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Ontario Government's
New ODA Bill 125

posted March 1, 2002



February 26, 2002



On February 7, 2002, the Ontario Government proclaimed in force less than one
third of the sections of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001. We have no
word on when the remaining provisions will be proclaimed in force.


Under the ODA 2001, the Government can proclaim any or all of the Act's
provision in force whenever it wishes. Until a provision is proclaimed in
force, it has no force at all.
You will recall that in our January 31, 2002 letter to Citizenship Minister Cam
Jackson, we stated, among other things:

"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 have not received a response to that letter. The Government did not notify
us that one week later, it proclaimed several provisions of the ODA 2001 in
force. We learned about this proclamation because one of our members had an
electronic copy of a news release from the Government. You can check the
Ontario Legislature website to see which provisions are proclaimed. If anyone
receives further word on this in the future, please let us know.

The provisions which the Government proclaimed in force on February 7, 2002

* Preamble

* Section 1 - (purpose clause)

* Section 2 - definitions

* Section 3 - This provision says that the ODA does not affect other legal

* Section 8(1) - government obligation to accommodate its employees

* Section 8(2) - government shall accommodate job applicants

* Section 8(5) - Management board reimubursement of Ministry expenses related
to employees with disabilities.

* Section 8(6) - Amount of reimbursement to be determined by management board

* Section 19 - Establishing Ontario Accessibility advisory council

* Section 20 - Establishing Accessibility directorate

* Section 27 - amendments to the human rights code

* Section 33 - Commencement of bill

* Section 34 - Short title of the bill.

* Schedule (list of institutions affected)

Certain of the provisions that were proclaimed in force relate to activities
that are already ongoing and which have been ongoing for years, e.g. the parts
of section 8 relating to accommodation of Ontario public servants with
disabilities. The provisions which still have not been proclaimed include those
relating to:

* requiring establishment of municipal access advisory committees.

* Requiring provincial ministries, municipalities and other public sector
bodies to make annual accessibility plans.

* Empowering the Ontario Government to make regulations and guidelines,
including, for example, regulations and guidelines over standards for

* The obligation of the Ontario Government to train its managerial staff on
accommodation of Ontario public servants with disabilities.

* The obligation of the Ontario Government to inform its employees with
disabilities about their rights regarding workplace acommodation under this

* Provisions regarding accessibility of new or renovated Ontario Government

* Provisions regarding accessibility of newly purchased government

* The provisions on accessibility of Ontario Government websites and Ontario
Government publications.

* Amendments to several other pieces of legislation, except for the amendments
to the Ontario Human Rights Code. For example, the widely publicized increase
in fines for improperly parking in a disability parking spot has not gone into


back to ODA Bill 125 Index page



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