointment. Even just taking the Handi-Transit, which is a
have here in Sudbury, I have to know two days in advance what I will
Nobody, in their life, knows 48 hours in advance what they are going
doing. It means, for me, that I have to be extremely well organized.
happens when something happens the day of? Possibly I will not be
able to get
there. If you look at my Daytimer, my whole life is included in there,
including what time I get picked up, how much medicine I'm supposed
to take one
day and so on.
When I am cognitively fatigued and somebody asks me something and
I do not
write it down, I will forget and I will not do what is asked of me.
So I am
always taking notes, which is extremely frustrating, especially when
wanting to sit in a conference or presentation and be able to remember
been said. Usually, in that situation, my memory is good for about
45 to 60
minutes, again, because I'm not fatigued before that time.
I no longer work as I get tired very easily, so my schedule has to
flexible and have time to rest in the afternoon to be able to get
evening. You don't see that in many people, but in my case this is
have to do on a daily basis. I am 26 years old. That's not normal.
I no longer drive, therefore I have to rely on people to take me
where I need
to go when I am not able to have Handi-Transit; very difficult to
sometimes very expensive.
When I have too much stimuli around me, I get nervous and cannot
well. For example, when I take the transit with my sister and I get
downtown station, I will assume the bus I am to take is the one where
people are lining up, which is not always the case. But I will not
looking for the signs for the proper bus, because I get in a state
where I just
lose everything unless I have somebody with me. Then, if they're rushing
it's even worse.
In essence, I was able to do all these things without any problem
injury. I understand that if you look at me you see only my physical
impairment, which is that I am walking with a cane, but there are
hidden parts to my disability, which I have mentioned to you. They
need to be
addressed. These impairments can be addressed through educating the
public and businesses, as well as education and so on, so they can
understand what I, as well as so many other people, am going through
of my life.
Please help us, the brain injury survivors, to have a better life
support to make people aware of the effects of brain injuries. Finally,
support the recommendations OBIA is doing that you have heard through
public hearings, as well as today.
Mr St Pierre: We would also recommend that local advisory councils
their annual reports the barriers they have to achieving their goals.
additional supportive housing, home care, Wheel-Trans or supportive
work is needed, there should be an ability for municipalities to say
lack of funding is preventing them from implementing their plan. Will
municipalities have the ability to fund additional services such as
A challenge we have, specifically in northern Ontario, in dealing
with this is
with communities with populations under 10,000. The recommendation
will be that
these be addressed regionally. As you probably are very aware, there
many isolated communities in northern Ontario with fewer than 1,000
We also want to bring the committee's attention and focus to the
other types of
barriers faced by people with a brain injury. I think we've spoken
variety of impairments they have. It is cross-sectional as far disabilities
concerned. Therefore, we are recommending that brain injury be classified
unique disability category under the ODA. We urge the committee to
definition under the disability act.
What has been noted is that people with physical impairments must
limited access to public buildings, businesses, transportation and
facilities on a daily basis. These barriers are readily identifiable
removable. The proposed ODA attempts to address the issue of physical
Similarly, barriers for those with sensory impairments such as vision
hearing are addressed in the act through the use of alternative formats.
However, the barriers that are faced by people living with cognitive
emotional impairments are much more difficult to identify and address.
of attitudinal barriers that often exclude those living with these
leaving them isolated and open to ridicule and abuse. We also speak
inaccessibility to services because their impairments don't meet the
We recognize that this is an important piece of legislation. But
how can you
legislate attitudes and values? We don't find this is totally impossible.
can be done through providing the opportunity to provide comprehensive
that address public awareness and public education.
In summary, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act attempts to address
barriers faced by those with disabilities. It falls short of its goal
supporting the right of every person with a disability to live as
as possible and to enjoy equal opportunity to participate fully in
aspects of their lives without barriers, including the invisible barriers.
As a preamble, the ODA would be wise to include the 11 principles
set out by
the ODA Committee. We have not had enough time to fully analyze this
have considered its implications. After a brief preliminary consideration,
recommend the following: (1) that the definition of "disability"
brain injury in its description; (2) that explicit timelines be prescribed
the removal of specific barriers; (3) that the bill have an effective
for enforcement; (4) that the role and authority of the advisory councils
defined and its reports made public, and that the disability community
meaningful input; and (5) that the bill make provisions for the allocation
resources to raise public awareness and education of the issues faced
with disabilities. The goal would be to foster greater understanding,
attitudes and work toward the reduction of these attitudinal barriers.
A barrier-free community is a minimum goal to full participation
disabled in society. Through effective regulation and mandated co-operation
with the private and public sectors, the ODA could help in order to
broad public awareness and understanding of cognitive and behavioural
disabilities and eliminate barriers for these individuals.
I have a really brief anecdote or story. I know we are talking about
companies are usually based on how much money we're making or losing.
made an analogy between a company and the brain, how the brain works.
give me a second, I'll read this out to you. Again, it's a very simplified
analogy. It helps to understand how the brain works if you think of
as a company. The company runs at peak efficiency when all the parts
working. Up at the front of the company -- we call them the frontal
are several vice-presidents. They make the plans for the company,
who's going to do what and when. As things get underway, they get
information as to how well things are going and they judge it: "That
good; that doesn't look so good." They make further decisions
-- changes -- and
show appreciation or annoyance. So up at the front you have the planning,
organization, decision-making, judgement and appreciation.
In the middle, in the parietal lobes, are the managers. Each manager
own department. On the left side of the brain you have the speech
which moves the tongue, lips and throat. The language department finds
words that you want and knows what the words mean. Then you have the
department: move the right arm, move the right leg. On the right side
another motor department -- move the left arm, move the left leg --
spatial reasoning department -- find your way around a building, know
you're going to drive the car and place things. Also, we have the
department and a few incidentals. The right side is the picture side
left side is the talking side. Now, the managers know what the plan
is from the
vice-presidents and they make sure it gets carried out. In order to
they communicate frequently with each other and they send messages
At the bottom, in the limbic region, in the basal ganglia, are the
They don't know what the plan is because they don't get it from the
vice-presidents, they get it from the managers. But they know their
they do the same job day in and day out: things like appetite control,
water, need to eat, going to sleep, turning the tears on and making
a face red,
increasing your pulse.
What happens when somebody is brain injured -- in this metaphor --
the company is constantly downsizing, constantly restructuring. Managers
away on vacation and don't come back. The information doesn't get
passed on to
each department and therefore it leaves each component with more to
What would your definition of this company be? A defunct company.
The Chair: Thank you very much. There won't be any time for questions;
used more than your time. On behalf of the committee, thank you very
your presentation this morning.
NORTHEASTERN ONTARIO REGIONAL
ALLIANCE FOR THE DISABLED
The Chair: Our next presentation will be from the Northeastern Ontario
Alliance for the Disabled. I would ask the presenter to please come
state your name for the record. On behalf of the committee, welcome.
Ms Joanne Nother: I can't get close enough to the table because there's
ridge. It stops my knees right about here. So bear with me if I have
everything at kind of a distance, as long as the microphone can pick
The Chair: Yes, I think we can pick you up.
Ms Nother: Is it doing it?
The Chair: Yes.
Ms Nother: Good, thank you.
Good morning. My name is Joanne Nother and I'm the chair of the consumer
here in northeastern Ontario. The name is the Northeastern Ontario
Alliance for the Disabled. We kind of like the acronym NEORAD. It
sort of tells
you what we do. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity this morning
to this piece of legislation. I have a few points that I'd to bring
First off, I'd like to say it is nice to see a piece of legislation
ensuring, or trying to ensure, accessibility throughout the province.
all, though, I'm kind of concerned because when you call the legislation
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, it's a misnomer. If we're trying
to name the
legislation in comparison with what the Americans do with regard to
the ADA, it
is not a good fit. The Ontario legislation doesn't give us any more
we had to begin with. It just tries to ensure that the rights we are
through the Ontario Human Rights Code are effectively ensured and
granted to us.
The legislation is a fair example of, as I said, an attempt at trying
accessibility and make sure buildings and such are accessible to all.
are some concerns with that, and part of our concern is that the plan
government talks about with regard to creating accessibility really
independent review. In fact, for the most part, there is no timeline
to provide the review. It doesn't say to provide the review to anybody
there is nobody specifically designated to look over the review. There
teeth in the legislation to ensure that the review, or the accessibility
about in the review and the guidelines, is going to be done, which
leaves us in
a really kind of an empty situation. You're preparing a review that
going nowhere, so why should you even bother to do the review?
The legislation deals, for the most part, with Ontario government
buildings, which are fairly accessible and are easier to get into.
It's easy to
make sense of talking to individuals about accessibility toward those
because it is understood that the provincial government, as the administrator
of the Ontario Human Rights Code, has to allow access to buildings
with disabilities. So, in keeping with that, we're going to be allowing
Again, when we talk about advisory committees, they are wonderful
but they need
to have some kind of clout to not only review and look at, but who
going to report to? Are they going to go back to the persons or individuals
wrote the plan or the review, and are they going to be able to ensure
anything's enforced with regard to the plan, in the same token as
provincial advisory council?
Two governments prior to the Conservative government had advisory
persons with disabilities. The NDP had one that they continued that
with the Liberal government; I don't know if there was one prior to
that. I had
the fortune, I guess, of sitting on the persons with disabilities
council for the province for a number of years. It was a nice council.
together, we got to talk about issues in the province regarding persons
disabilities and what we could do in the province to make things better.
out position papers and that sort of thing, but that was about it.
really nice to get together and talk, but the council itself had no
would forward the position papers and the results of our discussions
minister or the assistant deputy minister in charge of the portfolio
would stop there. They would never go anywhere else. They would be
among the disability community, but any recommendations the community
stopped. They never went any further than that.
It really looks good and it's nice to say that you have a council
with disabilities to talk about the issues and to suggest recommendations,
it really is useless if all you're doing is paying for them to get
have a nice lunch and a nice little meeting four times a year. It
would be much
more effective if, in both this legislation and throughout any legislation,
talked to the provision that this council can address any other disability
issue the government puts before it. If you're going to do that, give
council some ability to make recommendations that can be acted on,
or at least
ensure that the council is going to have some kind of say that will
kind of difference. Other than that, as a member of a council that
together to have a nice meeting because we haven't seen each other
months, it's nice to be able to know that what you're saying is going
heard and may eventually get acted on. That's important and I think
The bill is good with regard to talking about accessibility and barriers.
problem we have is that barriers are not the same for everybody. I
was referred to in the previous presentation. What is often a barrier
person with a disability isn't a barrier at all for a person with
non-disability or a totally able-bodied person, for lack of a better
not going to use "normal." I'll use the example of flex-time.
Flex-time is used
by people who are able-bodied for, say, family commitments -- they
extra day or week, whatever, to do things -- whereas a person with
may not have the choice of flex-time or not. They may have to because
disability is such that they need time to relax and rest; they can't
five days full-time in a row, so they need that flex-time. Part of
included in the whole systemic barrier issue. Those are things that
done constantly over the years. It's just assumed that you can do
things which are not a barrier to a person without a disability but
barriers to people with disabilities. There are plenty of those throughout
human resources, throughout the employment world. I don't want to
get into that
Back to the legislation, our concern with the legislation is that
feel-good, mom-and-apple-pie legislation. Everything should be accessible.
agreed that provincial government and agency buildings -- and it's
have the government say to the regular Joe Employer, "Make your
accessible because it's a good thing you should do for the disability
community," but again no enforcement. There is nothing in the
act -- no teeth,
no bite -- to ensure that buildings will be made accessible. It's
fine to pay
lip service, but my feeling is that if you're going to expect employers
anything like this, you have to give them something in return. Obviously,
only kind of exchange the government and an employer can have at this
time is a corporate tax cut. The government is always looking for
jump-start and businesses are certainly looking for something that
they can use
and have that will be beneficial for them, for the businesses.
