ODA Action Tip
December 9, 2000
Below is a sample letter that may be used to write to your
MPPs and to the Premier calling for their support of an
Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Sample Letter to Premier
(your address and date)
The Honourable Mike Harris
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
Dear Premier Harris:
I am writing to urge you to pass a strong, effective and enforceable
Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA), as you promised you would
before the 1995 election.
There are at least 1.5 million people with disabilities in our Province
and the numbers are growing due to an aging population and more
newborns being saved by medical advancements. Mr. Premier,
legislation that removes and prevents barriers that restrict people
with disabilities from fully participating in all that this Province has to
offer, is long overdue.
Ontarians with disabilities face numerous barriers in the areas of
housing, employment, public transportation, health care, access to
goods, services, facilities and all levels of education.
Furthermore, every day buildings are being erected which meet the
Ontario Building Code, and yet are not fully accessible. There are
post-secondary schools said to be accessible, when in truth, these
schools contain barriers that impede the independence of their
students with disabilities. There are many people with disabilities
who would like to work if only they had access to transportation and
a barrier-free work place.
Not only is a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act
the right thing to do, it also makes good economic sense. In 1990,
President George Bush passed the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ten years later, Americans with disabilities are proving that they
not only make excellent employees with lower levels of absenteeism,
but the costs to accommodate their needs are low.
I am especially concerned because I understand that your Government
has said that the people with disabilities they are hearing from do
not want legislation. Premier, I want strong and effective
legislation. I do not know of any persons with disabilities who
Mr. Premier, I am asking you to show leadership by acting more
quickly to pass an Ontarians with Disabilities Act that truly meets
the needs of the population of people who have disabilities now and
in the future.
As you know, your government's first attempt at an Ontarians with
Disabilities Act was generally regarded as weak and totally
ineffective. What's more, it called into serious question your
government's ability and will to enact the kind of legislation that
is required. Your government has now promised to enact a strong
and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act by November 23, 2001.
But regrettably, the closed, secret and invitation-only process
that your government has chosen is reinforcing concerns that the
Act, when it is finally drafted, will not meet the needs of people
Premier Harris, I would like to hear that you are prepared to work
to bring about the early passage of a strong and effective
Ontarians with Disabilities Act so that Ontario will be a barrier-
(Your phone number)
MPP Sample Letter
Sample Letter to MPPs (any party)
(your address and date)
I live in your riding. I am writing to direct your attention to a
very important issue; namely the need for an Ontarians with
Disabilities Act (ODA) which is both strong and effective.
This act must be passed into law as soon as possible to achieve a
barrier-free Ontario for people with disabilities.
Before the 1995 election, Premier Harris promised to enact an ODA
in his first term of office. However, the government's first
attempt at an Ontarians with Disabilities Act was generally
regarded as superficial and toothless. Furthermore, it called into
serious question the government's ability and will to enact the
kind of legislation that is required. Recently, the Ontario
Government promised, yet again, to enact a strong and effective
Ontarians with Disabilities Act- this time by November 23, 2001.
However, the process that the government has chosen is reinforcing
concerns that the Act, when it is finally drafted, will not meet
the needs of people with disabilities.
There are at least 1.5 million people with disabilities in our
Province, and the numbers are growing due to an aging population
and more newborns being saved by medical advancements. Ontario has
far too many barriers that prevent people with disabilities from
fully enjoying life. People with disabilities face these barriers
when they try to get a job, use public transportation, get an
education, use our health care system or make use of many other
goods, services and facilities in this Province. We need a strong
Ontarians with Disabilities Act to remove existing barriers and to
prevent new ones.
I support the passage of a strong and effective Ontarians with
Disabilities Act that responds to the expressed needs of the
population of Ontarians with disabilities and I would like to have
your assurance that you are committed to the timely passage of a
strong and effective ODA.
If you would like to know more about the types of barriers people
with disabilities are facing throughout Ontario and in your own
constituency, I would be pleased to meet with you. The Provincial
ODA Committee has a web site at www.indie.ca/oda, which contains
all of the correspondence with government and briefs prepared by
the ODA Committee, since 1995.
Please let me know that you are prepared to work to bring about the
early passage of a strong, effective and enforceable Ontarians with
Disabilities Act so that Ontario will be a barrier-free province.
(Your phone number)
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Last updated December 26, 2000