Image of black text with drop shadow that reads: Ontarians With Disabilities Act Committee

Members Statements
in the Ontario Legislature

re: ODA Legislation

April 3rd, 2000


The very first statement made in the Ontario Legislature in the year 2000 was on the Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Here it is, taken from the Proceedings of the Legislature on Monday, April, 3, 2000:



The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Welcome back, everyone. Members' statements.

Mr Steve Peters (Elgin-Middlesex-London): This government has failed 1.5 million persons with disabilities in this province. Loud and clear, over and over, that's the message I heard as I travelled the province during the month of March and met with over 1,500 groups and individuals.

Disabled persons face access barriers, barriers to education, transportation, the health care system. Even the government's very own ODSP program prevents these individuals from reaching their full potential. They are not looking for handouts; they are demanding a level playing field.

There is still no Ontarians with Disabilities Act despite repeated promises, three ministers and one pathetic attempt at legislation. There is, however, a string of broken promises by this government, not the least of which is the promise of open consultations. The former minister held closed- door, invitation-only consultations, as is the current minister, who even refuses to define her ever-illusive action plan.

I believe it is my responsibility to meet in person, in the open, with those who would be most affected. The results will be made public and provided to the Premier and the minister responsible.

On November 23, this House unanimously supported my resolution calling for the passage of legislation within two years. As this Legislature sits for the first time in the 21st century, I urge the government to take responsibility for the promises, to truly listen and to work co-operatively to pass a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act.


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