I can't see, and we can't understand, why the government can't offer
to businesses that make their buildings accessible or increase whatever
whether it be for a physical disability or a sensory or a cognitive
Tax cuts should be allowed because they benefit everybody all the
In conclusion, we basically think the legislation is a feel-good
legislation. It also may be a "last hurrah" kind of legislation.
It could be
the end of a promise where Mike Harris told us he was going to come
with a piece of legislation and this is the piece of legislation he
to. It is not what we had in mind when the act was originally talked
hoped it would be more like the American act, but it doesn't give
us any more
than anything else.
The proposed legislation encourages, it empowers businesses to make
buildings accessible, but there is no incentive for them to do so.
Rights Code has a provision that is called "undue hardship."
What's going to
happen is that if a business is told they have to make the building
accessible, they will cry undue hardship. Undue hardship, as defined
Human Rights Code, indicates that they can't afford to, don't have
the money to
do the renovation or to make the building or whatever accessible.
acceptable by the Human Rights Code, except the Human Rights Commission
like for you to come in with a plan financially to tell them how you
can do the
renovations within a period of time, if you can pay for it over a
five years or whatever. That would be great if the government could
what the accessibility review says, so that if the employer says,
afford it. It's undue hardship," the government can say, "OK,
you don't have to
pay for it all now. Do it in stages," just so at least they can
with a plan to say, "Yes, the building will be made accessible.
It may not
happen tomorrow, but it will, at the end of three years or five years,
done." They will put forward a plan whereby it will show the
government how it
can afford that accessibility renovation within a period of time.
Basically, we feel the legislation is nice, but it is kind of feel-good
legislation. At this point in time, it doesn't really give us anything
than we already have that is guaranteed through the Ontario building
the Human Rights Code. It's nice that the government is paying a least
bit of attention to people with disabilities. I dare say that the
people with disabilities, the disability community, is only going
bigger. You yourselves know that the baby boomers are going to be
demographic and will be the aging population. That aging population
has a lot
of disability attached to it, whether it be an ambulatory or a hearing
disability, whatever. It is nice that the government recognizes us,
extent, but it's nice to be able to ensure that something can be done
The Chair: Thank you very much. We have one minute per caucus and
with Mr DeFaria.
Mr DeFaria: Joanne, thank you very much for your presentation. I
with you if this was the end of the promise that our government made.
would be bad, but if in fact it's a beginning of a promise being kept,
this legislation is followed by regulations that will really have
an impact in
the lives of people with disabilities, you must agree this will be
a great day
Ms Nother: Yes, I would agree. Regulations that are tight and that
kind of impact would be nice.
Mr DeFaria: You indicated that there should be a review of the measures
will be taken. Section 21 talks about this act having a mandated review
five years to see whether the programs are working or not. Is that
a kind of
review that you'd like to see?
Ms Nother: I'm still concerned because five years is a long period
of time and
I'd like a tighter review period. Five years is an awfully long time
and governments change in that period of time, things lapse. I'd like
to see a
shorter review period of time; perhaps three years would be much more
Mr Bartolucci: Joanne, thanks so much for your presentation. I'd
just like to
follow up on the apple pie legislation. We know that the regulations
sweeten the apples or make the pie a little hotter. The reality is,
regulations are going to be very effective, then I think the original
legislation has to be sound. You've pointed out that it's flawed.
If in fact
this is a flawed bill -- and I agree with you, and I think our party
does -- if
they adopted the amendments from the ODA group, then the legislation
strong so that the regulations would be meaningful. Would you agree
Ms Nother: Yes, I would to some extent. If the government listens
to the ODA
Committee and adopts some of those items and beefs up the legislation,
have some hope. Then, in effect, the regulations can be made tighter
yes, the legislation will be livable.
Ms Martel: Thank you, Joanne, for coming this morning. The government
to many groups, I gather, that this is a first step and there would
be much in
the regulation for you to look forward to. If we don't include the
sector, if we don't say clearly that older buildings have to become
too, even those that don't have government capital in them, if we
actually put some money on the table to make this happen, do you see
will be much in the regulations that is going to fix this?
Ms Nother: I don't think so, quite frankly, unless there is the direct
incentive and unless the regulations can promise the private sector
will be some kind of financial benefit to them to do this kind of
make this kind of renovation. It isn't going to get done and I can't
regulation enforcing that in any way.
The Chair: On behalf of the committee, thank you very much for your
presentation this morning.
CANADIAN HEARING SOCIETY,
The Chair: Our next presentation is from the Canadian Hearing Society,
Sudbury office. I would ask the presenters to please come forward
your names for the record. On behalf of the committee, welcome.
Mr Bryan Searle: Good morning. My name is Bryan Searle. I'm the chair
community development board locally for the Canadian Hearing Society.
have with me Wanda Berrette, who will be speaking briefly following
The Canadian Hearing Society is a non-profit charitable organization
incorporated in 1940. Locally, the Sudbury area office is responsible
providing services that enhance the independence of deaf, deafened
hard-of-hearing people throughout the districts of Sudbury, Nipissing
Cochrane. To that end we have offices in Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins.
The reality of access to service in northern Ontario is fundamentally
than it is in southern Ontario. The realities of access in northern
limited by major barriers that simply do not exist in the same way
Ontario: geographical barriers caused by distances and smaller population
centres; linguistic barriers -- the prevalence of francophone, anglophone
native language speakers, and, in the case of the Canadian Hearing
both LSQ, the French-language sign interpreting, and ASL, the English-language
sign interpreting; economic barriers involved with the cost of travelling
distances, to southern Ontario for service in many instances or to
population centres because of the distribution of the population over
mass; and social barriers, the attitudinal barriers which you've heard
already this morning.
Until very recently, simple basic sign language interpreting for
issues, for example, was not something that hospitals in northern
provided. It took the intervention of the Supreme Court of Canada's
Eldridge v British Columbia to wake the provincial health care providers
their responsibility to ensure effective communication of basic health
questions was made to deaf, deafened and hard-of-hearing persons.
provincial government is now working towards fulfilling that responsibility.
But it took someone spending their own money, spending their own time
of time -- to go all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada to get
right to be able to communicate to a doctor about, "I want to
surgery"; "I want to have heart surgery"; "My
child has just been hit by a
car." For that person to actually talk to a doctor, to understand
what is being
said, it took some individual spending their own time and their own
money to go
all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada to obtain that right. That's
something that any hearing individual in our society would accept.
Notwithstanding the Eldridge decision, no change has occurred with
access to justice. There is no requirement today that a police officer
investigating a crime involving, or on receiving a complaint from,
deafened or hard of hearing individual obtain a sign language interpreter
make any significant effort to accommodate the individual. As a result,
abuses occur within the deaf, deafened and hard of hearing community
unreported or uninvestigated because of the effort and cost associated
accommodating that disability. There have been cases reported to our
community development board where a crime as serious as a sexual assault
occurred and gone without proper investigation because the complainant
The reality is that many of the access issues may be capable of being
on an individual basis by application under the Canadian Charter of
Freedoms or under the Human Rights Code. The problem is that that
much time and for the majority of the disabled it is outside their
It is only the high-functioning and high-achieving disabled members
community who can afford or have the personal will to proceed with
applications, and even then, in most instances, it occurs on a
one-case-by-one-case basis. It is not across a whole spectrum of business.
I applaud the government for taking the initiative with Bill 125
some of these concerns. It is helpful to require government ministries
develop annual accessibility plans and to make those plans public.
helpful to establish the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario to advise
government and to educate the public. It is helpful to engage the
sectors of our community in establishing accessibility standards.
I am, however, left with some real concerns unanswered. There is
mechanism for the enforcement of those standards which may be identified.
the disabled, deafened and hard of hearing, in particular, are to
be left with
the right to make application under either the charter or the Human
Code, then the bill does not go far enough.
The people of Ontario need a cost-free mechanism to ensure that access
accordance with the standards developed is enforced and that mechanism
include a power to make orders that the standards be adhered to. The
version of the bill does nothing to assist the disabled to enforce
to access in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Currently in Sudbury, for example, deaf, deafened and hard of hearing
individuals cannot be assured that the local building authority will
the requirement of the building code as it relates to the implementation
hearing assistive devices in newly constructed buildings. There have
instances of occupancy permits being issued for buildings which failed
include FM systems to assist the hard of hearing and the building
later refusing to issue work orders to correct that defect.
In addition, the local college program for interpreters is underfunded
threatened with closure. We have a difficulty at the Canadian Hearing
local office, that being we have one staff LSQ, French-language sign
interpreter, and no staff ASL, English-language sign interpreter.
is that it becomes very difficult to attract people in such high-demand
positions to northern Ontario. They don't want to be faced with the
geographical barrier of servicing people from Sudbury, North Bay and
It becomes even worse when you consider moving up toward Thunder Bay,
you're dealing with a land mass the size of France and it's being
The opportunity exists to give the appropriate powers to the Accessibility
Directorate to enable it to ensure that the identified barriers to
removed. This opportunity should not be wasted.
The essential elements in the bill that are missing, in my view,
are simple. It
needs to have an easy, inexpensive, effective and timely method of
and enforcement; a timeline within which accessibility standards are
to be met;
and it needs to apply equally to all Ontarians, not simply to government
Ms Wanda Berrette: A lot of deaf people in this province use ASL
primary language of communication. That is what we consider our first
English is our second language. We depend on physical cues and facial
expression to communicate effectively. Written English is less effective,
especially when we're talking about official documents and official
that are in a sophisticated government format that we have difficulty
because of that being our second language.
The second issue is interpreters in the north -- developing education.
need an interpreter, it might take two or three months before we can
interpreter for a medical appointment. Also, we require that interpreters
certified and also follow a code of ethics. If deaf people want to
their education and follow up with post-secondary, often they're not
do that because there are no interpreters available.
People who are deaf depend on Bell relay service to make phone calls
communicate with the hearing community. So if I want to speak with
regarding my child or whatever, it might take 30 minutes before I
through to a Bell operator -- very frustrating. It is also very frustrating
have to communicate through a third party on the telephone.
Visual aids: for example, in the building that we're in right now,
there are no
visual fire alarms. Many buildings may have very small visual fire
I would never see if I was looking at a paper or had my head bent
to write a
note. We need strobe lights that are very visual and that would bounce
Many people who are going to labs or to the doctor need to pull a
order to get served. Deaf people have to watch very carefully to make
their number is not called and they haven't been missed. One good
rectify that situation would be to have a visual number board so that
be aware of which number is up and we wouldn't miss our turn.
I had a situation where I was waiting for a plane and I was travelling
friend. I was in the airport and my name was called for some reason.
told me that I was being paged. So I went to the front desk and I
said, "I am a
deaf person and I don't always travel with a hearing friend. When
calling me, I normally would not know that I was being paged. So please
consider deaf people when you're making these announcements."
I was lucky that
time that I had a friend with me. But if I'm travelling alone or if
person is travelling alone, there is no way for us to be paged. There
a visual system whereby a person could be paged through an electronic
Building codes should include accessibility to all disabled groups.
I went to
visit a friend of mine in a hospital who is also deaf. A nurse came
by and all
the doors were closed. We were not told why the doors were closed
and we were
locked in the hospital room for a long period of time without any
We were just told to sit and wait. We were there for 10 minutes, then
minutes, and then finally I opened the door to find out what was going
I opened the door I was told to get back in the room and close the
said, "No, it's time for me to leave," and they said, "No,
you must close the
door and wait." So I went and I waited another 10 minutes, without
communication or information about what was going on. In the end,
the door and they said that there had been a fire in another part
building so they had to lock up each department and each room. All
were sitting there, and we had no idea what we were waiting for.
