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Ontario Government's
New ODA Bill 125

February 2, 2002



December 12, 2001



On Tuesday, December 11, 2001, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic
Affairs undertook its clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 125. The
Conservative Government used its majority on the Committee to pass each of the
amendments which the Government had put forward, with the exception of two. The
Government withdrew two of its proposed amendments, in favour of opposition
amendments that addressed the same issue. These were as follows:

1. The Government withdrew its proposed amendment to the definition of
"barrier" in s. 2 of Bill 125, and instead supported the amendment to that
definition which the Liberal Party put forward.

2. The Government withdrew its proposed amendment to section 3 of the bill
which was intended to preserve rights which persons with disabilities enjoy
under other legislation. Instead, it supported the NDP amendment to that

The Conservative Government used its majority on the Standing Committee to
defeat all of the many other amendments which the Liberals and NDP had put
forward. The Liberal and NDP amendments were very similar to each other. In a
later update we will provide a summary of the amendments to the bill which were
passed by the Committee.

The Standing Committee undertook its actual clause-by-clause consideration of
the bill from 9:00 a.m. until noon on December 11. They only got from Section 1
to Section 10 of this bill during the time available. This was less than one
third of the bill.

At noon, the opposition members asked the Committee as a whole to consent to
continuing its debate until 1:00 p.m. If the Committee members had unanimously
consented, they could have continued discussing and debating more of the
amendments that were still on the table. However, at least some of the
Conservative MPPs on the Committee refused to consent. Thus the meeting ended
at noon.

The Standing Committee resumed its consideration of the bill on the same day at
4:00 p.m. The Committee was to meet until 6 p.m. Because of the Government's
"Time Allocation" motion restricting the time for consideration of this bill,
the Standing Committee was not allowed to have any further discussion of any
proposed amendments to the bill during this time. It could simply vote on each
amendment, one at a time.

The Standing Committee therefore went through a formal ritual of voting on each
remaining amendment that had not been reached in the morning. The Conservative
Government voted consistently in favour of its own proposed amendments and
against any and all from the Liberal and New Democratic Parties.

Ironically, the Standing Committee completed this rapid and repetitive voting
process with at least 45 minutes left before its 6:00 p.m. deadline for
finishing its meeting. The Committee had more time on its hands to discuss the
substance of the amendments. However the Government's Time Allocation motion
prevented this from happening.

With this process completed, the Standing Committee is supposed to report Bill
125 back to the Legislature today. The Government is expected to bring the bill
forward for third reading debate today or tomorrow. The Government had used its
majority to pass a motion restricting third reading debate to one hour. The
bill cannot be brought forward for third reading until it is printed up with
the amendments included. We have not been notified by the Government as to
exactly when they will be bringing the bill forward for Third Reading.


back to ODA Bill 125 Index page



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