Members Statements in the Ontario Legislature
October 27, 1999
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES LEGISLATION
Ms Marilyn Churley (Broadview-Greenwood): This Friday, October 29, 1999, will mark the one-year anniversary of the unanimous adoption of a resolution outlining principles that should have been included in the Ontarians with Disabilities Act. I thought it would be useful to remind the government today that we will not forget your betrayal of the disabled community and that disabled people will not forget your betrayal.
It is time to do the right thing. Disabled people are tired of being treated as charity cases. They want to be equal partners, treated with dignity and respect. We've had enough of the vague action plans mentioned in the throne speech.
The disabled community has told you again and again what they want. In 1995 you promised an ODA; in 1998 you introduced a pathetic three-page bill that did nothing to address the barriers to people with disabilities. It was a disgrace and a betrayal. I remember the ODA committee calling it "a kick in the stomach," and that's exactly what it was.
Finally, I want to be clear that this is just one essential first step, but it will not undo all the damage caused by your government. For example, we will continue to bring forward cases of the chaos at the Ontario disability support program, where your under-resourcing and understaffing of this program have meant that files are lost, calls are left unanswered and transportation allowances are cut. It's a disgrace and must stop today
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