In terms of public pay phones, the desk that's provided on a pay
slanted, so if I brought my own TTY to use a pay phone it would slide
off. Also, there's no electrical outlet for me to plug my TTY into
a pay phone.
It would be very difficult for me to work a TTY on a pay phone with
table because it would keep sliding. I would have to hold it; plus,
have no place to plug it in. Sometimes there are public phones that
small table accessible for people in wheelchairs, but it's so low
that a deaf
person using their TTY on that little table would have to bend right
it would be very uncomfortable for them to use that table. It's been
frustrating to try and use public telephones.
I recommend to the government to invite members of each of the disability
groups to the table so that you can receive feedback on specific differences
between the disability groups as well as the differences that we experience
between the north and the south. Deaf, hard of hearing and deafened
will know our own issues, but we will not know the issues of mobility
individuals, nor will they know ours. It is important that you consider
our feedback separately. That's all I have to say.
The Chair: Thank you very much. Does that complete your presentation?
Mr Searle: Yes, it does.
The Chair: We have approximately a brief minute per caucus and I'll
the official opposition.
Mr Parsons: Thank you -- an interesting presentation. I would comment
public telephone issue. There are public TTY machines available. At
airport there are 15 in a row. In all of Ontario there are six.
Ms Berrette: That's wonderful about Detroit. Where is that? Detroit
Mr Parsons: I represent a riding that has Sir James Whitney school,
so we have
a very high population who are hearing impaired or deaf or deafened.
community they have an unemployment rate of about 90% -- good people
even get an interview because they must book an interpreter two weeks
hear you are talking two or three months ahead here. We have incredibly
talented people unable to work because they can't have an interpreter
Yet we're seeing in Ontario a cutback in the number of training positions
American Sign Language interpreters because of a lack of funding.
backwards rather than forwards.
What Ontario has to grasp is there aren't people with disabilities,
families with disabilities. We do not go to a theatre now because
wife can read the lips, she can't hear what's going on. So none of
Is there anything, absolutely anything, in this bill that would better
for an Ontarian who is deaf, deafened or hearing impaired?
Mr Searle: The only advantage that I see -- and I speak from the
point of view
that aside from being on the board I'm a lawyer -- is that perhaps
that they've identified accessibility issues and made those public,
make charter applications or Human Rights Code applications easier
individuals who have the funds and personal will to do that. Unfortunately,
funds and the personal willpower to do that against a government run
short in the disabled community.
Ms Martel: Thank you, Bryan and Wanda, for coming today. My question
the government holds out the promise that there will be much in the
that would be worthwhile and would represent a step forward. Do you
comforted that you are essentially working with a bill that obviously
taken the time to read and you're not sure what's going to be in the
legislation, and that you should go forward with that and hope there's
be something that will make this better for the people you represent?
Ms Berrette: I'm not confident. First of all, the bill is very vague,
So that needs to be clarified, that needs to be improved on, to start
Mr Joseph Spina (Brampton Centre): Thank you, Bryan and Wanda. We
the input. Bryan, in your part of the submission you talked about
mechanisms for the hearing disabled, and I think Wanda referred to
a couple of
examples maybe with strobe lights and so on that could be used for
etc. You mentioned that there can be some inexpensive, efficient mechanisms
enforcement, and I wonder if you could explain that or elaborate on
it certainly would be of interest to look at those.
Mr Searle: I think my comment was that's what the bill needs. It
inexpensive mechanism for the person who is complaining. I guess my
would be --
Mr Spina: A complaint procedure, you mean.
Mr Searle: That's right.
Mr Spina: I understand now.
Mr Searle: It needs something that's perhaps a combination between
and the Human Rights Commission, where you have someone who is going
active on behalf of the disabled in ensuring that those standards
are met in a
The Chair: We've run out of time, Mr Spina; I'm sorry. On behalf
committee, thank you very much for your presentations this morning.
Before we break, lunch will be served in room 1408, I guess. I'm
going to give
you the instructions. You take the elevator or the stairs to the first
down the ramp, the fourth or fifth door to your left, and it says
Room." The staff is also invited.
The other thing I would like to raise is on the clause-by-clause
issue that I
asked about last night. Have we reached a decision on this?
Mr Hardeman: Mr Chairman, we just had a very quick discussion, but
wasn't here yesterday. So I will discuss it with him during the lunch
hopefully we can get back later.
The Chair: Then you can report back later. Thank you very much. With
are recessed until 1 o'clock.
The committee recessed from 1206 to 1300.
CENTRE FOR ADDICTION
AND MENTAL HEALTH
The Chair: If I can get your attention, I'd like to bring the committee
order. Our first presentation this afternoon is from the Centre for
and Mental Health. I would ask the presenters to please come forward,
you could state your name for the record. On behalf of the committee,
You have 20 minutes for your presentation this afternoon.
Mr Paul Kwasi Kafele: Good afternoon. My name is Paul Kwasi Kafele.
director for corporate diversity at the Centre for Addiction and Mental
Joining me today for this presentation will be Leigh Robson, who's
recreational therapist at the centre as well as a consumer-survivor.
providing a personal story that's very much connected to the reason
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is the largest mental
addiction institution/facility in Canada. It's an amalgamation of
health institutions: the Donwood treatment centre, the Clarke Institute,
Addiction Research Foundation and the Queen Street Mental Health Centre.
centre is recognized internationally for its research work. We're
with the World Health Organization and we're focused on prevention,
education and research. At the centre, we have a very strong commitment
diversity. Diversity has been a significant organizational thrust
over the last
while. Under the diversity umbrella, disabilities are a very important
priority. We're strongly committed to providing the resources to organize
policies and to ensure that we have an environment that is free of
provides accommodation and support for people with visible and invisible
disabilities, both with respect to our staff, our clients and our
who use our facilities.
This issue is of critical importance for us. Last week, we had a
visible and invisible disabilities where staff expressed substantial
about the ODA bill and its implications. We felt it was imperative
for us to be
here to add our voice to the litany of concerns you've been hearing.
We are perturbed, first of all, by the process that has been engaged
that Bill 125 has been introduced and sent to committee hearings in
one month. We're not sure why this unseemly haste is necessary. For
had at least 100 individuals and organizations in Toronto who would
to present earlier in the week but could not get on the agenda. We
from Toronto because we felt it was important for us to be here. We
as well that there will be a clause-by-clause review as early as next
and we're wondering what that means, how feasible it will be for you
the various recommendations and submissions made to you over the last
substantively change this bill within the next few days. This is an
that these hearings actually are not as meaningful as they ought to
We have not had a lot of time to prepare substantially a more comprehensive
review of the legislation, but we essentially respect and support
submissions that have been made by many organizations. We essentially
things we want to talk about: the definitions in the bill require
they are to reflect the range of disability issues for people suffering
severe mental illness or substance abuse issues; Bill 125 does not
requirements on private employers or providers of goods and services
this up to cabinet to do so by regulation; there are no remedies,
individual or systemic, included in the bill; no targets are set for
achievement of accessibility plans, nor are there conesquences for
non-achievement of accessibility plans. This is not new. We've been
since we've been here this morning and from other colleagues consistently
The definitions in the bill are both vague and limiting in that they
reflect the experiences of people with mental illnesses and addiction
nor do they take into account the complexity of disability issues
unique nature of the experience of each person with disabilities.
commend the minister for includeing "mental disorder" in
the definition of
"disability" and for including "attitude" as a
barrier, we strongly endorse the
recommendations of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
with respect to proposed amendments to these definitions contained
in the bill.
As a public hospital, CAMH would have obligations under this law.
centre is working toward being a barrier-free employer and a provider
education and research, we know we have more work to do. We support
of holding public agencies accountable for ensuring a barrier-free
and delivery of services for people with all types of disabilities
who have multiple disabilities. We are prepared to endorse changes
legislation that would include clear accountabilities for those who
do not live
up to their obligations according to the legislation, including our
We believe people with disabilities need to have the opportunity
to work, to
get back to the working way, for example, after an accident or an
leaves them disabled, in a manner that is barrier-free and effective
I want to ask Leigh to talk about some of her personal experiences
consumer-survivor with those barriers to really bring to life some
issues we are talking about.
Ms Leigh Robson: As Paul said, I'm here to put a human face to mental
Mainly for myself it has been depression. I suffered a severe post-partum
depresssion when my son was born five and a half years ago. I was
four times over two years for depresssion. I also had ECT, commonly
shock therapy. It's not like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, just
so you know.
It was done in humane ways. My depression was so severe, it required
me to move
from the small town of Prince George, BC, to Toronto -- Toronto because
where my family was. Also, there were not adequate services to provide
treatment, the type I needed to recover.
I heard voices. I was very suicidal. At one point, I could not even
make a tuna
sandwich. You probably find it hard to believe that I can sit here
in front of
you today, but that's reality. Also, when I was in hospital, I was
and had so little energy, I had to be pushed around in a wheelchair.
people realize that mental illness can also cause you to have physical
In total, I was out of the workforce for three and a half years.
the centre has a program called the work adjustment and employment
program, and that was my lifeline to get back to work. If a program
this did not exist, I really don't know if I would be sitting in front
today. A program like that is not legislated under law. Employers
do not have
to provide such services, whether they're in the public or the private
to help people with disabilities get back to work. Work is a vital
part of my
recovery. It has made me a whole person again.
I want you to really understand how important it is to be able to
barriers. If you want to talk about removing barriers, that's another
where we feel the focus is on accessibility issues and not enough
time is spent
on removing barriers. Not having programs and things in place for
disabilities does present a barrier.
Let's also talk about stigma, which is a massive barrier for people
substance abuse and addiction and mental health problems. As Paul
work for the largest public facility in Canada that treats addictions
mental health issues, and I was afraid to tell my employer I have
illness. So can you imagine what someone in the private sector would
through? We cannot expect, without there being some type of enforcement
legislation, for people out of the goodness of their hearts to come
create programs and remove barriers. Maybe in an ideal world, but
we don't live in an ideal world. I wish we did, but we don't.
In terms of the timelines, as a person with a disability I find it
disrespectful and offensive that you are trying to put this legislation
as quickly as you are without proper input from all the stakeholders
The timeline is preposterous. Also, in terms of support with work,
I have a
family. I have a son I have to support. I have a husband as well.
weren't things in place to get me back to work, I would be someone
who would be
relying on the public system. It's very important to encourage people
disabilities to get back to work.
One thing you should know is that depression is the second-most common
for people to visit a doctor. Number one is blood pressure problems.
widespread it is. Also, many physical problems are accompanied by
They turn into depression. It's related to whatever physical problem
has, especially things like chronic pain, fibromyalgia, those sorts
It's very important to realize that you're not just dealing with a
disability, you're dealing with multiple disabilities. I have also
with acquired brain injury clients there's a large proportion who
alcohol or drugs to cope. As a result, not only do they have acquired
injury, they also have an addiction problem.
That's about all I have to say. I guess we'll turn it over for questions,
unless Paul has anything else to add.
Mr Kafele: Thanks, Leigh. I just want to conclude by saying we need
that's adequate. There's lots of good advice on how to improve the
need to listen to people. We need to make sure participation from
representatives from the disabilities community is real and meaningful
need to take the input seriously. We need to leave a legacy that really
signal that our province is forward-thinking, progressive, inclusive
insightful. The bill in its current form, in our view, does not do
things. We have many miles to go before we sleep.
The Chair: We have a minute and a half per caucus, and I'll start
Mr O'Toole: Thank you very much for your presentation. I'm sorry
I wasn't in
the room, but I do have some background notes on the issue and I did
respect your views. I would say, though, that since 1995 and before
been considerable consultations ongoing, even with the ODA etc. It's
issue. It has been talked about for at least 10 years that I'm aware
there's been some difficulty in finding a balanced piece of legislation
governments, I might say, so I won't get too far down that road. But
heard from almost 70 presenters and I'd say there is a uniformity
responses. There are about five categories that I have heard and I
for some response -- I'll make one more remark -- with respect to
barriers as they apply to mental health.
The other one is sort of a response in terms of your employer not
avenues of recourse or access. There are requirements today for much
of that to
happen. I just want to put on the record that the Ministry of Municipal
and Housing has just recently launched a consultation on barrier-free
it would affect --
The Chair: Question, please.
Mr O'Toole: I'm not sure if you're familiar with that, but if you'd
take a minute to respond, we'd appreciate it.
Mr Kafele: I assume that this legislation would have some overarching
responsibilities for specific disability concerns and that the building
laws will be connected and probably subsumed by those. But I think
framework in terms of accountability -- penalties, timelines, incentives
on have to come through this legislation.
Mr Bartolucci: Paul, I want to thank you very much for your presentation.
Leigh, it takes a great deal of courage to give personal histories.
you join today Malia, Nancy and Wanda, who have given compelling testimony.
heard Malia say that the ODA amendments should be incorporated. We
say that the Ontario Brain Injury Association amendments should be
and you and Paul have said that CMHA amendments should be listened
In your estimation, both you and Paul, would the best thing the government
do be to withdraw this legislation, have full consultation, come back
bill that meets the needs to ensure that in fact Ontario will be a
Mr Kafele: We definitely need to pause and look at the implications
in terms of
not only credibility but legacy if a flawed bill goes through. We
overwhelmingly heard from people that we need opportunities for better
bad bill leaves a wrong kind of legacy. We have the opportunity, commitment
goodwill from a broad cross-section of stakeholders. We need to do
We need to be as, I would say, forward-thinking as we can be in making
leave a legacy that is meaningful for all Ontarians.
Ms Robson: I don't understand why, if things have been worked on
that there are so many people who have problems with this bill.
Ms Martel: Thank you very much. You've come a long way to be here
today and we
appreciate your participation. You said that a bad bill sends the
message. I have two questions. Are you convinced then that that's
what this is?
Secondly, do you hold out any hope, take any comfort or want to participate
a process that, as the government claims, is a first step forward
where much of
the regulation might make it better? Is that where you want to go?
Mr Kafele: Not really. The regulations are informed by the bill.
The bill has
to be framed properly so that the regulations can be as effective
appropriate as possible. If we don't have the foundation, the decorations
be as effective. We need to revisit the bill because, as a structure,
really lead and inform the deliberations around how the regulations
developed. That's where we think we need to start.
The Chair: On behalf of the committee, thank you very much for your
presentation this afternoon.
SUDBURY DISABILITY COALITION
The Chair: Our next presentation is from the disability coalition
of the city
of greater Sudbury. I would ask the presenter or presenters to please
forward; if you could state our name for the record. On behalf of
Mr Richard Sawicki: Thank you very much. Bonjour; good afternoon.
My name is
Richard Sawicki and I am here today representing the Sudbury Disability
Coalition, a group made up of providers of disability services, people
disabilities and concerned citizens.
I would like to first thank you for allowing me the opportunity to
you today to bring the concerns of the Sudbury Disability Coalition.
have been living with multiple sclerosis for 13 years. As you probably
is a disabling disease of the central nervous system.
This presentation was written with input from people with disabilities
community forum, in collaboration with members of the Sudbury Disability
Coalition, as well as adding my own perspective as an individual who
disabled for most of his adult life.
In principle, one cannot dispute being in favour of the proposed
want to thank Minister Jackson for bringing forward this legislation.
as with other proposed legislation and programs, some flaws do exist
questions remain unanswered. This is why I have decided to come forth
do a presentation. The questions that I will pose and the points that
raise today are of specific interest to Sudburians living with a disability.
The establishment of the Accessibility Advisory Council of Ontario
and of an
accessibility directorate are positive aspects of the proposed legislation.
However, it is unclear whether or not these two offices will have
significant role or authority to ensure compliance with the legislation.
should be a strong infrastructure established to ensure that there
compliance with the legislation as well as clear sanctions for those
who do not
comply with the legislation. There should also be an efficient and
process put in place to allow individuals who wish to put a complaint
a non-compliance issue. The complaints process should be able to move
through the system in order to avoid the backlog experienced by individuals
going through the current Ontario Human Rights Commission.
The government is to be commended for attempting, through this proposed
legislation, to make the public sector barrier-free. In doing so,
government will have to ensure that all public sector information
in alternate formats -- for example, Braille, ASL and LSQ interpreters,
captioning and low literacy level -- simultaneously for all Ontarians
regardless of their abilities or disabilities. As well, all public
broader public sector agencies and organizations should be included
legislation. Some barriers within the public sector that some individuals
experienced are, for example, deaf individuals waiting with a number
a hospital service that does not use a visual system. The person loses
her turn because they cannot hear when their number is called. Likewise,
deaf individual living alone goes to the emergency department to treat
urgent health matter, they face a communication barrier because there
interpreters in the hospital.
The education system should also be included in this legislation.
students with disabilities, whether it be mobility, visual, hearing
disability or mental illness, need accommodation -- for example, more
write an exam, receive information in alternate formats -- such as
voice-activated, ASL or LSQ interpretation, captioning, low literacy
to ensure that they can receive an equitable chance at succeeding
mainstream public education system. For some children, such as deaf
being integrated within the mainstream system is a horrifying experience
that it denies them their deaf culture and their first language, which
In order to make Ontario truly barrier-free and an equitable place
Ontarians to live, work and play, it is imperative that the legislation
the private sector. People with disabilities go to movie theatres,
and doctors' offices more often than they go to a government building.
economic perspective, it would be common sense to have the private
involved. By becoming barrier-free, businesses could increase their
-- ie, the elderly and people with disabilities -- as well as increase
of potential employees. A barrier-free Ontario means removing all
just the physical barriers.
There should be information brochures available for restaurant and
business owners to educate them on how to make their locations barrier-free;
for example, accessible washrooms, spacing between counters, aisles
to allow for easier access.
Compliance with the building code for both public and private sector
existing buildings and structures needs to be addressed within this
legislation. There should be a time frame implemented to allow existing
structures to become accessible. Barrier-free buildings would consist
that would be physically accessible -- for example, wide doors, space,
elevators; audibly accessible -- for example, FM system in meeting
visual signage, TTY telephone system, amplifiers on the telephones;
visually accessible -- for example, Braille signs and voice-activated
The government may wish to consider offering time-limited incentive
the form of tax incentives or subsidies for property managers and
owners to encourage them to make their facilities accessible. A penalty
apply to buildings that are not made accessible after a determined
time. If a building cannot be made accessible due to structural limitations
if the associated costs would be too high, then these businesses or
organizations would be obligated to offer some of their services in
accessible spaces -- for example, public library, community centre
-- in order
to accommodate clients with disabilities.
In order to assist property owners, businesses and builders to build
renovate accessible structures, the government may wish to consider
a guide or brochure that would outline the requirements of the building
and ideas on how to make their space accessible -- for example, what
look for and how to get accessible equipment.
There should be stronger enforcement provisions for non-compliance
building code. For example, the municipal bylaw enforcement officer
enforces the building code should be given authority to levy fines
those in the proposed legislation for parking in a designated accessible
An important aspect of the implementation of this legislation will
education and awareness. It will be imperative that an effective education
component be added to ensure that the public is aware of the issues
people with disabilities and the importance of making Ontario barrier-free.
way to carry out the public education component could be to integrate
the public education system. Young school-aged children often do not
prejudice and are often referred to as sponges for learning new ideas
things. Children can also be used to educate their parents and older
Why not incorporate some Braille reading or sign language workshops
children could learn to communicate with deaf or blind individuals?
In northern Ontario, the pressing issues to ensure that Ontario becomes
barrier-free consist of lack of ASL and LSQ interpreters, lack of
services, and lack of accessible transportation, especially for rural
In conclusion, once again I would like to thank you for your time
and would be
pleased to entertain any comments or questions regarding my presentation.
The Chair: Merci. We have approximately a couple of minutes per caucus,
I'll start with the official opposition.
Mr Bartolucci: First of all, Richard, Jim Bradley says to say hello
that he misses you. He told me all kinds of good stories; great stories,
When you and Malia came to my office, we discussed the legislation
briefly because we were trying to get on the committee in order to
make your presentations. You spoke of wanting to be very, very proactive
your presentation. I think you have. You've offered the government
opportunities to improve the bill.
The reality is, if they don't accept some of the recommendations
and some of the recommendations the ODA Committee has made, what difference
will this legislation make to you?
Mr Sawicki: Unfortunately, absolutely nothing.
Mr Bartolucci: OK. The government's probably heard that before. Knowing
what advice or suggestions can you offer the government today with
the process? And let me tell you, they want to have limited clause-by-clause
debate -- we don't know what the time is going to be -- and they want
limited third reading debate. Knowing that, what suggestions regarding
could you make to the government?
Mr Sawicki: The only suggestion I could make would be to scrap the
then start with consultations with the disability organizations, particularly
the ODA Committee, and getting consultations through them and drafting
up a new
and strong bill that has teeth.
Mr Bartolucci: Thanks very much, Richard.
Ms Martel: Thank you, Richard, for being here today and for staying
On page 1 under the compliance measures, you noted that the establishments
the Accessibility Advisory Council and of the directorate were positive
of the proposed legislation. If there were no changes, would those
provide a difference in your life and would the bill, with those things
now, be enough to support?
Mr Sawicki: No. Again, they're advisory councils, and I think we
that a lot of these recommendations just get shelved and they don't
Another issue that I didn't mention there that concerns me is these
councils in these communities. What consistency do we have from different
communities as far as people on these councils dealing with all the
disabilities we could have within a community? You could have different
advisory councils advising to different communities, different regulations
different suggestions. So I don't see any real strength in that. I
that there is any opportunity or anywhere in the legislation to have
Ms Martel: In most northern communities there wouldn't be a population
10,000, so you wouldn't have it in the first place.
Mr Sawicki: Exactly. That's another point too, actually. Yes.
Ms Martel: So for you, clearly, unless the government includes the
sector, has very clear timelines about present buildings in terms
accommodation, gives teeth to the council and to the committees, not
terms of making recommendations but that those recommendations have
followed up, provides very clear timelines and then imposes penalties,
the complaint process -- unless a number of those things take place,
going to change your life and in fact it's not really worth supporting.
be correct in making that assumption?
Mr Sawicki: Absolutely. Yes, you would be very correct.
Mr Hardeman: Thank you very much, Richard, for your presentation.
It was very
much appreciated, particularly pointing out where you believe that
could be made.
I just want to point out for the record and for your information
that as we
talk about the physical barriers in our buildings, and they are covered
building code, in fact there is presently a consultation process going
through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing as to what needs
changed in the building code to better meet the needs of the disabled
community. They're doing an Internet-type consultation to get the
view of as
many people as possible, and the conclusion is January 25 to give
time to have some input into that. I just want to put that on the
make sure that you're aware of that and that you'll have an opportunity
forward some of your positions.
