Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee

ODA Committee Homepageblank spaceFactsheet; the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committeeblank spaceWhat's New on the ODA Committee websiteblank spaceCorrespondence between the ODA Committee and the Ontario Governmentblank spaceODA Committee Press Releasesblank spaceHansard from the Ontario Legislature re: ODAblank spaceODA Committee Action Kits and Tipsblank spaceContact the ODA Committeeblank spaceOrganizational Members of the ODA
Who are we?blank spaceMajor ODA Documentsblank spaceODA News Briefsblank spaceODA Handoutblank spaceODA Pamphletblank spaceODA Postersblank spaceblank spaceRegional ODA Eventsblank spaceblank spaceFree Membership form to Join the ODA Committeeblank space

Please Support a Strong & Effective ODA

follow this link for text-based navigation menu

Ontario Government's
New ODA Bill 125
UPDATE on Speeches and Questions On Bill 125 in Legislature Last Week

November 13, 2001


Here is the text of questions and speeches on Bill 125, the
proposed Ontarians with Disabilities Act, that took place in the
Legislature during the last two days of last week. This large
collection of material includes:

* Questions during Question Period to the Minister of Citizenship,
Cam Jackson, on the Bill from:

Doug Galt, Tory MPP on Nov. 7, 2001
Tony Martin, NDP Disability Critic on Nov. 7, 2001
Howard Hampton, NDP Leader on Nov. 7, 2001

*An attempt on Nov. 8, 2001 by NDP Disability critic Tony Martin to
delay second reading debate because there was no advance notice to
persons with disabilities and they were unable to attend the second
reading debate because of existing barriers.

* The first day of second reading debate on Thursday, November 8,
2001. This debate is scheduled to be concluded on Monday November
19 and Tuesday, November 20, 2001.

Some of the statements made by the Minister of Citizenship in
response to the questions and in the debate makes claims about the
content of the legislation that we do not think are supported by
the Bill itself. For the ODA Committee analysis of the Bill please
visit our website or email us at:

Some specific examples are:

* The Minister states that the disability community is given input
into the regulations and standards to be set under the bill, and is
put in the driver's seat to drive change. According to our
analysis, this is not the case. There is no required consultation
with persons with disabilities or the Advisory Council except for
consultation on the accessibility of newly acquired or newly
renovated government buildings.

* The Minister stated that Bill 125 contains the 11 principles put
forward by the ODA Committee and unanimously adopted by the
legislature on October 29, 1998. Based on our analysis, Bill 125
only fully incorporates one of these 11 principles, namely Principle 8 -
that the ODA should mandate the Ontario Government to offer education
and resources to those who must comply with the ODA. It falls short
on the ten other principles.

* The Minister presents the proposed provincial accessibility
advisory council and provincial disability accessibility
directorate as new bodies that put Ontario in a leadership role
across Canada. In fact, Ontario had a similar provincial advisory
body for years before this Government took office. This government
abolished that body within weeks of taking office. Several other
provinces also have Advisory Councils, in some cases established by
legislation. A provincial disability office has also existed in
Ontario in one form or another for years, though it has been
downsized in recent years.

Finally, there has been a lot of mention made of the Americans with
Disabilities Act during the past year. In the past week the
Minister has said that there is a 30-year window for compliance and
that Ontario would become barrier-free much more quickly. In fact,
the ADA came into effect immediately and required barrier removal
in the first year it was passed in 1992. There are various time
frames for some aspects of the legislation, but only one very
specific area that may allow up to 30 years for complete barrier



Top of Page



Website maintained by Barbara Anello

Please email your feedback on the website.

Last updated November 15, 2001

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