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

Letter to Premier Mike Harris
March 28, 1999


Dear Premier Harris,

We are releasing to the public written election commitments made to the 1.5 million Ontarians with disabilities by Dalton McGuinty, leader of the Liberal Party, and Howard Hampton, leader of the NDP.  Both party leaders have clearly pledged in writing that they will pass a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act consistent with the 11 principles set out in the resolution passed unanimously by the Ontario Legislature on October 29, 1999.   Copies of those letters are enclosed.

We are now writing you our third letter since Bill 83 died on the order paper on December 17, 1998, asking whether you are prepared to live up to your 1995 election commitment to work with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act committee to pass an Ontarians with Disabilities Act in your first term.   We have still not received a response to our previous two letters to you.

We are trying to work together with you so that a real, strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act can be enacted before you choose to call an election.   To that end we once again are asking you to make two clear commitments:

  1. to pass a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act in this term - one which fully complies with the Legislature's October 29, 1998 resolution which your own caucus voted for.   As you know Bill 83, which you introduced in November 1998, was immediately condemned by people with disabilities, their friends and families throughout Ontario as a "do-nothing Bill" which would not require one barrier to be removed.
  2. to immediately lift your boycott against meeting with us, the very Committee that you promised in writing to work with.   Since you were elected in 1995 you have consistently refused every offer we have made to meet with you.

Voters with disabilities as well as their friends and families, now know what the leaders of the other parties will promise in writing to do in this area if they are elected.   These voters are also waiting and watching closely to see if you wlil keep your 1995 promises to us.   As indicated in our previous letters, we ask that you respond to this letter personally, and not simply refer it to others in your caucus to reply, since it is you who are well-known to make the final decisions in this context.

Yours sincerely,

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

cc: Hon. Isabel Bassett, MPP
Dalton McGuinty, MPP
Howard Hampton, MPP
Marion Boyd, MPP
Gilles Morin, MPP
Frances Lankin, MPP
Dwight Duncan, MPP


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