The compliance measures that you spoke to: you suggested that we
process in place other than the Human Rights Commission because the
Rights Commission takes too long and it's not useful to meet the needs
disabled as they're trying to address one specific problem in the
you think that another body needs to be set up to do that, or would
that there is an ability to deal through the Human Rights Commission,
resources or different resources and different emphasis? Would that
be the type
of body that you think would be needed to make sure we have compliance?
Mr Sawicki: It would mimic the same similarities as the Human Rights
Commission, but it would be a separate body to deal with specific
relating to people with disabilities. That would be ideal.
Mr Hardeman: I think Ms Martel questioned about the directorate for
disabled and the advisory committee, as to whether that would make
difference in your life today if only those two things were put in
place out of
this act, whether that would be of assistance to you. Presently, if
disabled issues that you need to deal with or that you would like
on, do you have a place within government -- any government -- that
specifically deals with those needs, that you could go to and say,
this done," or, "Can we have some advice on where we need
to go from here? We
know where we are. It's not the ultimate, it's not where we should
be, and I
think this is where we should be going"? Do you have that ability
now or do you
think this would provide that ability?
Mr Sawicki: This legislation wouldn't, but I think it would be a
nice idea to
have a body we could go to and talk to and explain. Right now, presently,
have any problems or inaccessibility, I take it upon myself actually
the actions myself, to write, to correspond. But the facility doesn't
comply with what I say as a concerned citizen faced by a barrier.
The Chair: On behalf of the committee, thank you very much for your
presentation this afternoon.
NATURAL RESOURCES ACCESS GROUP
The Chair: Our next presentation is from the West Nipissing Natural
Access Group. I would ask the presenter or presenters to please come
and state your name for the record. On behalf of the committee, welcome.
Mr Alfred Levac: My name is Alfred Levac from Sturgeon Falls, West
represent the West Nipissing access group. I would like to thank the
for allowing us to present. I'll start by reading this, and if you
would like to ask questions after I'm finished, I'll be ready to answer
Many residents of West Nipissing are avid hunters and fishermen who
traditionally enjoyed excursions in the region of Temagami, which
Obabika and the access roads off Highway 805. Entrance to these roads
necessary to gain access to the surrounding lakes and streams. For
this area has traditionally been a source of recreation for residents
Nipissing as well as residents of Temagami.
Many residents who are disabled or elderly must rely on four-by-four
access this area and the roads they use to get to their traditional
fishing areas. However, new regulations by the Ministry of Natural
that would exclude all motorized vehicles except snowmobiles will
against the elderly and the disabled who must use a truck to get to
fishing or hunting site.
An individual who is elderly or disabled must often modify the way
part in recreation, but that doesn't limit their enjoyment of the
this regulation takes effect, it will make it virtually impossible
elderly or the disabled to enjoy their traditional rights of hunting
fishing. Rather than enhancing the rights of persons with special
government will be discriminating against the elderly and the disabled
regulation. This regulation limits the use of this area to the able-bodied
members of society and discriminates against the elderly and disabled.
an unjust regulation and it should not be implemented.
On December 7, 2001, please make your committee and the general public
the discrimination and inequality inherent in Bill 125. By imposing
and limiting access to many roads in our northern regions, the ministry
denying traditional hunting rights to the elderly, the disabled and
with special needs. This is a giant step backwards. This issue needs
Thank you for your efforts on behalf of all people who enjoy the
The Chair: We have approximately five minutes per caucus. I'll start
Ms Martel: Thank you, Mr Levac, for driving here today. You've come
distance to participate and we appreciate that. Can you tell me, did
regulation affecting your district go into effect this spring or is
proposal to start next spring?
Mr Levac: As most of you know, the Temagami area was a problem for
a long time.
We've had meetings to consult with them for a long time and we've
anything in Obabika. I enjoyed fishing in Obabika and hunting around
40 years. Now they've gated the place, the road. It was all paid by
the road built, and now that they've gated it, we can't go in there.
don't know. They keep saying it's for --
Ms Martel: Tourist operators? Is that what they told you?
Mr Levac: Yes, tourist operators. Moose habitat. They move into the
we can go hunting and fishing, but people like me, I can't move about
any more. They gated that. To me, the lake is to enjoy for the elderly,
handicapped. Gates should not exist anywhere. There are miles and
there is no road, where a plane could fly in and you could hunt and
have gates where they already have roads? That's what I can't understand.
the lucky people who have the money to fly in, or they could walk
in, can use
Ms Martel: I'm assuming the gates went up and there was no consultation
Mr Levac: That's for sure.
Ms Martel: I have the same problem in the Gogama district in my riding,
Highway 144. Seven access roads to seven different lakes were gated
without any notice to the public as well. So we are still trying to
Mr Levac: This is done often around North Bay, by the MNR in North
Bay -- no
consultation at all. To give you an example, we've been trying to
on the LCC, the committee, from West Nipissing, from my club, and
we were never
able to get somebody on there. We'd like to have somebody on there,
district and Temagami are side by side, so that we know what they
do. But they
always do something and we only know after it's done.
Ms Martel: Can you tell me, was the LCC approached by the MNR to
plan? I ask that because in the case of Gogama, they weren't. So we
anything about it either. Was that a different situation in your district?
Mr Levac: In our case, the LCC for Temagami is mostly people from
Ms Martel: Yes.
Mr Levac: There is none from our side.
Ms Martel: Yes, I understand.
Mr Levac: That's why we've been trying to get some people on those
we could discuss the problem with them.
Ms Martel: But did the decision about closing the roads and putting
gates even come to the LCC? Do you know?
Mr Levac: I imagine.
Ms Martel: I ask that because it wasn't in our case, so even they
Mr Spina: Thank you, Mr Levac, for coming forward. Let me understand
closed the gates to the road, but the snowmobiles are allowed through.
Mr Levac: That's right.
Mr Spina: Is there --
Mr Levac: To give you an answer, on November 15 the gates reopen,
so they could
go to the lake.
Mr Spina: So they open the trail for the snowmobile season but it's
rest of the time? Is that what you're saying?
Mr Levac: That's right. At Obabika there's a gate where we used to
public road. They closed that. Then we had access on private land.
had a camp there and we used to be able to pay to go through there,
to go on
Obabika. Now the American has stopped that and we can't go in there
Mr Spina: It was private property?
Mr Levac: Yes. So we asked for public access. As I understand, if
have private access, the government was going to put in public access.
put the public access ourselves, our club.
Mr Spina: I'm not sure this is the right committee for that kind
of issue, but
nevertheless, thank you for bringing it to our attention.
Mr David Ramsay (Timiskaming-Cochrane): Thanks very much for coming
committee. I know, Alfred, that this has been a long-standing issue
area, for sure. I think that of all the issues I've had to deal with
in my time
representing the area, land use issues are the most difficult. In
here they're so passionately held by all of us who live in the area,
by anglers and hunters who traditionally have had such access to our
lands. With more highly competing uses now, it's becoming more and
difficult to find the right balance to give everybody an opportunity
their own activities in the bush, while at the same time maintaining
I know it's very difficult because primarily, as you know, the road
put in place in the past by MNR so the lumber companies could access
timber. Now that's been downloaded to the companies, but under MNR
The roads are primarily put in place to access cuts of timber. The
have to make decisions, with the road now in place that gives greater
this area, whether the wildlife can withstand the greater hunting
that's now going to happen because the road has been punched through
I've been to many meetings with very hotly held debates, passionate
sides, about this. I have great empathy for you and what you're saying
I'm very aware of the difficulties that people south of Lake Temagami
to access the south of Cross Lake and into Lake Temagami. I am on
the side of
the people south, where you are, in the West Nipissing area, because
historically been a privileged few, mostly from the United States
who want to guard that access to Lake Temagami from the south. It
tends to be
the residents, the people who work in the mines and the mills and
people, who want to continue to access those hunting and fishing opportunities,
who are being frustrated.
I wish I had an answer today. I know we've worked on trying to get
access and I
know the controversies that have been there. I think today you've
given me a
new perspective, because in the past I never looked at it from the
view of disability. While we need to protect our wildlife resources
and work in
a consultative way, as I think Ms Martel has outlined, we don't always
consulted by the MNR. I think that has to happen.
I think the MNR -- and I'd be quite happy to take this up with them
-- has to
be cognizant of the needs of people who maybe don't have all the abilities
get into certain areas of our bush and maybe need the assistance of
access. Maybe we need to be cognizant of that and make sure that we
areas so that all people who want to enjoy all the resources of the
can have that access, but still do it, obviously, in a controlled
that we protect our resources. I thank you for bringing that point
today and I pledge to work with you on this.
Mr Levac: Can I say a few words on that?
The Chair: Certainly.
Mr Levac: You see, the way we feel, the road is there, there's a
gate, but they
haven't closed the hunting season or the fishing for the abled people.
mentioned that they want to protect the moose habitat. They preserve
it from us
but it's still open for other people, the abled people. So I don't
they gain. Then the skidoos are going in there.
Mr Ramsay: I want to respond to that for a second. I understand it
point of view. What has happened basically over the last 25 years,
heightened mechanism, mechanical assistance for hunting, is that we've
increased the hunting pressure on our wildlife, both with two-way
four-wheel drives, four-by-fours, going in. We're much more successful
hunting now than we ever have been and that's part of the reason these
are gated, to give the moose a bit of an opportunity out there too.
So again, it's always this balance of trying to sustain the wildlife
population, but you bring a good point, that people with disabilities
opportunity to pursue hunting activities in the bush, and I'll work
with you on
Le Pr1sident : Au nom du comit1, monsieur Levac, merci pour votre
M. Levac : Merci beaucoup pour avoir la chance de la pr1senter. Thank
have a chance to present it.
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
The Chair: Our next presentation this afternoon will be from the
Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee. I would ask the presenters
come forward and your names for the record. On behalf of the committee,
Ms Dorothy Macnaughton: I'm Dorothy Macnaughton. I'm one of the chairs
Sault-Algoma ODA Committee. I'd like to introduce the people who have
me: Louise Larocque-Stuart, Hedi Kment, Larry Knapp, Sylvia Mosher
attendant Diane, Cornelia Bryant, John Fedorchuk and George McVittie.
The Sault-Algoma ODA Committee appreciates the opportunity to be
able to offer
feedback on the proposed Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Our committee
over 50 members, the vast majority of whom are disabled, have family
who are disabled or work with people with disabilities.
The agencies most directly involved are advocating on behalf of their
and are very conscious of keeping their staff informed. Serving on
committee are people with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis,
injuries, mental illness, to name a few. We have people who are intellectually
challenged, as well as people who are blind, visually impaired, hard
or deaf. Parents of children with learning disabilities, autism and
disabilities are also represented. Our committee has been in existence
about a year and a half.
It has been a gargantuan effort -- and believe me when I say "gargantuan"
put this brief together in such a very short time. Our committee has
very diligently to make sure that the Sault-Algoma area has this important
opportunity to help the government of Ontario understand the reality
many barriers disabled people in our communities face on a daily basis.
achieve this, the government of Ontario must make significant amendments
act as proposed in this bill.
For members of our committee to arrange to come to these hearings,
faced heavy obstacles. Did you know there is no vehicle available
to rent or
borrow in the Soo which takes more than one wheelchair on a weekday?
There is a
wheelchair-accessible bus which is available only on weekends. There
significant costs involved for gas, food and, for some, accommodation.
came from Toronto. I've been down there because of medical appointments
mother has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I'm sure you
wasn't easy for me to have to leave her in the hospital and come here
One of our members in a wheelchair requires an attendant, which costs
hour. From the Soo to Sudbury even in good weather takes three and
a half to
four hours. Some of our committee members who wanted to come were
unable to do
so. For them, the lengthy trip to and from Sudbury in one day was
physically demanding. Health issues related to their disability are
The fact that the government of Ontario is willing to take a first
becoming a barrier-free province is to be applauded. However, an Ontarians
Disabilities Act which truly identifies, prevents and removes barriers
disabled people must be stronger. What we have done as a committee
is that we
went through the act with a fine-tooth comb. We chose as a committee
felt amendments needed to be made, and then we detailed them for you.
