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

Letter to the ODA Committee from
Ronald J. Bower, the Executive Assistant to
The Honourable Helen Johns,
Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation

Ministry of Citizenship, Culture & Recreation
Office of the Minister
6th Floor
400 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 2R9


Mr. David Lepofsky
Chair, Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee
c/o Marg Thomas
1929 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ont.
M4G 3E8

via Facsimile 1-416-480-7014

Dear Mr. Lepofsky:

Thank you for your letter to the Hon. Helen Johns, Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, dated July 19, 2000, which addresses my request that you and a select number of your fellow
committee members make yourselves available for a meeting with the Minister during the last full week of August, 2000.

As I explained to you in a previous letter, the Minister is already committed to other Ministry activities throughout the summer. She is available to meet during the last week of August. Unfortunately, she is not available to meet with you during the third week of August as you suggested during our telephone
conversation of last week.

Given your unavailability during our suggested meeting dates, am I to assume that all members of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee are unavailable to meet with the Minister during the whole of the last week of August?

On a point of interest in your letter to the Minister, the Minister has asked that I respond to your suggestion that she has broken a "commitment to the 1.5 million Ontarians with disabilities regarding the Ontarians with Disabilities Act." You are of course referring to the Throne Speech commitment to have an Action Plan and a Disabilities Act announced during this present session of the Ontario legislature.

I am sure that you will welcome the opprtunity to correct the impression that you are accusing Minister Johns of breaking a commitment to the people of Ontario. You are surely aware that a "legislative session" begins with the opening of the Legislature and the session does not end until the House prorogues. The House adjourned for the summer on June 24th, 2000. It did not prorogue. Therefore the session did not end, and will in fact continue when the House re-opens in September of this year.

Given your Committee's inability to meet with the Minister during our suggested timeframe of the last week in August and the Minister's unavailability during the third week of August, may I suggest any date at your convenience from September 5th to September 8th, 2000? A speedy response would undoubtedly help in setting a date for this consultation.

Thank you,

Ronald J. Bower
Executive Assistant to the Minister


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