Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation
77 Bloor Street West
Toronto ON M7A 2R9
Tel.: (416) 325-6200
Fax: (416) 325-6195
AUG 30 1995
Mr. David Baker
Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped
40 Orchard View Boulevard
Dear Mr. Baker:
Thank you for your letter of July 20, 1995 informing me about the Ontarians With Disabilities Act Committee and offering to share your expertise in the disability field.
The government is committed to the interests and dignity of persons with disabilities and is sensitive to the challenges faced both in the workplace and in the broader society. We recognize that one of the main obstacles to full access and equal opportunity are systemic barriers which prevent individuals from fully using their abilities.
To meet our objectives, Premier Mike Harris announced on July 19, 1995, that the government will introduce a bill to repeal the Employment Equity Act during its first session in the Legislature; and that work will begin immediately on the development of a new Equal Opportunity Plan. Preliminary work is now under way.
We are aware of the unique needs of persons with disabilities. Disability issues, including the question of accommodation and the "undue hardship" standard in the Human Rights Code, will be explored within the framework of the Equal Opportunity Plan and human rights reform in Ontario.
Approaching the concerns of the disability community in this broader context will help pursue an integrated and comprehensive approach to promoting equal opportunity for persons with disabilities.
I welcome input from stakeholders on the Equal Opportunity Plan after preliminary work is completed. I look forward to meeting with the Ontarians With Disabilities Act Committee and others at that time to discuss effective approaches to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. In the mean time, please feel free to contact Karen Cohl, Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy and Planning Division, at 325-6278, should you have any questions.
Thank you again for writing and bringing your concerns to my attention.
cc The Honourable Michael D. Harris, Premier of Ontario
Mr. Dave Johnson, Chair, Management Board of Cabinet
Ms. Rosemary Brown, Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission
Mr. David Lepofsky
Mr. Robert Fenton
Mr. Sam Savona
Mr. Bill Brown