We are concerned that nowhere in the act is the commitment made to
financial support will be available to the municipalities, the scheduled
organizations and to the business and non-profit sectors so that the
requirements of the ODA will be met. Rather than going through every
amendment that we've proposed, because that would take far too long,
to sort of highlight the ones that we are most concerned about.
The preamble: the Corporations Tax Act and the Income Tax Act, as
noted in the
preamble, "allows ... deduction for the costs of modifying buildings,
structures and premises, acquiring certain equipment and providing
training in order to accommodate persons with disabilities in the
However, according to statistics compiled by various agencies, persons
disabilities are significantly unemployed and underemployed, regardless
qualifications or education. This act does not address this problem
additional incentives for employers to hire qualified people with
Ontario disability support program: this is an area that our committee
needs to be addressed. We do not believe that the ODSP, as stated
preamble, "provides ... eligible persons with disabilities ...
that recognizes their unique needs." If people with disabilities
on ODSP are
fortunate enough to be hired, the maximum amount they are allowed
to make is
$160 per month. Above that, a percentage is clawed back. These people
therefore unable to benefit financially from having a job. This in
itself is a
disincentive and demoralizing.
The ODSP in its present form forces people with disabilities into
state of enforced poverty, as payments are not adjusted to reflect
the cost of
living and many struggle even to put food on the table near the end
month when their money runs out. I ask the members of this committee,
you survive, never mind trying to get ahead, on a maximum of $1,100
a month for
the rest of your life? Once rent is paid, the maximum living allowance
mere $516 a month. How can a person who has little or no money left
pay to take
the bus to go to write a resum1 or to look for a job? If you were
wheelchair and had to take an attendant on the parabus with you, the
would be even greater, as both must pay fares.
The number of persons with disabilities on ODSP who access the Soo
Assistance Trust is signifycant and these numbers are increasing.
The CAT was
formed as a community initiative in February 2001 to meet the needs
poor, including the working poor and those on disability pensions.
those requesting funds from the trust are referred by other agencies.
an addendum and we have given all the members of the committee our
that outlines the number of people who have requested assistance.
If this act is intended to remove barriers for persons with disabilities,
of the first barriers which must be removed is the financial one created
this government's own program, the ODSP. The program must be completely
overhauled, including the following:
Policies should be clearly stated in the statutory regulations so
managers are held accountable for any decision. Payments must be increased
yearly to reflect the cost of living. It took 12 years for persons
on ODSP to
receive $30 a month more. The lengthy appeal process must be streamlined
made more efficient. Why just mention in this act that this program
not do something concrete to make it better?
The Soo legal clinic has backlogged 100 appeals for ODSP which are
for June, July and August, 2002. In addition, 21 cases are assigned
to a worker
and eight are still on the waiting list. In the meantime, these people
on the Ontario Works program. They must live on $540 a month, not
rent, which is even less than they were receiving on ODSP.
The next issue that we feel needs to be addressed is the assistive
program. Even though this program is not mentioned in the proposed
needs to be reviewed and improved, particularly as the costs associated
specialized equipment continue to escalate. We realize that people
disabilities in Ontario are extremely fortunate to have an ADP program.
Ministry of Health covers 75% of costs of some specialized equipment
wheelchairs. But it will cover either a manual wheelchair or an electric
wheelchair. Some people need both. We give you some other examples
Another expense associated with a disability, particularly for blind
visually impaired people, is that CNIB clients in the Soo must travel
Sudbury at their own expense to be evaluated for high-tech aids. It's
extremely difficult situation. When they require help and support,
they have to
have it over the telephone.
Nothing covers the total costs of specialized equipment or services
to enable one to be as independent as possible. Thus, people with
are unable to "participate fully in the life of the province"
-- that's from
Bill 125 -- because they can't afford such equipment. It is expensive
disabled. The government needs to recognize this fact by providing
cover expenses associated with one's specific disability. Why can
get free needles through a needle exchange program yet diabetics must
their own needles?
I've tried to lay out our submission the way the bill is laid out.
two items that we feel are important.
The definition of "disability" we felt was excellent, that
more types of
disabilities were included in the definition. For quite a long time,
with less visible disabilities have been overlooked. Just to give
you an item
of information, did you know that a talking book machine, needed to
four-track audio tapes of textbooks for learning disabled students,
around $700? The CNIB library for the blind has many textbooks already
that learning-disabled students can access, but they cannot afford
The other definition is the definition of "barrier." It
does seem to describe
obstacles facing most people with disabilities. However, we felt that
and technological barriers must be added to that list, particularly
these are two of the most significant barriers faced by people with
disabilities. It's not just physical barriers. It must be recognized
types of barriers are of equal importance. We suggested perhaps some
could be given right in the act itself.
Under each particular section, then, we made specific recommendations,
just try to skim through a few of those. I honestly don't know how
my time is
going, but anyway.
The Chair: You've still got 10 minutes.
Ms Louise Larocque-Stuart: We came a long way.
Ms Macnaughton: We did. I ask for your indulgence. It took a lot
of time to do
We felt that the fact that the government of Ontario, in their
responsibilities, was going to develop barrier-free design guidelines
own buildings in the future was wonderful. However, we felt that what
lacking -- and we would like the word "owned" added in,
that the "buildings
that are presently owned," mainly because we felt the buildings
that are there
right now also need to be accessible. It shouldn't just apply to newly
We also felt that there needed to be a change when the government
about accessible goods and services. Instead of the wording that's
there, "the government of Ontario shall have regard to the accessibility
... goods and services," we felt that more than "regard"
was required. We felt
there needed to be standards and we gave an example of someone --
and this is
an actual case; I've actually had this happen myself -- trying to
instructions on a bottle of pills. When your vision is very poor it
impossible. For an elderly widow living alone, how are they going
to get help?
This could be a real safety issue.
The reference to the government Internet sites had a phrase that
would be accessible "where technically feasible." We felt
that the technology
exists to make them accessible and that phrase should be removed.
Government publications: once again, it has that same phrase. We
felt that when
government publications are designed they should be in a format that
accessible by the user, whether it's in Braille or in large print,
The ministry accessibility plans: all the way through it's the ministry
other organizations outlined that are required to design accessibility
We felt that the word "barrier-free" was better terminology
"accessibility" because we liked the fact that "barrier"
was defined and
"accessibility" was not defined.
The idea of preparing these plans was an excellent suggestion on
the part of
the government for all these different organizations that are outlined.
plans are to be designed annually, but we feel that there needs to
deadline for each particular barrier that's identified. Then, if the
Accessibility Directorate could develop the regulations setting out
deadlines for each of these that would cover a timeline, that would
accountability. We also felt that when those plans were made available
public they needed to be available in an accessible format, and they
needed to provide a method to address concerns if a member of the
public or a
person with disabilities had a difficulty or concerns.
The municipalities and the other organizations outlined pretty much
same process as with the other organizations. It's starting out with
government, so I won't go over all of that.
Public transportation: we felt there was a real issue in the north
transportation and with parabus service and that those in particular
needed to be addressed. I will pop right toward the end.
The advisory councils: the fact that the municipality --
The Chair: Ms Macnaughton, if I may interject, take your time because
to give you more time for questions. So just go easy at it.
Ms Macnaughton: Thank you. I appreciate that. Now let me find where
Sorry; I was trying to whip through it.
The Chair: I'm sorry to have confused you.
Ms Macnaughton: That's all right. I appreciate that.
There may be a few things I neglect, but you do have copies.
We felt that further on in the proposed act, in the bill, it states
would be exemptions. We felt that there should be no exemptions. If
is set up the way it should be, there should be no reason why, say,
government ministry should be exempt from having to provide a ramp
the case may be. If the particular guidelines are developed properly,
should be no need for exemptions.
The Accessibility Advisory Council of Ontario: we agreed with this
formed and the fact there are people with disabilities on it, but
we felt that
the majority of the members should be persons with disabilities. We
that council members should represent a broad range of disabilities
electoral districts throughout the province, and therefore there would
representation from both northern and southern Ontario.
We also felt that if the members were chosen by all parties it would
non-partisan council and they would be able to accomplish their tasks
unencumbered by a political agenda.
We felt that there have already been many reports prepared in the
past by other
advisory councils and that those reports should be accessed and utilized.
would save in many cases reinventing the wheel.
The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario: it says in the bill, "The
who are considered necessary shall be appointed under the Public Service
We felt that where qualifications are equal, preference would be given
persons with a disability. We felt it was important that this particular
directorate have people with disabilities hired if at all possible.
Toward the end of the bill there were references made to other acts
to be amended. In the Municipal Act, we felt that the businesses should
"barrier-free" and that would be a better word than "accessible"
would represent removal of other types of barriers, not just physical
We felt very strongly, as some of the other groups have mentioned,
act should not just apply to the government, agencies and organizations
mentioned. We felt it should apply to businesses, industries and non-profit
organizations. We would like to suggest an amendment: "Following
of the government of Ontario's barrier-free design guidelines, private
businesses, industries and non-profit organizations, in the purchase,
construction or renovation of buildings need to adhere to the same
as the government and municipalities."
We felt that barrier-free design is barrier-free for everybody. The
principles which apply to the government etc must apply to businesses,
industries and non-profit organizations or Ontario will never be barrier-free.
Which building do you think more disabled people would want to access:
government building or a local restaurant? All new buildings built
guidelines come into effect must be barrier-free. It makes sense from
perspective for a business owner to make their premises barrier-free
rather than having to incur greater cost to retrofit their building
at a later
date. Some changes won't require a great deal of expense but will
significant difference. For instance, many buildings such as restaurants
one-step entrance which people in wheelchairs can't negotiate. The
of a ramp won't be a great expense when the business owner takes into
increased revenue generated by more customers. Braille numbers or
signals on elevators -- and I notice they don't have them here --
are a simple
way of making buildings more accessible for those who are blind or
There is significant loss of business in Ontario -- and if we had
time we could
have gotten you the statistics -- related to the organization of international
conferences. Ontario doesn't have barrier-free facilities to the same
Europe or the United States. Businesses need to make their premises
barrier-free. This will benefit everyone, as the number of people
disabilities will increase as people age.
I quote from highlights of the proposed ODA on the Ontario government's
site. "The government believes there is a strong moral, legal
motivation for the private sector to improve the accessibility of
disabilities to its goods, services, workplaces and business establishments."
If the government truly believes this statement, it must help by providing
necessary regulations and accompanying financial incentives to achieve
barrier-free goods, services, workplaces and businesses.
Businesses, industries and non-profit organizations must also be
prepare accessibility plans and be subject to the same requirements
other organizations mentioned in the act.
In conclusion, I quote from highlights of the proposed ODA as found
Ontario government's Web site. "The Framework for Change includes
that would result in all sectors becoming increasingly accountable
public for the inclusion of persons with disabilities. Persons with
disabilities would have an increased role in making changes that affect
The members of the Sault-Algoma ODA Committee are looking forward
to the day
when all sectors of Ontario society will be fully accountable for
of persons with disabilities. We sincerely hope that a strong and
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, when passed, will enable this to
People with disabilities have much to share. We try to live daily
independently as possible, overcoming innumerable barriers, many of
not exist. We have valuable expertise to share and we need to be part
process. The government must be willing to listen and to take action
to have a positive impact on our lives.
