August 26, 1998
The Honourable Isabel Bassett
Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation
6th Floor, 77 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2R9
Re: Ontarians with Disabilities Act
We are writing as a follow up to our meeting with you in August 4, 1998. We very much appreciate that during this meeting you agreed to three of our requests for specific information. First, you asked your staff to provide us with detailed information on the annual budgets of the Ontario Human Rights Commission from 1995 to the present. Second, you agreed to meet with us at the end of the consultation period so that we could give you feedback on the information which you gathered during your consultation process. Finally, you agreed to provide us with information about what you were hearing throughout the consultation process.
With your Ministry's last stake-holder meetings occurring tomorrow, it is important to follow up on these commitments. We have not yet received any information from your staff about the Human Rights Commission budgets. As you know this is important information in light of the question about the appropriate enforcement agency for the ODA.
Now that the end of the consultation process is in sight we think it is a good time to fix a date for our next meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the results gathered by your Government's ODA consultation process so that we can assist you in interpreting and acting on this information. In view of your comments that the government intends to introduce the legislation in the fall term this meeting should occur as soon as possible, allowing of course a reasonable time for us to review and analyze the information that you gathered during the consultation process. Could you please have your office contact Ms. Marg Thomas at 416-480-7686 to suggest times for this meeting. Given your busy schedule, and the incredible time pressures created by this short consultation process, we want to make sure that the meeting occurs well before the Government makes any final decisions.
Finally, we would appreciate receiving the information from the sessions, including transcripts where they are available and a list of those attending the sessions as soon as possible. We would also appreciate receiving copies of written submissions you have received from other groups as soon as possible so that we may also review this prior to our meeting. It will be very important for us to thoroughly review this material, as well as the information about the Human Rights Commission budgets, before we meet with you. Your positive response to our request at your meeting for this material, subject of course to privacy interests, was appreciated.
We would appreciate receiving this information in both print and disk format so that it will be accessible to those who cannot read print.
We will of course also need reasonable time to review this material before we can prepare our final written submission. Of necessity, this will have to be after your current deadline of September 4, 1998. This will enable us to incorporate information we have received from our members during the consultation process as well as the information that you give us. The end result will be a more useful submission to help you in the work that lies ahead for you.
We look forward to hearing from you and to receiving this material as quickly as possible.
M. David Lepofsky
C.M., Co-Chair Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee