Letter to the Honourable Isabel Bassett,
Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT COMMITTEE
c/o Marg Thomas
1929 Bayview Avenue,
Toronto ON M4G 3E8
Tel: (ODA Committee Voice Mail) 416-480-7012
Tel: (Voice direct) 416-480-7686
TTY: Care of Deborah Thynn 416 964-0023 ex. 251
October 13, 1998
The Honourable Isabel Bassett
Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, 6th Floor,
77 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2R9
We are writing as a follow-up to your letter of September 30, 1998. Despite our clear request of you at our August 4, 1998 meeting, and several follow-up requests in writing and in messages left with your Communications Assistant and Executive Assistant, we have still not received some important information we requested, specifically:
- a list of those who attended your ODA consultation meetings;
- copies of all the submissions you received (you indicated in the Legislature that there were at least 240 recieved.)
- copies of notes and/or transcripts from the ODA consultation meetings you and your Parliamentary Assistant held.
To be clear, we are not simply looking for a santized, brief summary of the submissions you received or edited versions of notes and transcripts from those meetings. We wish to see what people actually had to say. The Government's ODA consultation was completed more than one month ago. It is therefore difficult to understand the reason for this delay in providing us with this very important information. We were forced to work very hard to meet the very short deadlines you set for the consultation process. We are proud that as a voluntary group with no funding we were able to meet that challenge. It is only reasonable for you to afford us the same cooperation and courtesy in response.
We are very concerned about the delay. We have made it clear from the start that we want an opportunity to meet with you after the consultation for the specific purpose of giving you feedback on the materials you received during your ODA consultation, and for addressing issues raised during that process. We have also made it clear that it is important that we have this meeting with you before you make recommendations to Cabinet. To do this we need the information that we requested with sufficient time in advance of our meeting with you so that we can review and analyze it, and provide you with worthwhile feedback on it.
You have stated publicly that this legislation will be introduced this fall. Given this short time frame it is difficult to see how we can now have a meaningful opportunity for input prior to your making major decisions on the ODA. Absent this opportunity, we fear that the legislation will not adequately reflect the needs of persons with disabilities.
Could you please assure us that:
- We will receive the information we requested in enough time before any meeting that we have with you, so that we have a fair chance to review it before that meeting occurs;
- That no final or major recommendations on the content of the legislation will go forward from your Ministry for Government decision-making until we have had this forthcoming meeting with you.
We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible so that this important work can move forward.
M. David Lepofsky, C.M.
Co-Chair Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee
Dalton McGuinty LIB 325-9895
Gilles Morin LIB 325-9009
Dwight Duncan LIB 325-1498
Howard Hampton NDP 325-8222
Marion Boyd NDP 325-7111
Frances Lankin NDP 325-3336
Gerrard Kennedy LIB 325-2901
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