Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee

ODA Committee HomepageFactsheet; the Ontarians with Disabilities Act CommitteeWhat's New on the ODA Committee websiteCorrespondence between the ODA Committee and the Ontario GovernmentODA Committee Press ReleasesHansard from the Ontario Legislature re: ODAODA Committee Action Kits and TipsContact the ODA CommitteeOrganizational Members of the ODA
Who are we?Major ODA DocumentsODA News BriefsODA HandoutODA PamphletODA PostersRegional ODA EventsFree Membership form to Join the ODA Committee

Please Support a Strong & Effective ODA


ODA Committee Update
June 4, 2002



June 3, 2002

Despite the fact that there are many other huge news stories coming out of
Queen's Park over the spring, the ODA issue keeps getting media coverage. Here
are some items that have been in the news over the past weeks. You will see how
letters to the editor provide you with a great way to keep the public's
attention focused on this issue, and can link the ODA issue to current barriers
in your own community.

* The Toronto Star on June 1, 2002 included an interesting article on the new
Accessibility Council of Ontario. The article includes this regarding the ODA
Committee: "At the Toronto headquarters of the Ontarians With Disabilities Act
Committee, chair David Lepofsky urges community advocates to keep pressure on
the government to live up to its accessibility commitments.

He'd like to see the disability community consulted in drafting regulations
detailing standards, timetables and enforcement of the Act. And he plans to
send Queen's Park a detailed work plan for making it effective.

To contribute ideas, e-mail Lepofsky at oda@odacommittee.net.

* The London Free Press, May 11, 2002, included a letter to the editor from
Terry Smith, opposing school board cuts, and calling for the ODA 2001 to be
immediately proclaimed.

* The London Free Press, May 4, 2002, also included a letter to the editor from
Cathy Vincent Linderoos, showing how rushed public consultations on Hydro One
privatization constituted a barrier to full participation to persons with

* The London Free Press, April 30, 2002, included a guest column by Ashfaq
Husain, addressed efforts at forming a London Disability Accessibility
Committee, growing out of the ODA activities in London.

* The Toronto Star, April 27, 2002, included an article on barriers facing
persons with disabilities in access to parking, despite widely-publicized but
as-yet unproclaimed amendments to the parking fines relating to disability
parking spots.

* The Toronto Star, April 27, 2002, also included a column by Helen Henderson,
which, among other things, addressed the Ontario Human Rights Commissions'
recent proposals that the province set standards for public transit
accessibility in Ontario. She commented on the extent that the ODA 2001
addresses this.

* The London Free Press, April 26, 2002, included an article on a woman with MS
and the impediments she has faced trying to find an appropriate longterm care
facility. The article asks, among other things: "But some of the questions are
less abstract. In a nation of so-called equal opportunities and in a province
that boasts its Disabilities Act makes Ontario "barrier free," how does a
36-year-old woman end up in a place filled with people twice her age?"

* The Toronto Star, April 23, 2002, included an article on the All-Candidates
Debate when Ernie Eves was recently running in a by-election in the Peel area.
It noted that disability accessibility was raised at this event. "Other
questions raised at last night's meeting ranged from education funding, to
disabled access to privatization of the LCBO and TV Ontario." Again in the
recent by-elections, ODA and disability accessibility issues were effectively
raised at the local level.

* The London Free Press, February 18, 2002, included a letter to the editor by
Cathy Vincent Linderoos, showing how we need a strong, effective ODA in light
of the hardships caused by home care cuts.

As always, send us your feedback on this news coverage to:


Toronto Star Saturday, June 1, 2002 Page M-6
Accessibility team is assembled
Helen Henderson

The team laying the groundwork for the Ontario government's efforts to make the
province more accessible to people with disabilities is gradually taking shape.

The first appointees to the new accessibility advisory council are making their
debut at this weekend's People In Motion trade show at the CNE's Queen
Elizabeth Building.