The Chair: Sorry to interrupt but I just wanted to slow you down
a little bit.
I'll allow three minutes per caucus for questions and I'll start with
Mr Spina: Thank you, Ms Macnaughton, and your family and friends.
If you think
the ride from the Soo was a long way, wait until you go back. On the
the most boring stretch is through Bar River. I was born and raised
in the Soo.
I'm sure your local MPP is working hard to help your people. Tony
hard representing the Soo, I know.
It really struck home with me, because you talked about an elderly
alone trying to read a prescription label. Guess who fits that category?
mother who still lives in Sault Ste Marie.
In any case, I want to address some of the issues, Dorothy, that
forward, if I can. There's a lot of them and I can't address all of
I'd like to front some of the highlighted points, and a question or
You made some very good points that others haven't, and that has
to do directly
with the ODSP situation and also the assistive devices. Those are
that have not been brought forward within the context of this bill,
are important elements and barriers, as you so aptly described, for
people. We appreciate your bringing those points forward.
You talked about financial support. I wanted to indicate to you that
spring's budget, Minister Flaherty committed some dollars -- and I'll
those out to you -- but it has not been described as to how those
be disseminated. So I will be asking you a question after that. What
was $67 million over five years for new facilities for adults with
developmental disabilities; $55 million this year, growing to nearly
million by 2006-07, to enhance services for people with developmental
disabilities and attract more quality caregivers. Then it also talks
million over three years to upgrade, renovate, build or purchase new
for community mental health organizations. So those are very distinct,
budgetary figures to be addressed to the disabled community.
Sometimes part of the problem we face is how dollars go through an
then the agency decides. Do you have any suggestions -- and this may
with your ODSP, I'm not sure -- how some of those dollars could perhaps
directed personally to individuals instead of through an agency? Is
opportunity for that? Would that help, or should there be a middle
Ms Macnaughton: Wow, that's a difficult question. I think in any
kind of a
process like that, perhaps through the agency, but the actual consumers
people who can speak to the types of situations the consumers are
need to be directly involved. The fact that the government, in this
has disabled people involved at the various levels of accessibility
the directorate, etc --
Mr Spina: Barrier-free, as you want.
Ms Macnaughton: -- barrier-free, yes -- I think that also needs to
at the grass-roots level where the money is being disseminated. I
sometimes, even though agencies represent disabled people, they need
disabled people involved at that level too, because they are the ones
living it. Many of these organizations, I hate to say, unfortunately,
have people with those disabilities working in their offices.
The Chair: I'll give each of the other caucuses four minutes.
Mr Bartolucci: Thanks for giving the group extra time. Your presentation
phenomenal. You've covered so much and --
Ms Macnaughton: We haven't had much sleep over the last two weeks.
Mr Bartolucci: That's obvious. I don't want to be confrontational
committee, because I said today that I wasn't going to be, but I only
would have had hearings in Sault Ste Marie.
Ms Macnaughton: So do we. We invited you.
Mr Bartolucci: That's right. We argued for it, to be perfectly honest,
will probably address that. There are lots of people in Sault Ste
would love to have made presentations, my sister-in-law being one,
is effectively left out of this legislation. I just want to commend
you for the
excellence of the presentation. I'm glad the committee gave you extra
because your presentation was very good.
You've put an attachment to your presentation which I believe is
Ms Macnaughton: Yes. I'm sorry, I forgot to mention that.
Mr Bartolucci: It has to do with kids from Anna McCrea public school
submissions after a visit from the ODA speakers. I'm only going to
into the record, because as I read them I said, you know, the innocence
youth and the honesty of children summarize what you are asking the
to do and what every other presenter has asked the government to do
says, "Helping Others: Why criticize when you can help a needed
one and feel
good about yourself knowing that you can be of help to someone."
That's by Jeremy. I think Jeremy is asking this government, as you've
this government, as every other presenter has asked this government,
to take a
long, hard look at their legislation, incorporate the excellent amendments
have heard and make this a strong piece of legislation. The innocence
certainly sometimes frames it very simply and we as adults make it
because we have to supply the details.
What is your one last piece of advice to the government with regard
process? Should they withdraw the bill or rewrite the bill before
this bill into law?
Ms Macnaughton: I like the idea of a rewrite. There are some very
things put forward, so I would say take the good parts, add in the
many of which came from the ODA Committee in Toronto, and some of
suggestions as well, and just make it stronger.
Mr Bartolucci: Thank you. Would you thank Jeremy for us?
Ms Macnaughton: Yes. Actually, I can tell you that we had several
to school groups as part of a public education outreach which our
felt very strongly about. The response from the students was just
how it changed their outlook on people with disabilities. We made
every single presentation had a broad variety of disabilities, not
They've never really thought to approach someone in a wheelchair before,
they've probably wondered about someone who is blind or someone who
is deaf but
they've never had an opportunity to ask some questions and find out
what it was
really like and what kind of barriers they faced. It opened their
Mr Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie): Thank you very much, Dorothy.
Ms Macnaughton: And the committee.
Mr Martin: And friends, yes. You've done Sault Ste Marie proud here
the presentation, and the effort that you made to get here to make
presentation is really effective. I think the government members have
you, and the impact you've had will hopefully go a long way to encourage
to do some of the things we feel they need to do on Tuesday. Tuesday
really important day in the life of this bill. Tuesday is the day
when we see
how committed this government is to the very limited hearings we've
had and the
very limited opportunity we've had to travel and hear from communities
Sault Ste Marie.
In our view, we should have taken more time. January, February and
available to us to travel the province, to go to bigger and smaller
so that you people don't have to travel, so that we travel and hear
from you in
your own home settings. It's unfortunate actually when you consider
-- and I
think you're right -- the absolutely wonderful opportunity we have
with this bill being tabled, to actually get it right, to do some
will be meaningful, that will have immediate impact, not only for
you but for
The government on Tuesday will have a chance to table amendments.
that both the Liberals and ourselves will be tabling amendments, and
those amendments that we table will reflect the things you've indicated
today and that the ODA provincial committee has put forward.
We're told by the committee that through some mistake in drafting,
I guess, the
time allocation was only going to allow for a tabling of the amendments
o'clock and then an immediate vote on whatever was tabled, with no
They're now saying to us that, out of the goodness of their hearts,
allow us from 9 o'clock until noon to actually debate some of the
that we will put on the table, but then it's over.
We'll be asking the government on Monday to join with us, through
consent, to allow us at least on that day -- so they can get done
which is what they're going to do anyway -- to meet until midnight
and debate and look at the amendments that need to be put forward.
My question to you would be, what do you have to say to the members
government who are here today and the other members of government
hear, through them, the wonderful presentation you have made -- and
some of the
detail on the presentations that we've heard over the last week in
Windsor, Thunder Bay, Toronto and here -- about what it is they're
going to do
on Tuesday to indicate that they've actually heard, that they really
committed to some of the stuff you've indicated is very positive in
and that they will build on it to make sure it is a bill that will
and will mean something?
Ms Macnaughton: I just say very simply, if you're going to do it
-- and we
appreciate that they are trying by bringing forward an act -- do it
into account everything you've heard, particularly from those people
with disabilities every day. Give careful consideration, amend the
act and make
it as strong and effective as possible, because that's the only way
have a significant impact on people's lives, and that's what this
act should be
The Chair: With that, I have to bring it to an end, but there is
a benefit in
being the second-last presenter. You give the Chair a little bit more
play with the time.
Ms Macnaughton: Thank you very much.
The Chair: And have a pleasant trip back. I took the power given
to me to do
The Chair: Our last presentation this afternoon will be from Rachel
would ask Ms Proulx to please come forward and state your name for
On behalf of the committee, welcome. You have 15 minutes for your
Mme Rachel Proulx : Mon nom est Rachel Proulx. Bon aprMs-midi. I
can start any
The Chair: Yes, you can start.
Ms Proulx: Thank you very much for allowing me to speak to you today.
know, I was a last-minute request. I'm not sure how the advertising
promotion of these proceedings was announced to the community, but
I know for a
fact that had it been through the business community, I would have
it and I would have followed the proper process. So I do appreciate
allowing me a few minutes.
I know that you've had a long day and you've had a lot of presenters
a lot of the perspective from the inside view of persons with disabilities,
I will try not to repeat what has already been said.
In any event, I would like to tell you that I am presenting as an
My background is from the private and public sectors. I have been
for more than 10 years on my own. I am past president of the Sudbury
and Professional Women's Club, and a past district director, which
northern Ontario, for the Business and Professional Women's Clubs
I'm also the current national past president for the Canadian Federation
Business and Professional Women's Clubs.
I am a member of the chamber of commerce and have been involved in
development, as our MPP can tell you, in particular The Next Ten Years,
was an economic development initiative. I was founding chair of CollMge
I was a member of the transition team for l'h!pital r1gional de Sudbury/the
Sudbury Regional Hospital. I also presented a brief to Hugh Thomas
restructuring of our city of greater Sudbury -- it's very close to
me because I
suggested it -- which brought about the inclusivity of the outside
municipalities with the current ward system that we have in the city
Sudbury, which created a new regionalization for this community, I
Having said that, being a minority is not new to me. I, of course,
am a female
-- we are 52% of the population but we're told we're a minority --
francophone, so I'm in the minority, and for the last six years I've
member of the disabled community as well.
My comments, as I said, are personal, from a business-thinking person.
know that anyone has presented views from a business person who has
disability, but I felt that it was important to bring to you my background
that perspective because, I can tell you, had I not been involved
and had I not been involved in the community in economic development,
I am not
sure that I would be here today.
You see, when all of a sudden you become disabled, your life changes
drastically and you have to make choices. I'm not sure I would have
confidence. That could also be one of the reasons this house is not
today. It should be packed with people with disabilities, because
they are out
there. It's not complacency; it's lack of confidence, it's lack of
it's lack of awareness.
Marketing being a very big part of my background, again I emphasize
important it would have been to invite not only the disabled community
the business community, which could have said -- and you would have
their concerns and their challenges about accommodation for people
I heard one fellow this morning who talked about a Tim Hortons, where
could not go in and have coffee because the facility had a parking
not a door to let you access. I know one of our businesses here, a
prominent Tim Hortons on Lasalle Boulevard, has recently accommodated
premises and has made wonderful accommodations. It has an electronic
which is more than I've seen in even some of our public institutions
community, where accommodation -- you know that they're trying, but
buttons behind posts to open the doors, you have elevators that are
you to just get in and out, never mind if you're in a chair, trying
manoeuvre the chair, trying to get in through the door. There are
a lot of
things when it comes to accommodation.
I know there are building codes in place to ensure that some of these
happen, but I have to question if the people who are drawing the plans,
ensuring that the building codes are there, are all men six feet tall
disabilities -- or maybe they do have a disability, because they've
point if you do not have people who understand, like occupational
what kinds of needs are there, whether it be for the hearing impaired,
it be for people with visual disabilities and so on. There are many
physical, but there are many disabilities out there.
So here I am today trying to encourage you to look at this bill and
look at and
consider very strongly the recommendations put forward to you today
by all of
the presenters. I don't want to delay bringing all of these back to
it's important. I'm very concerned as a taxpayer that the bill has
through two readings; I'm hearing that very early next week they're
try and ram this bill through, whether there will be time for amendments
not. I would certainly like to challenge the government to surprise
those critics and take the time to make sure, as the last presenter
said, to do
this right. It's not about rewriting the bill, it's about rethinking
and looking at amendments that make sense and applying them accordingly.
