November 19, 2001
The Honourable Cam Jackson
Minister of Citizenship
6th Floor, 400 University Avenue
The community agencies listed below would like to initiate a dialogue
about the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which you introduced on
2001. The Bill is now in second reading and public hearings are about
begin. We view Bill 125 as a framework for effective legislation and
step in this process. Most of us met with you over the past few months
felt that you truly do understand the need to systematically remove
that currently prevent people with disabilities from participating
citizens in all aspects of life in Ontario.
In our view, in many important respects, Bill 125 still falls significantly
short of the goal you have been championing. This is particularly
the case for
people who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing, or for those with intellectual
disabilities or disabilities caused by mental illness. For them, we
legislation, in its current form, will make very little difference.
Today, together as organizations representing the full range of ambulatory,
mental, intellectual and sensory disabilities, we want to advise you
wish to work with you through the committee public hearing process
about comprehensive, strong legislation that effectively includes
While each of our agencies will be submitting specific amendments
committee hearing process, we do want to outline important common
§ Currently, the bill lacks a significant role or authority for
Council and the lack of an effective mechanism for meaningful disability
into all standards to be made under the bill.
§ There is a lack of specific legislated time frames for the
effective regulations that will remove barriers across all sectors.
§ There is a lack of any real enforcement or mandatory barrier
prevention requirements other than for parking violations under the
We look forward to presenting you with specific amendments to make
legislation totally effective in making Ontario the first barrier-free
for people with disabilities in Canada.
In addition, we hope you will ensure there is sufficient time and
within the legislative process to prepare, present and fully consider
necessary amendments and to ensure the final legislation meets the
principles our organizations endorsed as members of the Ontarians
Disabilities Act Committee and indeed the entire Ontario legislature,
unanimously endorsed on October 29, 1998. The legislative timetable
become a barrier itself.
We would be very pleased to meet with you to discuss these issues
detail and to suggest amendments to strengthen this important legislation.
Thank you for your leadership and commitment in bringing this important
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Ontario Division
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division
Canadian Hearing Society
Muscular Dystrophy Society of Canada
Canadian Paraplegic Association, Ontario
Ontario Association For Community Living
Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario
Canadian National Institute for the Blind
The Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf
to ODA Bill 125 Index page