May 3, 1995
The Honourable Mike Harris
229 Main Street
Sturgeon Falls, Ontario
Dear Mr. Harris:
Re: Proposed Ontarians With Disabilities Act
I am writing on behalf of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee, a broad coalition of individuals with disabilities and organizations for and of persons with disabilities in Ontario. This group has formed to advocate for the introduction on passage of a strong Ontarians with Disabilities Act - legislation which would seek to prevent new barriers confronting persons with disabilities and which would require removal of existing barriers where reasonably feasible. I act as counsel for that coalition.
We wrote to all party leaders asking for their party's positions in support of Bill 168 the proposed Ontarians with Disabilities Act which was before the Ontario Legislature during the last session as introduced by Gary Malkowski. I've also asked each party leader to give their party's position on whether they would be prepared to pass a strong Ontarians with Disabilities Act if elected to form the next government. To date, we have not formally heard back from you in connection with this, nor do we have a position from your party.
However, in the interim, we have received a written response from the Honourable Lyn McLeod, leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. We enclose a copy of this response. It indicates that the Ontario Liberal Party would be prepared to develop and pass an Ontarians with Disabilities Act in its first term, should it form the next government, and that the Liberal Party is prepared to work together with our Committee in the development of such legislation. As we intend to circulate the responses of all parties on this matter widely within the disability community, may we have your response by May 10th? As the time between now and the June 8 election is quite short, persons with disabilities in Ontario who form some 17 percent of the population will want to have a full picture of the choices that each of the political parties present to them.
We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
cc: Margaret Marland, MPP