Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee

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

Please Support a Strong & Effective ODA

follow this link for text-based navigation menu

Ontario Government's
New ODA Bill 125
Correspondence with Government on Bill 125
Letter to the Hon. Cam Jackson, Minister of Citizenship
from ODA Committee chair, David Lepofsky

dated January 31, 2002


January 31, 2002

The Honourable Cam Jackson
Minister of Citizenship
400 University Avenue, 6th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2R9

Dear Minister:

Re: Ontarians with Disabilities Act

We are writing to inquire about your Government's plans for implementing the
Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001. We welcome the opportunity to participate
fully in the implementation of this legislation.

We urge the Government to develop regulations as quickly as possible to set
strong standards for barrier-removal and prevention for both the public and
private sectors, to fix timelines for results, to provide details on the
contents of accessibility plans, and to create effective enforcement
mechanisms. We are eager to learn about the Government's plans for developing
strong and effective regulations and guidelines under this legislation. What
are your time frames for developing these? How do you plan to go about
consulting with the disability community and to bring all stakeholders to the
table to plan together for these regulations and standards? We would like to
have extensive input into these regulations, guidelines and standards.

We urge you to establish an open process for selecting members of the new
Disability Access Advisory Council. It is important that you open up this
process for people to apply and to nominate members, and for the disability
community to have a say or input into their selection. For this Council to be
successful and to have the confidence of the disability community whom it is to
serve, this Council should be made of membership that has a strong commitment
to mandatory removal and prevention of barriers.

You have committed to put the disability community in the driver's seat
regarding this legislation, and have pointed to this new Council as one of the
ways you will do this. We would therefore welcome any specifics on your
Government's plans on how the membership of this Council will be selected. How
will the Government ensure that the broad disability community as a whole
across Ontario has a real voice in the selection of its membership?

We have received inquiries about the bill and its contents from organizations
who wish to know about the bill, and about what to do about barriers facing
persons with disabilities. We would appreciate knowing about your plans to
develop and provide technical assistance to such organizations, and when the
Government will make this assistance available to the public.

Finally, we have received no word that this legislation has yet been proclaimed
in force. We urge its immediate proclamation.
As you know, your Government's rushed schedule for the public legislative
hearings on this bill last fall gave persons with disabilities as little as 24
hours notice to attend. This is widely known to be too little time for persons
with disabilities to arrange such necessities as accessible public transit.

The Government's explanation for its rushed schedule, despite these barriers,
was a need to pass the law immediately. It would therefore be helpful to know
why this bill's proclamation has been delayed since the legislation received
Royal Assent back on December 14, 2001. The period from December 14 until now
could have fully accommodated proper barrier-free public legislative hearings
which would have given persons with disabilities a true say in the
legislation's contents.

We look forward to hearing from you on your Government's plans and to hearing
how we can fully participate in them. While many are disappointed in the bill,
we are committed to work together with you and your Government on helping the
bill do as much as possible for Ontarians with disabilities. We hope and trust
you will accept our offer.

Yours sincerely,

David Lepofsky, C.M.
Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee

cc: Mike Harris 325-7578
Norman Sterling 326-2913
Dalton McGuinty 325-9895
Dwight Duncan 325-2201
Steve Peters 325-7262
Ernie Parsons 325-4757
Howard Hampton 325-8222
Peter Kormos 325-7067
Marilyn Churley 325-3252
Tony Martin 325-3720

Read response from Minister received March 4, 2002 (letter dated February 21, 2002)


back to ODA Bill 125 Index page



Top of Page



Website maintained by Barbara Anello

Please email your feedback on the website.

Last updated March 17, 2002

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