Yesterday, along with Ontario Citizenship Minister Carl DeFaria, the Canadian
Standards Association and members of Queen's Park's new accessibility
directorate, they helped release new customer service standards for
organizations serving people with disabilities.

But there is much work to be done if they are to gain the support of the
province's disability community, which has waited far too long for this
government to put its weight behind dismantling physical and attitudinal

`It's more than we had before and I think we can build on it'

Last month, Thunder Bay lawyer Dave Shannon and Paralympic gold medallist Jeff
Adams were appointed respectively chair and vice-chair of the Accessibility
Advisory Council of Ontario. That's the group designated by the long-overdue
Ontarians With Disabilities Act to advise the government on how to prepare
regulations and formulate public information programs.

You might call Shannon and Adams the new front men for Queen's Park on this
controversial issue. (To date there are no women appointees.) Other members so
far in what is expected ultimately to be a 12-person group include:

Barry McMahon, a retired film and video producer for the federal government.
McMahon is chair of the provincial post-polio program at the Ontario March of
Dimes and acting chair of the City of Ottawa's accessibility advisory

Duncan Read, a deputy judge for Ontario's Small Claims Court. Read is a former
president of the Ontario March of Dimes and former vice-chair of the Durham
Board of Education.

Dean La Bute, founding chair of the Windsor-Essex chapter of the Ontarians With
Disabilities Act Committee, the province-wide advocacy group lobbying for
effective disabilities legislation. La Bute is also, among other things,
president of the board of directors of the Windsor-Essex Victorian Order of
Nurses and a director of the Windsor-Essex Teen Health Centre.

The council will work alongside the province's accessibility directorate, the
bureaucratic arm headed by director Nadia Temple, formerly in charge of
external relations and production at the Education Quality and Accountability

The whole process was kicked into action in February when, without any room for
effective community input, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act was pushed
through the Legislature before former Premier Mike Harris ceded the helm to
Ernie Eves.

Other pieces of proposed legislation were carried over to the current session,
where they might be scrutinized and debated more fully. But not the Ontarians
With Disabilities Act. The haste with which it was handled drew additional fire
from community advocates, who first and foremost found it lacking teeth.

This column has been among the voices condemning the Act as deeply flawed
because it sets up no mandatory changes, no deadlines for accomplishing
anything, no means of enforcement.

It also raises serious concerns that we may be witnessing another provincial
ploy to download responsibility for any effective change on to cash-strapped

Both DeFaria and his predecessor, Cam Jackson, have emphasized that
municipalities will be key to the success of the Act. But unless Queen's Park
puts some money where its mouth is, it's unlikely that anything like, say,
fully accessible public transportation will materialize.
Not surprisingly, the first appointees to the Accessibility Advisory Council
say they're confident the process will work.

Shannon, who five years ago crossed the country in his power wheelchair to
raise awareness of disability issues, sees the voluntary nature of the Act as
closer to the United Nations human rights initiatives he studied in detail at
the London School of Economics, where he got his Master's degree in law.

"I know everyone doesn't see (the issue) that way," he says. "But I think it
will work."

LaBute, who lost his sight to a rare eye disease over the course of 18 months,
says he learned early in life that it's important to get on with things and
keep moving forward.

Of the new disabilities Act, he says: "It's more than we had before and I think
we can build on it."

Among priorities at the accessibility directorate will be preparing the generic
accessibility guidelines that later will be customized by everything from
school boards, public transportation providers and hospitals to municipal
governments, says Temple.

"We have to give municipalities the tools," says Adams. "And we have to show
them that making things accessible is good business. The carrot works; the
stick doesn't."

At the Toronto headquarters of the Ontarians With Disabilities Act Committee,
chair David Lepofsky urges community advocates to keep pressure on the
government to live up to its accessibility commitments.

He'd like to see the disability community consulted in drafting regulations
detailing standards, timetables and enforcement of the Act. And he plans to
send Queen's Park a detailed work plan for making it effective.

To contribute ideas, e-mail Lepofsky at oda@odacommittee.net.


