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ODA Committee
Quick Analysis
of Ontario Government Bill 83

which received First Reading in the Ontario Legislature on
Monday, November 23, 1998

The following is the ODA Committee's first quick analysis of the Harris Government's Bill 83 that the Ontario Government introduced into the Legislature on Monday, November 23, 1998.   The bottom line is that this three page bill, one of the shortest in the Legislature's history, is far worse than the Government's ODA Discussion Paper of last summer. It will do nothing for people with disabilities.   Here is why:

It does not deal with the vast majority of barriers in Ontario since it only applies to the Ontario Government;

It does not require the Ontario Government to remove or prevent a single barrier;

The bill does not meet any of the requirements of the unanimous resolution of the Ontario Legislature passed on October 29, 1998 which called for a strong, effective and meaningful Act.

It ignores the strong consensus that Ontarians with disabilities shared with the Ontario Government during its ODA Consultation last summer.

The Act guarantees no rights, has no penalties, and no time lines for barrier removal or prevention.

Even worse, the Act forbids the use of court proceedings to enforce it.

As for the Ministry plans, there is no requirement for a Ministry to consult with anyone while developing its plan.

There is no requirement that the Ministry plans be made available to the public

The government announced a number of other programs which it says complements the ODA. We have not had time to review these announcements in detail, but the programs are no substitute for real legislation.

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Last updated Saturday, December 12, 1998 1:42 PM