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ODA Committee Update
dated March 5, 2005
posted March 10, 2005


Legislature Sets Schedule For Clause-By-Clause Consideration Of Bill 118

March 5, 2005


We are now on the verge of the next critical phase in the development and
enactment of Bill 118. The schedule has been set for the Ontario
Legislature's Standing Committee on Social Policy to consider amendments to
Bill 118, the proposed Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act:

* The three parties must each deliver their proposed amendments to the
bill to the Standing Committee by Friday, March 18, 2005. Each political
party can table its own package of amendments. They all must be tabled by
the same deadline. We will attempt to get these as quickly as possible, and
then will circulate via our email update list.

* The Standing Committee will begin considering these proposed amendments on
Tuesday, March 29, 2005 at Queen's Park. It will then continue considering
the amendments during its clause-by-clause debate of the bill at its
successive Standing Committee meetings until it is finished. The Standing
Committee on Social Policy usually meets on Mondays and Tuesdays. Thus, the
second and third possible dates for the bill's consideration will be Monday
April 4 and Tuesday April 5. We don't know how much time the Standing
Committee will take to go through the bill and all the proposed amendments.

* After the Standing Committee finishes clause-by-clause debate, it reports
the bill, as amended, back to the Legislature. The Legislature can then hold
its third reading debate on the bill. That is the last step needed before it
passes into law. We don't now know when Third Reading debate will take

We strongly encourage you to plan to attend the meetings of the Standing
Committee. You cannot make formal presentations. However, a strong
attendance from the disability community helps show the importance of the
issue. Also, you can try to chat informally with MPPs when the Committee
takes breaks, or when an MPP walks away from the table. This is "lobbying"
at its most literal!

We don't know if the Standing Committee meetings will be televised. If the
Standing Committee meets at the same time as there are debates going on in
the Ontario Legislature itself on some topic or other, the TV coverage on
the Legislative Assembly channel includes what is going on on the floor of
the Legislature itself, not what is going on at a Standing Committee.

We don't yet have the times and room numbers for the Standing Committee
meetings on March 29, April 4, and if needed, April 6 and beyond. We will
get you this information as soon as we can. We have urged that all
proceedings of the Standing Committee on Bill 118 be conducted with
appropriate accommodations such as captioning and American Sign Language
interpretation to make it fully barrier-free. We will eventually get Hansard
transcripts of these meetings, but Standing Committee transcripts are not
posted to the Legislature's website quickly.

We encourage you to continue to contact the three political parties to urge
each party to introduce the package of amendments to Bill 118 that the
Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee has put forward. If you need
appropriate email addresses to contact the parties, let us know and we can
provide them to you.

Once the political parties table their packages of amendments on March 18,
we will all have 11 days (i.e. until March 29) to blitz the three political
parties to urge them to support the proposed amendments that have been
tabled and that will effectively strengthen Bill 118.

In the meantime, if you want to read all the oral presentations made to the
Standing Committee on Social Policy that were made during the 6 days of
public hearings on Bill 118 between January 31, 2005 and February 8, 2005,
you can now see them at:


Send us your feedback at:



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