January 31, 2002
The Honourable Cam Jackson
Minister of Citizenship
400 University Avenue, 6th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2R9
Re: Ontarians with Disabilities Act
We are writing to inquire about your Government's plans for implementing
Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001. We welcome the opportunity to
fully in the implementation of this legislation.
We urge the Government to develop regulations as quickly as possible
strong standards for barrier-removal and prevention for both the public
private sectors, to fix timelines for results, to provide details
contents of accessibility plans, and to create effective enforcement
mechanisms. We are eager to learn about the Government's plans for
strong and effective regulations and guidelines under this legislation.
are your time frames for developing these? How do you plan to go about
consulting with the disability community and to bring all stakeholders
table to plan together for these regulations and standards? We would
have extensive input into these regulations, guidelines and standards.
We urge you to establish an open process for selecting members of
Disability Access Advisory Council. It is important that you open
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
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
to mandatory removal and prevention of barriers.
You have committed to put the disability community in the driver's
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
Government's plans on how the membership of this Council will be selected.
will the Government ensure that the broad disability community as
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
persons with disabilities. We would appreciate knowing about your
develop and provide technical assistance to such organizations, and
Government will make this assistance available to the public.
Finally, we have received no word that this legislation has yet been
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
with disabilities to arrange such necessities as accessible public
The Government's explanation for its rushed schedule, despite these
was a need to pass the law immediately. It would therefore be helpful
why this bill's proclamation has been delayed since the legislation
Royal Assent back on December 14, 2001. The period from December 14
could have fully accommodated proper barrier-free public legislative
which would have given persons with disabilities a true say in the
We look forward to hearing from you on your Government's plans and
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
bill do as much as possible for Ontarians with disabilities. We hope
you will accept our offer.
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
response from Minister received March 4, 2002 (letter dated February
to ODA Bill 125 Index page