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May 19, 1999


At noon on Wed., May 19, 1999, Dalton McGuinty made a campaign stop at
PATH Employment Services at Hamilton. He announced his commitment to
enact a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Here is the posting
on the Liberal web site from this. We will of course circulate any announcements
we get from the other parties on this issue.

Harris Betrays Disabled Community

Once again Mike Harris has betrayed people and broken a solemn commitment
he made very publicly.

Ontario Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty met today with members of the disabled
community to discuss the Harris government's broken promise to pass an effective
Ontarians with Disabilities Act during its term of office. McGuinty reaffirmed his
earlier commitments to the disabled community.

"Last year at this time more than 400 families in Toronto alone were fighting so
their disabled children would be able to go to summer camp. The Harris government
had cut funding for the care givers they need to be able to go to camp as they always
had before the cuts," said McGuinty. "The government reinstated the funding for one
year. Parents should not have to call press conferences every year to shame the
government into providing proper support."

"Mike Harris added insult to injury when he presented a paltry 3- page bill that failed
to address any of the community's concerns," said McGuinty. "Once again Mike Harris
has betrayed people and broken a solemn commitment he made very publicly."

The government presented a 3-page bill last term that was widely condemned as a
"slap in the face" by the disabled community. It did not provide any recourse in law,
instead leaving it up to the overburdened Human Rights Commission to investigate
any discrimination against persons with disabilities.

The Harris government also cut benefits in real terms to the disabled needing help
to cope in the home. The decline for families struggling to keep their loved ones
at home, rather than institutionalizing them, has meant an average 30% cut in services.

"The Harris agenda has been disastrous, especially to the most vulnerable people
in our province," said McGuinty.

A Liberal government will:

  • pass a strong, meaningful and enforceable Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

  • commit to the 11 principles espoused by the Ontarians with Disabilities Act
    Committee and drafted in consultation with the community.

  • enhance funding to the Special Services At Home program which assists families
    caring for children with disabilities at home.

  • restore $50 million in funding for special education.

  • restore rent controls, build 7,500 supportive housing units and provide targeted
    financial support to get more affordable housing built.

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