London Free Press Saturday, May 11, 2002
Letters to the Editor
Board cuts could become rights issue

In the article Special classes cut in secret session (May 3), school trustee
Peter Jaffe is quoted as stating, "The only justification is the legal
requirement to balance the board budget."

I am unable to comprehend how Thames Valley District school board could cut
support in the special needs area of the system. These services are not a
luxury, but necessary support to children with special needs.

I believe, with great sadness, that the Thames Valley board is putting children
with special needs at risk of having their right to an education jeopardized
with these cuts.

To suggest they would provide support with travelling teachers, who would visit
the children in their home schools, ranging from once a month to several times
a week, depending on need, is not enough. I believe any more cuts to special
education support will turn this into a human rights issue.

It is time for the Thames Valley board and its elected trustees to tell the
provincial government the budget is not going to be balanced, or the board will
have to find a different, less essential, area in which to make cuts. (How
about administration?) I hope school board trustees remember they were elected
to represent the people and stand up for their rights.

This is another totally unnecessary barrier that people with disabilities face
daily and shows a pressing need for a strong Ontarians with Disabilities Act to
be proclaimed in its entirety without delay.

Terry Smith


London Free Press Saturday May 4, 2002
Letters to the Editor
Hydro One hearing charade seen before

Londoners with and without disabilities have the right to fair treatment by the
provincial government when it comes to public consultations on public issues
like the sale of Hydro One.

During the rushed and limited public hearings last year on Bill 125, the
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, not only was London bypassed, but the
invitations to presenters in the few chosen centres were in some cases given
only 24 hours' notice.

The ODA committee pointed out repeatedly that people with disabilities need
more time to prepare to attend as, for example, travel arrangements cannot
easily be made on short notice by people with disabilities.

Chris Stockwell's last-minute plans to come to London with 24 hours' notice for
Hydro One hearings contributed to a tension-filled public meeting and he
effectively left out many people with disabilities, like myself, who simply
cannot turn on a dime.

That is an unacceptable barrier and shows he did not respect his own
government's promise that they would not create new barriers to people with
disabilities with taxpayer dollars.

It is high time the Ernie Eves government figures out how and when it is going
to honour the many public commitments they made during the debates on Bill 125
and proclaim the ODA, 2001 in force in its entirety.

Cathy Vincent-Linderoos
ODA committee


London Free Press Tuesday, April 30, 2002
Sessions to lead to formation of accessibility group

A public consultation to help develop a mandate for a municipal accessibility
advisory committee for London is slated for Sunday. Put on by the city,
regional contacts with Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) Committee and I
will be assisting at the session, which will be led by Bob Topping of
Designable Environments Inc., consultants in accessibility and future care

This session will include my initial overview of the evolution and current
status of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, and an analysis of
anticipated ODA requirements for this committee for the city. A second session
to look at composition of the committee and qualifications of potential members
is scheduled for June 2.

I feel privileged to serve the ODA Committee as a volunteer on the London Race
Relations Advisory Committee (LRRAC). This has been an excellent opportunity to
learn how the city's advisory committees can function effectively to fulfil
their mandates. I was also able to participate in the development of facilities
accessibility design standards (FADS) document, as were many other individuals
and organizations who are ODA supporters.

The ODA 2001, which was passed in December by the provincial government,
ignored most of the recommendations made by the ODA Committee. As disappointed
as many of us were, however, there are some big promises to Ontarians with
disabilities yet to be kept.

As I write, fewer than half the provisions of the act have been proclaimed in
force. We are actively lobbying the government to immediately proclaim the full
act in force and will continue to do so, as we intend to make the most of the
act. The government has made many commitments to Ontarians, not the least of
which is to put people with disabilities in the driver's seat in promoting
changes and setting standards.

Robin Armistead, policy planner for the city, is to be commended for her
careful attention to detail in organizing this public process. I also
appreciate the support of elected officials, who clearly see the need to move
forward on the ODA as soon as possible.

