Members Statements in the Ontario Legislature
Re: Bill 83
December 8, 1998
ACCESSIBILITY FOR THE DISABLED
Mr John C. Cleary (Cornwall): This government's ignorance of the needs of the disabled has been further exposed. I have received a letter from Huguette Burroughs of Cornwall, who as a reporter with le journal de Cornwall was invited to attend a major event hosted by the Minister of Health recently at a major hotel. Unfortunately, Ms Burroughs was unable to attend because the location which the minister chose for the event was not accessible to the disabled.
According to Ms Burroughs, Minister Witmer's function was held on the second floor of the hotel and there is no elevator to get there. Ms Burroughs understands that hotels and restaurants may not always want to comply in becoming fully accessible. However, she finds it incredible that the Minister of Health would commit such an indiscretion in staging an event of this nature.
This government's half-baked disabilities legislation is insulting enough. The health minister and her colleagues must seriously consider Ms Burroughs's suggestion that this faulty legislation should be revised. It should state clearly that when such functions are held, these should be held in fully accessible locations.
How can the Harris government say they are committed to eliminating barriers for disabled persons in Ontario when they won't even accommodate the most basic accessibility requirements for their own events?
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