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Ontario Government's
New ODA Bill 125
Correspondence with Government on Bill 125
Letter to the Hon. Janet Ecker from Dwight Duncan, MPP Windsor-St. Clair
dated November 5, 2001



Monday, November 5, 2001

Honourable Janet Ecker, MPP
Government House Leader
Room 223 Main Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A8

Dear Minister Ecker,

The Minister of Citizenshipis set to introduce an Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) today. The Liberal Caucus has long been an advocate of an ODA that is strong and effective - one that truly breaks down barriers to accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities.

Over the past few weeks, Dalton McGuinty and members of the Liberal Caucus have been pressing the government to ensure that the ODA receives extensive committee consideration. In the legislature last week, Dalton McGuinty recommended that the ODA be sent to committee directly after 1st reading - a recommendation that I have echoed to you in our conversations. Further to that recommendation, we urge you to ensure that committee hearings take place in a minimum of 5 regions of the province, in addition to at least two days of hearings in Toronto. Also, we recommend at least 4 days of clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.

We also insist that the government begin scheduling committee hearings today, so as to allow adequate time for the Committees Branch of the Legislature and members of the disabled community to prepare for fully accessible hearings.

During this session the Liberal Caucus has accommodated the passage of less controversial pieces of legislation, with the understanding that more legislative time could then be dedicated to more controversial and/or substantial bills. I hope that our agreement to cooperate along those lines will stand and you will seriously consider the recommendations I have outlined.

Thank you,
Dwight Duncan, MPP Windsor-St. Clair
House Leader of the Official Opposition


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