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Members' Statements
May 14, 2001



Mr Michael Gravelle (Thunder Bay-Superior North): We're launching
a very important petition campaign related to cost-of-living
adjustment needs for those who are living on Ontario disability
support. The petition reads:

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the recipients of benefits under the Ontario Disability
Act have not received a cost-of-living increase since a $2.50
increase in 1987; and

"Whereas the cost of living in Ontario has increased in every one
of the years since, especially for basic needs such as housing,
food, utilities, transportation, clothing and household goods;

"Whereas disabled Ontarians are recognized under the Ontario
Disability Support Program Act, 1997, and as such have the right
to have their basic needs met, including adequate housing, a
proper and healthy diet, a bed that does not make them sicker and
clothing that fits and is free of stains and holes; and

"Whereas their basic needs are no longer being met because the
Ministry of Social Services has not increased the shelter and
basic needs allowance of disabled Ontarians eligible to receive
benefits under the Ontario disability support program to reflect
the increased costs of shelter and basic needs (and in fact have
reduced these benefits for those recipients who receive a
disability benefit under the Canada pension plan); and

"Whereas a new Ontarians with Disabilities Act has yet to be
introduced to help protect the thousands of vulnerable people in
Ontario who are dependent on others for their basic needs and
care and who are eligible for benefits under the Ontario
Disability Support Program Act, 1997;

"Therefore we, the undersigned citizens of Ontario, request the
Ontario Legislature to urge the government to respect their own
definition of basic needs and provide a cost-of-living increase
to recipients of benefits through the Ontario Disability Support
Program Act that is sufficient to cover the increased costs of
their basic needs as of 2001 prices, and that this benefit not be
reduced as a result of increases in the Canada pension plan

This was sent to me by Roslyn Bergman, with the Canadian Mental
Health Association in Thunder Bay, who is helping lead this
campaign. I have hundreds of signatures here. There will be many,
many more to come. I'm proud to sign it.




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