We value the diligent work of Ward 1 Coun. Sandy Levin, who, with the unanimous
support of council, has long championed our cause and goal of a barrier-free
society for Ontarians with disabilities.

If you are interested in learning about the government's commitments and the
goals and principles of the ODA Committee, please visit our Web site at
www.odacommittee.net . People can also keep up to date with activities
organized by your local ODA Committee by subscribing to our e-mail distribution
list. Simply send an e-mail to a.husain@ieee.org .

Whether you have a disability or not, I urge people to come to the London
Convention Centre, 300 York St., from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday and also on
June 2. Please contact the city manager's office (661-5493) or e-mail
rarmiste@city.london.on.ca and let the city know if it can provide any services
to accommodate your needs. [ASL will be provided.] You do not have to
pre-register to participate in the sessions. Also please help us get the word
out about these sessions.

Vox Pop provides readers with an opportunity to comment on topical subjects.
Ashfaq (Kash) Husain, is legally blind and a member of the ODA Committee,


Toronto Star April 27, 2002 Page G10
Parking Another Hurdle For Disabled

For most people, shopping is either a fun pastime, or an annoying but
inevitable chore.

For disabled people such as John Hulley, it's a difficult and time-consuming
expedition that can take hours. Obstacles such as poorly designed handicapped
parking spots, illegal parking, counterfeit permits and a confusing variety of
laws across the province make it difficult, if not impossible, for many people
to simply get around.

The 57-year-old Brooklin resident has multiple sclerosis and cannot drive or
walk without assistance. He uses an electric scooter, which his wife Barb
manoeuvres out of their Windstar minivan using a ramp. The van contains a
"companion seat," which turns sideways and lifts hydraulically to help Hulley
in and out.

As with many disabled people who use a ramp or elevator to lift wheelchairs and
scooters to their vans, Hulley needs a minimum of 4.6 metres (about 15 feet) to
extend the ramp from the side door and position the scooter. Of the four places
we visit - one a major shopping centre - none have single spots wide enough.

"If we go somewhere and the spots are narrow gauge, we park farther away,"
Hulley says. "If someone's parked beside us when we come out, we back out
halfway into the aisle. That's dangerous."

At least all of the cars parked in the spots have clearly visible permits.
Despite his obvious need, Hulley has had people become very defensive when he's
challenged them over the legitimacy of their permits - or when they don't have
one at all.

"One man said he had the right, because he had a permit. But then he told me it
was for his son, and he was at home."

Under the government's Bill 125, meant to reduce barriers to the disabled, the
minimum fine for parking illegally in a marked handicap spot rises from $150 to
$300. The widely publicized $5,000 fine is actually the maximum penalty for
manufacturing and selling counterfeit parking permits - a remarkably large
black market, mostly due to Toronto's dwindling parking areas.

That infuriates Carole Riback. A paraplegic and a member of the Ontarians with
Disabilities Act committee, she sees the fine increase as a diversion to draw
attention from more important issues the ODA has raised.

"We've been lobbying the government for seven years to introduce and pass
effective barrier removal legislation," she says. "That includes any obstacle
that prevents a person with a disability in normal, everyday life with respect
to education, employment, recreation, entertainment, sports, travel. That's not
just physical barriers, but lack of Braille in elevators, employment barriers,
lack of telephone services for the deaf.

"The legislation is 30 pages long, and there are no penalties anywhere about
any other barrier except this business about increasing the fine. Why did they
choose to pick out this one issue? Most disabled people don't even have cars."

Because she lives in Toronto, Riback can legally park in any no-parking zone
(but not no-stopping or no-standing). Even so, she has received 30 tickets in
the past four years and still has eight left to be cancelled.

"The issuing officer doesn't bother to look for the permit in my windshield, or
he thinks I'm not going to bother getting the ticket cancelled," she says.

"The permit is hanging inside the windshield, and I have little magnets on my
licence plates saying `see permit', so they have to see it when they're writing
it down.

