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

Letter to The Honourable Helen Johns,
Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation

July 28, 2000

The Honorable Helen Johns
Minister of Citizenship,
Culture and Recreation
400 University Avenue, 6th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2R9

Dear Minister:

Re: Ontarians with Disabilities Act

I am writing in response to an undated letter to me from your assistant Mr. R. Bowers. We regret that we have encountered so much difficulty in arranging a meeting with you over the summer months. We are available to meet any time, including the week of September 5, with the sole exception of the week of August 20, (due to my unavailability that week). My membership wishes me to be present at this meeting, as chair of the ODA Committee. It is preferable for the meeting to start no earlier than 10 a.m. if possible and in any event, for it to conclude by 4 p.m. I hope that this time frame will not pose any difficulties for you.

Please let us know about this as soon as possible.

We would propose a meeting of at least two hours. We suggest the following agenda items:

1. Minister's Update on the specific Steps Taken from October 1999 to the present to Develop a Strong and Effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act (including status of any policy work underway within the Ontario Government), and status and content of Consultations to date on the Ontarians with Disabilities Act

2. Discussion of Future Steps for Developing the Ontarians with Disabilities Act

3. Arranging a Meeting with the Premier

It would be extremely helpful in order for us to be able to prepare for this meeting, if you or your staff could provide to us as much background information on these agenda items as far in advance of the
meeting as possible. We would appreciate receiving that material in electronic format as well as in hard copy.

Mr. Bowers' letter takes issue with our statement that you have broken your commitment to have an action plan regarding the Ontarians with Disabilities Act in place by June. He states that the Throne Speech promised the action plan during the session of the Legislature, and says that the Legislature's session did not end, but only adjourned in June.

We acknowledge that the legislative session is not yet over, and that it is therefore too early to know whether you will fulfill the commitment made in the Throne Speech. However, it is also fair to point out that subsequent to the Throne Speech, you have committed on behalf of your Government to have this action plan in place by June. That commitment has not been fulfilled.

People with disabilities must suffer the consequences of this unexplained delay, as well as your Government's broken 1995 election commitment to enact the Ontarians with Disabilities Act in its
first term.

We look forward to hearing back from you on the date for this meeting, and to receive the needed background information from you or your staff as soon as possible.


David Lepofsky, C.M.,
Chair, Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee

cc: Hon. Mike Harris 325-7578
Norman Sterling 326-2913
Dalton McGuinty 325-9895
Dwight Duncan 325-2201
Steve Peters 325-7262
Howard Hampton 325-8222
David Christopherson 325-7111
Marilyn Churley 325-7111


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