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Ontario Government's
New ODA Bill 125
News Releases on Bill 125

NDP November 8, 2001
News Release




QUEEN'S PARK - NDP Leader Howard Hampton says Citizenship
Minister Cam Jackson is playing callous games to block persons with
disabilities from having a critical say in his flimsy
Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

"The Minister knows this bill is a dud and he's trying to ram it
through before the disability community has an opportunity to read
the fine print and have their say in broad, province-wide public
hearings," Hampton said.

"He's dismissing the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee's
assessment that the bill falls far short of what the Minister
promised yet, in the same breath, claiming community support."

The Minister surprised everyone today by springing the ODA Bill
into Second Reading without notifying opposition parties and
persons with disabilities beforehand. The government made
absolutely no provision to accommodate any person with a
disability who might have wished to attend in the gallery today, or
even watch the debate on television.

NDP Disability Critic Tony Martin tried to delay Second Reading by
asking the government to give persons with disabilities
advanced notice so they can watch the debate and to ensure the bill
is accessible in every way.

"When he introduced Bill 125 on Monday, Cam Jackson bragged that it
was the 'most accessible' legislation in the country," Martin said.
"Now that the moment has finally arrived for the lawmakers in
Ontario to debate this critical piece of legislation, people with
disabilities have been completely shut out of the democratic

The NDP is urging the Minister to slow down and get the
legislation right this time by holding province-wide, accessible
public hearings.

"By ramming through this legislation this Government has
succeeded in erecting barriers to the democratic rights of the very
people it professes to help," Martin said.


Media contact: Sheila White (416) 325-2503


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