"And my van has a lowered floor and doesn't have a driver's seat, because I
drive from my wheelchair, so it's obvious this is a wheelchair user's vehicle.
Last summer my vehicle was even towed away."
She has learned that permit holders can't do the same in Guelph, when she got a
ticket there. The lack of consistency bothers Sgt. Brian Keown, with Toronto's
parking enforcement disabled liaison unit.

"Around the province, every municipality has different guidelines," he says.
"The province has determined it's a municipal affair, and they're responsible
for guidelines and regulations.

"It's a real problem for people who travel. They have to phone ahead to each
jurisdiction they're going to visit, and find out where they can and cannot

Toronto - which is still under six sets of bylaws despite amalgamation -sets a
minimum standard of one handicap space per 100, with a minimum width of 3.65
metres. That's not enough for a wheelchair lift.

"They also have to be properly signed with the approved Highway Traffic Act
sign," Keown says. "Some people paint the symbols on the tarmac, but that's not
necessary, and if they paint them completely blue it makes them slippery."

To be parked legally, a vehicle must display a valid permit, registered to the
user. If it doesn't, Keown advises against confronting the driver. "If they're
ignorant enough to park there, you don't want to do that," he says.

Instead, in Toronto, call 416-808-2222 (not 911) and be prepared to provide the
location, the licence number and the make of the car.

"Tell them you want a parking officer for a parking complaint," Keown says.
"That way, they'll send someone right away. You don't have to wait there, if
you've given the information."

He also warns that many people have hidden disabilities, or there may be
extenuating circumstances.

"It may be that someone's parked in the space, and they've gone inside to get
their mother who's waiting in a wheelchair. The officers are trained to see the
whole picture."

"Twenty years ago it was a different story, and twenty years from now it will
be better," Hulley says.

In a Canadian Tire parking lot, he points out a marked end spot that's against
a raised concrete island. There's no curb cutout on the island, so anyone
exiting the car on that side won't be able to get a wheelchair off it.

The spots here are wide - although not enough for the scooter - which can
present another problem. Some people double-park in the wider spots.

"You'd think these would be people who should know better," Hulley says. "Maybe
I shouldn't say that, but if someone needs the extra room to get into the car,
they have to wait until that other person comes back."

The worst offenders, Hulley finds, "are people who are `just in for a minute',
like at the bank or the beer store. Someone once said to me, `There are so few
of you.' They don't see the person who needed the spot and couldn't get it, so
they went elsewhere. People figure if there are four spots, four (disabled)
people won't show up at once."

At our final stop, Barb and John Hulley begin the lengthy process of getting
John out of the van and on to his scooter.

Fortunately, there's no one in the spot beside us, and they're able to use two
spots to accommodate the long ramp.

"My activities revolve around whether I can park," Hulley says.

"I can't go to the local dentist. I have trouble going to the clinic. I often
say, `If I can't get into a public building, why am I paying taxes?'

"If it's busy and there's only one spot, you may be tempted. But we need people
to recognize that people with disabilities can be contributing members of
society. This is part of it."


Toronto Star April 27, 2002
Tough road ahead for disabled travellers
Helen Henderson

HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT: This week, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released a report saying the province's lack of accessible transit prevents people with disabilities from full access to education, health services and the workplace.

It recommends Ontario set standards and timelines to rectify the problem.
That's at least one step better than the province's weak, ineffectual Ontarians
With Disabilities Act, which contains no timetable, no mandatory changes and no
enforcement mechanisms. ...

You can write to Helen Henderson, c/o Life Section, Toronto Star, One Yonge
St., Toronto, Ont. M5E 1E6. Or e-mail hhenderson@thestar.ca.


London Free Press April 26, 2002
MS leaves young woman trapped in home for aged
By Ian Gillespie, Free Press Columnist

The woman raises one arm -- a strangely awkward movement, like a bird lifting a
broken wing -- and gestures round her.

"There's nothing else for me," says Laurie Taleski. "Just this."