The bill was written with good old fonctionnaire-ese, if I can use
lots of words. You wonder what it means. Will anything happen? Well,
it's a nice, long document, but what will really happen about it?
about some of the challenges. As businesspeople, we talk about the
system not being appropriate. It's certainly not accommodating to
me if I have
a business meeting that all of a sudden I was able to land because
possible contract and I can't get in there because Handi-Transit cannot
accommodate me for 48 hours. I don't have a right, you see, because
I've been a minority as a francophone, as a woman; I am now, but
guess what? I
will be part of the majority pretty soon, because most of you are
age or older and you will be the majority very soon and we'll have
to make sure
that transit is appropriate, that we have access to transit and we
to of course the marketplace, where it has to adhere to it, but businesspeople
want to make money. I want to make money; the government wants to
We want this province to continue to grow, because it is the best
place to live
in Canada. So why not make Ontario an accessible and a good province
to live in
for entrepreneurs as well? If we know that jobs are not there today
they're not there in the numbers that they used to be, self-employment
option for many people, in particular those with disabilities. If
even have a good service to get you where you have to go to do your
then there's something missing in the whole mechanism of things.
If I look at myself, being a mother of four children -- my children
young adults: 23, 24, 25, 26. So going through that -- many of you
through raising kids -- I look at my husband, who did not have a disability
until recently. He now has had open-heart surgery and has been diagnosed
diabetes. Again, we're a young family, with a lot of things supposedly
us, but when you're hit in the face by disability you sure as heck
hope that if
you're spending your pension money now to accommodate your house,
going to live too long, because you will not have a pension left.
That is part
of the infrastructure that is missing in the bill, and in a lot of
that we have today the infrastructure is not there. You can make all
public sector buildings accommodating, but if people can't even get
their house because they don't have a ramp, they don't have a lift,
accommodate their homes, they cannot work, they cannot have the equipment
need, then there's something missing in the system.
I love the fee that you're thinking about, that this bill is suggesting,
people who park in disabled areas. I thought this was wonderful, but
They're going to continue to park wherever they want to park anyway
there are no bylaw officers to enforce the rules. So if the infrastructure
not there -- and it's not the only place; that's one of the places
infrastructure is lacking -- then certainly you can put all the fines
but it doesn't mean anything.
Then we hear the speakers say the bill has no teeth. You have to
look at the
whole picture. I understand that the dollars aren't usually part of
but certainly if the government today has good intentions, as we believe
does, then I would hope that once the amendments to the bill are made
-- and if
it means postponement, if it means tabling this bill until you can
do it right,
then I hope the government will have the will and the tenacity to
it's done well so that all Ontarians can benefit, because that's you
tomorrow. It's not just me today; it's you and me tomorrow, it's all
I hope you will look at the recommendations. Certainly tax incentives,
together a financial package or incentive following the announcement
bill, once the bill is passed, goes hand-in-hand. There has to be
a plan. There
cannot just be a bill that's going to be somewhere on somebody's shelf
sitting there. It has to have the teeth, and that means the dollars
With that, I think I've got things written, but I'm not going to
longer than I have. I'm might even write to you with all my recommendations.
The Chair: We will keep you here for a couple of more minutes, because
going to ask for questions; I'll allow each caucus two minutes, and
with Mr Bartolucci.
Mr Bartolucci: First of all, Rachel, congratulations on your recent
are certainly deserving of it.
Ms Proulx: Thank you.
Mr Bartolucci: With regard to the legislation, certainly this government
relied on you in the past to make submissions that I felt have been
submissions. I only wish that your recommendations would be followed.
You've asked the government to slow down, you've asked the government
proactive in rewriting, redrafting the legislation, including some
that will make the bill stronger. I worry that the government says
this is a
good first step. Well, I suggest to you that after six and a half
study our community of Ontario -- not the disabled community; our
Ontario -- does not want a good first step; we want sound, effective
legislation. I don't believe this first good step is that. So would
it be your
recommendation to the government that they spend some time rewriting
legislation to include amendments which then can have regulations
them which will make this a meaningful piece of legislation?
Ms Proulx: If I understood correctly the other groups, many have
said that they
felt it was well-written, it just didn't have teeth, and it didn't
have a lot
of the recommendations that were supported, that we're suggesting.
I don't know
that rewriting it would be the way to go; perhaps it's incorporating
appropriate amendments, if that's what you mean by rewriting, because
rewriting it can go on another tangent and take another six years.
I believe in
saving time and money. You have the people here today. This is just
third reading. I almost wonder why we're here. It's a done deal. Why
here? Then certainly take the time to look at the recommendations,
them, but also hold on so that all of you, the critics, everybody,
can look at
it and make sure that it's a proper draft. But also include with it
announcement that will follow that will give you the money to make
This is a progressive Ontario, which means that it has to have dollars.
ready for business. If you don't have money, it's not going to happen.
dollars have to be there. Don't give lip service, is what I'm asking.
Mr Martin: Thank you very much, Rachel. I really appreciate all that
to say today, but I want to focus on your last point. Carl thought
probably going to escape today without my mentioning the $2 billion
billion. Well, here we go.
You're right; you're absolutely right. Underpinning all of this,
this government's ability to deliver almost anything where this is
the question of resources and money. We know and they know that in
offer people their human rights, it's expensive. But the question
human rights can we afford not to respect and honour?
For example, this government, I read in the Thunder Bay newspaper
is going to deliver earlier than planned, by way of last year's budget,
$2 billion and $3 billion in public money by way of tax breaks to
and other individuals across this province. Yet we can't find the
dollars that will be required to put some teeth and force behind this
That troubles me terribly and I'm sure it must trouble you.
Ms Proulx: It all boils down to economics. What about the 7.9 million
who turned 50 in 1997? How many of those are Ontarians? We're told
that 90% of
our population will be disabled in the very near future. That's you
and me. How
can you not spend the money? If we look at the dollars it takes to
institutionalize, where are you going to be putting these people?
want them to pay taxes? Don't you want them to be very good, active
society? It only makes sense to put the money in the bill, to make
it's done right, because it's going to cost you at the end. Pay now
later. You pay now or you pay later.
Mr DeFaria: Thank you very much for your presentation. I'm just going
about the definition of "disability." Some of the presenters,
I think the ones
before you, were very pleased with the expanded definition of disability
includes any degree of physical disability, whether it's caused by
injury, birth defect or illness. It includes a condition of mental
or developmental disability, learning disability, any dysfunction,
disorder. Are you pleased with that kind of very specific and wide
Ms Proulx: With the broader understanding of what is a disability?
Yes, I am.
The Chair: Thank you very much. Au nom du comit1, merci bien pour
pr1sentation cet aprMs-midi.
Mme Proulx : C'est moi qui vous remercie. Bonjour. Thanks.
The Chair: I have a couple of items before we adjourn. I want to
committee that taxis will be leaving at 3:30 this afternoon.
Mr Hardeman, on clause-by-clause, if you could give me some direction.
Mr Hardeman: Mr Chairman, I've been sitting here studying it and
I have had
discussions with both Mr Martin and Mr Parsons concerning this. I
take from the
resolution that was passed by the Legislature, unless there is some
from the Legislature to change that, that the only option open to
us as a
committee is to meet prior to routine proceedings on the 11th. My
recommendation is that we meet at 9 o'clock on Tuesday morning to
start on the
amendments, or to go to clause-by-clause and, assuming there will
considerable number of amendments, that we discuss them in the morning.
stop the committee for routine proceedings and then proceed again
following routine proceedings in order to meet the direction from
Legislature which says that at 4 o'clock the Chair must put the questions
have not yet been moved, that they must be then considered to be moved
voted on in order to complete the clause-by-clause by the end of the
don't believe we have any other options, as we sit here today, to
The Chair: No, and I'm not going to debate the issue because, really,
think it's order 46, the standing orders of the House, if you're willing
entertain that we meet that morning, I'm willing to go along with
Mr Hardeman: Mr Chairman, everyone agreed that we meet in the morning.
Mr Bartolucci: The reality is that doesn't negate the opportunity
opposition, though, to ask for unanimous consent in the House to extend
The Chair: That's correct, yes.
Mr Bartolucci: That's the understanding?
The Chair: Yes, in the House.
Mr Bartolucci: Absolutely.
Mr Martin: I just think it's really important that everybody understands
interpretation that's being brought forward here, which is that, really,
according to the bill that was tabled -- order 47?
The Chair: Order 46, I think.
Mr Martin: -- under order 46, really the only thing left was to meet
o'clock and just whip through the amendments one at a time, and that
would be no room for any debate whatsoever. What you're offering here
I'm not sure whether we can do that, even, without unanimous consent
House -- if that's what the interpretation is, although I would challenge
is we would meet from 9 o'clock until 1 o'clock on Tuesday morning.
I just want
Mr Hardeman to know that, as Mr Bartolucci said, we will be trying
House leaders to facilitate some further opportunity, which could
until 6 or perhaps midnight on Tuesday, depending on the number of
brought forward and the need for debate on those, and to then vote
amendments when we've used up that time. That would be where we're
I just wanted you to know that so there are no surprises.
The Chair: A quick reply.
Mr Hardeman: Not to debate the issue -- and the reason not to debate
is, I believe, that the issue was debated in the Legislature. My recommendation
is strictly based on that we have -- and I think the committee Chair
information now, that he has the authority to call the committee to
order at 9
o'clock on Tuesday morning. Barring that, we will all come to the
4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, and the resolution is quite explicit
happens at 4 o'clock. It doesn't provide the opportunity to debate
any of the
amendments. I think, for the record, that we want to make sure it
the ability to vote on all the amendments, but there would be no debate.
want to say that we are hoping to have a three-hour debate on the
they are presented.
The Chair: With that, I'll bring the debate to an end and this committee
Mr Martin: Mr Chair, just before you do that, we've been on a fairly
arduous journey here for the last week. I want to say thanks to everybody.
been a good committee, I believe. I want to thank the staff, particularly
real-time captioner, who has had no breaks through the whole thing
-- we've all
had breaks; she's had no breaks, and I think that's quite extraordinary
all of the interpreters and technical staff, the research folks and
and of course Susan for making sure that none of us got lost. Thank
Mr Hardeman: As a representative of government, I would like to echo
The Chair: We're going to make that at the end of clause-by-clause.
The committee adjourned at 1452.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
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 Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury L)
Mr Carl DeFaria (Mississauga East / -Est PC)
Mr Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie ND)
Mr Ernie Parsons (Prince Edward-Hastings L)
Mr David Ramsay (Timiskaming-Cochrane L)
Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes
Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt ND)
Clerk / GreffiMre
Ms Susan Sourial
Staff / Personnel
Ms Elaine Campbell, research officer Research and Information Services
Friday 7 December 2001
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, Bill 125, Mr Jackson / Loi
sur les personnes handicap1es de l'Ontario, projet de loi 125, M.
Navy League of Canada, Sudbury branch F-643 Mr Bryan Chapelle
Mr Bill Lee
Mrs Malia Dub1 F-646
Laurentian University special needs office F-648 Mr Earl Black
Brain Injury Association of Sudbury and District; Ontario Brain Injury
Association F-651 Mr Denis St Pierre
Ms Nancy Baron
Northeastern Ontario Regional Alliance for the Disabled F-653
Ms Joanne Nother
Canadian Hearing Society, Sudbury office F-656 Mr Bryan Searle
Ms Wanda Berrette
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health F-658 Mr Paul Kwasi Kafele
Ms Leigh Robson
Sudbury Disability Coalition F-661
Mr Richard Sawicki
West Nipissing Natural Resources Access Group F-663 Mr Alfred Levac
Sault-Algoma Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee F-665
Ms Dorothy Macnaughton
Ms Louise Larocque-Stuart
Ms Rachel Proulx F-670
to ODA Bill 125 Index page