December 14, 2000
On Thursday, December 14, 2000, another rather intriguing event
occurred on the road to a strong and effective Ontarians with
Disabilities Act. Liberal Disability Critic Ernie Parsons
introduced a private member's bill into the Ontario Legislature.
It received a unanimous vote of approval on first reading. This
bill, entitled "the Promise Made Promise Broken Act 2000, seeks
to reinforce the Ontario Government's accountability for its
failure to keep its promises to enact the Ontarians with
This bill recites the history of the Harris Government's promises
regarding this overdue legislation. It then has two requirements
to provide accountability for the Government's inaction on those
promises. These are described in Mr. Parsons' news release,
below. The bill itself, which is quite short, is also set out
It must be emphasized that this bill is not a proposal for the
Ontarians with Disabilities Act itself. It's just a good way of
focusing attention on the Government's half-decade long failure
to keep its promises in this important area, and on the hardships
that this creates for all Ontarians. Please circulate this to
LIBERAL CRITIC FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Parsons introduces Private Member's Bill, "Promise Made Promise
Broken Act 2000"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2000
Queen's Park- Today in the Legislature, Prince Edward -Hastings
MPP, Ernie Parsons introduced a private member's bill to hold the
government accountable for its failure to make good on its
promise to Persons with Disabilities.
"Every day this province goes without the promised Ontarians with
Disabilities Act, tax dollars are used to create another barrier
impeding the disabilities community from fully participating in
our society", Parsons declared. "Each new barrier created adds to
the eventual bill tax payers will have to pay to remove the same
barrier later. I want Ontarians to know how much of their money
is being wasted by this government", Parsons added.
Like the signs next to road construction projects stating "Your
Tax Dollars at Work" this new law will require similar signs to
be placed next to every new government sponsored project that
creates a new barrier. They will read " Your Tax Dollars At Waste
- This is a New Barrier Impeding Ontarians With Disabilities,
which Premier Mike Harris Helped Finance with Your Tax Dollars".
All new advertising paid for with public money will have to
include the following caption "This advertisement is brought to
you by the Ontario Government, which has broken it promises to
enact a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
" Mike Harris' living legacy to Ontario is more and more barriers
paid for by hardworking tax payers' money", Parsons stated.
Contact: Ernie Parsons, MPP (416) 325-4700
Promise Made Promise Broken Act, 2000
The purpose of the Bill is to foster and promote the
accountability of the Government of Ontario concerning its broken
and unkept promises to enact a strong and effective Ontarians
with Disabilities Act.
An Act respecting accountability for barriers impeding people
with disabilities from full participation in the life of Ontario
Ontario has at least 1.5 million people with disabilities.
Everyone either now has a disability, or has someone near and
dear to them who has a disability, or will acquire a disability
during his or her lifetime.
People with disabilities in Ontario face barriers in access to
employment, services, goods, facilities and accommodation. All
Ontarians will benefit from the removal of these barriers,
thereby enabling these persons to enjoy equal opportunity and
full participation in the life of the province.
It is the shared responsibility of everyone in Ontario to
identify, remove and prevent the barriers to the full
participation of persons with disabilities. Identifying,
preventing and removing those barriers will increase the
contribution of persons with disabilities to the economic and
social life of the province. To allow existing barriers to
remain and new barriers to be created inflicts serious hardships
and costs on Ontario and Ontarians, including those who have a
disability now and those who do not yet have a disability.
During the 1995 election, Premier Mike Harris promised in a
letter to the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee dated May
24, 1995 to:
(a) enact the Ontarians with Disabilities Act in its first
term in office; and
(b) work together with members of the Ontarians with
Disabilities Act Committee, amongst others, in the development of
A strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act is needed
to achieve a barrier-free Ontario. Voluntary efforts at removing
and preventing these barriers have been tried for decades, and do
not work to achieve this goal.
This Legislature unanimously passed resolutions on May 16, 1996,
October 29, 1998 and November 23, 1999 which, taken together,
call for the enactment of an Ontarians with Disabilities Act that
is strong and effective.
A strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act has not
been enacted. Over his five and a half years in office, Premier
Mike Harris has repeatedly and consistently refused to meet with
the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee, the province-wide
coalition with whom he had promised to work together to develop
this promised legislation.
For more than five an a half years since taking office, the
current Government has allowed new barriers to be created that
block persons with disabilities from fully participating in
Ontario life, including barriers which have been paid for, in
whole or in part, by Ontario taxpayers' dollars.
It is especially important that the Government of Ontario be
accountable to the public for its promises and its action or
inaction on those promises, including promises to enact a strong
and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the
Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as
Government accountability for using public money to create new
barriers 1. Where any new barrier to the full
participation of people with disabilities in employment, goods,
services, accommodation or facilities in Ontario is created after
this Act comes into force with the assistance of any expenditure,
contribution, grant or other payment by or on behalf of the
Government of Ontario or any Ministry or agency thereof, the
persons involved in the creation of that barrier shall post as
near as reasonably practicable to that barrier in plain view for
ready viewing by the public a sign in legible, accessible
lettering which bears the following:
"Your Ontario Tax Dollars At Waste - This is a New Barrier
Impeding Ontarians with Disabilities, which Premier Mike Harris
Helped Finance with Your Tax Dollars."
Accountability in Government advertising
2. In any advertisement of programs or activities of the
Ontario Government, or any Ministry or agency thereof, published
in any newspaper or broadcast on any television or radio
broadcast that is paid for, directly or indirectly, in whole or
in part, by Ontario taxpayer's dollars, the following words shall
be prominently displayed in print and in the spoken word, as the
case may be, and in closed captioning:
"This advertisement is brought to you by the Ontario Government,
which has broken its promises to enact a strong and effective
Ontarians with Disabilities Act."
3. (1) This Act comes into force on the day it receives
(2) This Act shall remain in force until a strong and
effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act complying with the
unanimous resolutions of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
passed on May 16, 1996, October 29, 1998 and November 23, 1999 is
enacted and comes in force.
4. The short title of this Act is the Promise Made Promise
Broken, Act 2000.
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Last updated December 15, 2000