This is the Chelsey Park nursing home. This is a place for old people --like
the woman being spoon-fed by her daughter, and the man sitting, motionless as
death, in his wheelchair.

This isn't a place for a 36-year-old woman. At least, it isn't supposed to be.

"I feel like a piece of meat," says Taleski. "I'm the only young person in
here. Most of the people here aren't quite with it, mentally.

"I'm healthy," she says. "It's just that my legs won't work."

Taleski's legs won't work because she has multiple sclerosis, an insidious
disease that attacks the central nervous system, slowing or blocking messages
from the brain to the body. The degree of damage varies, but the estimated
50,000 Canadians afflicted with MS commonly feel weak and tired. They may
tremble, lose their balance, have trouble speaking or controlling their bladder
or bowel movements. Forty per cent of those with MS carry on their lives with
little disruption; about 70 per cent don't need a wheelchair.

Taleski is one of the unlucky ones.

Spend a bit of time with her, and you start asking questions. Some seem
unanswerable -- like why does a disease derail some people and not others?

But some of the questions are less abstract. In a nation of so-called equal
opportunities and in a province that boasts its Disabilities Act makes Ontario
"barrier free," how does a 36-year-old woman end up in a place filled with
people twice her age?

And how do you stay engaged with life when you have little in common with the
people around you, and many of them can't even carry on a conversation?

The sad answer is, you don't. You struggle.

Taleski struggles to get a shower in the morning. She struggles through lunch,
then struggles to get someone to help her back into bed, where she struggles to
rest or sleep until supper. About 90 minutes later, she struggles back to her
bedroom, which she shares with an 88-year-old woman, and watches TV until about
10:30 p.m.

"I have to do everything by the clock here," she says. "Everything. It's

How did Taleski end up here?
The simple answer is a lack of long-term care facilities. But in Taleski's
case, it's not that simple.

Taleski's parents are old, and they aren't wealthy. She's single and, like many
young women diagnosed with MS, had little savings and no personal health

She earns a disability pension; apart from a meagre monthly living allowance,
all of it goes toward her nursing home care.

If Taleski had more money, she could afford better care.

Taleski also made some mistakes. Her biggest may have been a reluctance to face
the severity of her condition. According to Patti Lake, a co-ordinator with the
London Middlesex Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Taleski
waited too long to place her name on the waiting list for long-term care at
Cheshire Homes of London, which provides staffed housing for disabled people.

"Whenever we brought it up before," says Lake, "all she would do is cry and
say, 'There's absolutely no way I'm going to ever leave my apartment and
there's no way I could ever go into a place like that.'"

So Taleski missed her chance. As her health deteriorated, Taleski needed more
home care than the maximum 60 hours per month allowed by the provincially
funded Community Care Access Centre. The local MS Society chapter helped cover
Taleski's expenses for a while, but there's a limit to how much it can provide.

Taleski missed another opportunity when she turned down an offer from
Cheshire's Outreach program, which would've supplemented CCAC services and
helped Taleski remain living in her apartment.

But it's not hard to understand Taleski's reluctance. Who, with a still strong
and youthful body, can come to grips with a crippling future?

She's on a waiting list for a more suitable place -- the Mount Hope Centre for
Long Term Care. But it can take a year or two to get in -- there's usually only
an opening after somebody dies.

In the end, there seems little left to do but ponder the plight of a woman
imprisoned by illness and entrapped by a faulty -- some might say failing --

"I've got nothing," says Taleski, matter-of-factly. "I've got nothing but


The Toronto Star
NEWS, Tuesday, April 23, 2002, p. A04
Eves will consider Hydro One hearings
New Premier takes questions with fellow candidates
Caroline Mallan
Toronto Star

ORANGEVILLE - Ontario Premier Ernie Eves says he is open to the idea of public
hearings into the Conservative government's plans to sell Hydro One.

An Ontario court ruled on Friday that the planned sale of the transmission
company that owns the electricity grid across the province is illegal because
the legislation governing the public ownership does not state that the Tories
have the authority to sell it.

