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Please Support a Strong & Effective ODA



Here is great news about two major activities in support of the
Ontarians with Disabilities Act, occurring in different parts of the


Thursday January 25, 2001

Here are reports from two active ODA supporters in the Windsor area
on an exciting rally in support of the ODA which occurred in
Windsor on January 25, 2001.

Carolyn Williams reports:

On Thursday evening January 25, 2001 over 100 members and their
supporters of the Windsor-Essex Ontarians with Disabilities Act
gathered outside of the Cleary Auditorium where Minister
Helen Johns
was the guest speaker at a local Tory Fundraiser

C.A.W. Local 444, seniors groups and social agency personnel
supported O.D.A. Committee supporters

Hot dogs and veggie dogs barbequed in the sub-zero weather fed
those outside at this rally, while guests going to the event inside filed
past the group enroute to their $135.00 black tie dinner. A fifteen foot
banner read "4 out 5 Ontarians support an Ontarians with
Disabilities Act".
C.A.W. workers proudly displayed their flag
while passing motorists honked their approval.

The peaceful rally topped the local news stories that evening while
Minister Helen Johns tour of the city took second place. She had
been in Windsor distributing $200,000 Trillium Foundation
assistance to local agencies.

Windsor-Essex Region, O.D.A. Committee Chair, Dean La Bute welcomed
the group and gave statements to the media present. Other speakers
addressing the crowd were Mike Lawson of W.O.H.I.S. O.D.A. vice-
chair, Carolyn Williams O.D.A. secretary, Richard Ruston of People
First and Mike Longmore from C.A.W. Local 444.

Forced to comment on the lack of an O.D.A. by the media in light of the
rally, Minister Johns apparently said her department is working on an action plan.

Mike Lawson reports to us as follows:

Dean La Butte, (Chairperson) welcomed the crowd and reminded the
Tories about their broken promise to enact an ODA within their
first term of government. As Tory supporters entered the building
they were given a 1 page flyer.

Following Dean La Butte, Carolyn Williams, (Chairperson WACDI,
Windsor Advisory Committee on Disability Issues), Mike Lawson
(Injured Worker Advocate), Richard Ruston, (People First Ontario)
and Mike Longmoore, (CAW Local 444)
spoke briefly to the audience.
Once again we dispelled the myths regarding the cost of an ODA, the
importance of mandatory vs. voluntary measures as well as how
necessary for the ODA Committee's Regions across Ontario to have
regular input during and after the formation of a bill for an ODA.

Members of the the ODA committee were very pleased at the turnout
especially with the diversity of the supporters. There was very
good coverage from the local media. Dean did a couple of TV and
radio interviews. The article in the Windsor Star was good except
they estimated the crowd at 30 or so. No way. One of the police
officers estimated that there were between 125 and 150 people.
Most importantly we are keeping the issue in the public domain.
Plus, I know that I got a buzz from the event and I think many
other committee members did too.


Here is a report from a Saulte-Algoma Regional Contact of the ODA
Committee, Dorothy Macnaughton:


The Sault Algoma Region of the ODA Committee is holding a press
conference on Monday, January 29, 2001 to announce a public
awareness campaign in the Sault and area. Small groups of speakers
with various disabilities will be going out into the community over
the next few months. They will be speaking to school, community
college and university classes, as well as any other interested
organizations to help increase public awareness of the need for a
strong ODA and to emphasize the importance of removing the many
barriers faced by disabled people.

The press conference will also highlight the proposed resolution
submitted to City Council requesting their support for a strong and
effective ODA. The public will be encouraged to come out and
support this important initiative on February 12, 2001. We hope to
overflow the Council chambers with supporters.



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