During an all-candidates meeting last evening in the
Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey riding where Eves is seeking a seat in the
Legislature, the Premier said he will obey the court ruling and consider more
public input.

"Certainly the Province of Ontario will abide by the court ruling and obey the
law," Eves told a raucous crowd of more than 750 local residents.

"I am certainly not against public hearings on the issue."

The sale, expected to raise $5.5 billion for the provincial treasury, was set
to take place next month through an initial public offering.

On May 1, the province is also scheduled to officially open hydro generation to
competition, allowing private generators to sell electricity to consumers at
market rates.

The province still owns the bulk of the electricity generation facilities in

Finance Minister Janet Ecker has said the province will announce soon how it
will deal with the court ruling on Hydro One.

Options include changing the legislation, appealing the court ruling, or
abandoning the planned sale.

Eves, who was sworn in as Premier last week, is one of five candidates running
in the riding vacated by Tory MPP David Tilson, who stepped aside to allow his
party's new leader to run for a seat in the Legislature.

The by-election is to be held on May 2 but neither Eves nor Liberal candidate
Josh Matlow is eligible to vote because neither has called the expansive riding
northwest of Toronto home for a minimum of six months.

All five candidates faced questions from the floor about their positions on the
privatization of hydro generation and the sale of Hydro One.

NDP candidate Doug Wilcox, an Orangeville councillor, said he wants guarantees
from Eves that hydro generation and transmission will remain as a public asset.

Wilcox added that profit-taking by private companies will ultimately be paid
for by residential and commercial consumers.

"The consumers, the taxpayers, the farming community- all now have to pay
profits on top of what they currently pay with a non-profit system that is
owned by the taxpayers of Ontario," he said.

Green party candidate Richard Proctor said he believes that competition in
electricity generation will lead to cleaner methods such as wind power - a
position shared by Eves.

Liberal Matlow, an environmental activist, said he disagrees with his own
party's support of competition in electricity generation.

Dave Davies is also in the running for the Family Coalition Party.

The all-candidates meeting, the only one that Eves is expected to attend and
one that appeared to be dominated by people opposed to the policies of the
Conservative government, also included questions about the ongoing strike by
45,000 public servants, in its sixth week.

Eves said an improved offer to the union was tabled yesterday morning and he
urged the OPSEU leadership to accept the offer.

Other questions raised at last night's meeting ranged from education funding,
to disabled access to privatization of the LCBO and TV Ontario.


London Free Press Monday February 18, 2002 Page A8
Letters to the Editor
Family's case shows need for better law

David Dauphinee's tragic story, Home care cuts prove burden (Feb. 13), about
the Leathams' fruitless struggle for sufficient hours of home care for their
daughter, Marlo, depicts another example of the unnecessary barriers people
with disabilities face.

When Heather and Melissa Edwards' similar story appeared last year in the
paper, the reported solution was merely a stop-gap one.

Still more government-imposed cutbacks to home care are pending. They affect
adults with disabilities who rely on Cheshire London, as it is projecting a
significant deficit and must reduce its spending by March 31, 2002, in order to
balance its books with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

There are waiting lists to obtain both Cheshire Outreach services or to be
accepted into Cheshire supported living units (SLU) waiting lists.

This situation simultaneously drives up the cost of long-term care to taxpayers
and creates a situation where living at home as long as possible is unfairly
denied some people.

The Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) 2001 was passed on Dec. 14, 2001.
Although most of our recommendations to the government for a strong and
effective ODA were ignored, the ODA committee is committed to our 11
principles, to monitoring the impact of Bill 125 and making the most of what
was passed.

Our goals of barrier-free access to health care, as well as to goods, services
and facilities in both the public and private sectors, would seem to be things
we all need now more than ever.

Cathy Vincent -Linderoos
ODA committee
London area


Go to Top of Page Top of Page


Index Page   |  Action Kits & Tips  | 

Website maintained by Barbara Anello

Please email your feedback on the website.

Last updated June 4, 2002

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