ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT COMMITTEE
United To Achieve A Barrier-Free Ontario
For People With Disabilities
February 21, 2000
LIBERAL PARTY LAUNCHES ITS OWN
PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE ODA
The Ontario Liberal Party has announced that in March, it will conduct its own open and public ODA consultation across Ontario. They will ask what should be included in a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Liberal Disability critic Steve Peters, MPP, has announced an ambitious tour of 15 cities across Ontario, with a public forum to be held in each. A list of the dates,times and locations of these events is at the end of this newsletter. This is an important new milestone on the road to a strong Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED AND HELP?
As a non-partisan coalition, the ODA Committee encourages one and all to take part in the Steve Peters ODA consultation, just as we encouraged everyone to take part in the Harris Government's consultation in 1998.
If you have questions about the Liberal Party's public consultation, please contact Steve Peters or his staff at steve_peters-MPP@ontla.ola.org or (416) 325-7250 or write to him at Roon 331, Main Legislative Building. Queen's Park Toronto, ON M7A 1A4
If you want to make your submission to the Steve Peters' Consultations by telephone, you can record it on voice mail. In Toronto, call 416-325-5245.
If you are outside Toronto, call Toll Free 1-877-464-1440.
If you want to make your submission to the Steven Peters consultations via TTY, in Toronto call 416-325-5244.
If you are outside Toronto, call Toll Free 1-463-9509.
Leave personal contact information if you wish; however; these numbers are there to record your submission only.
We also encourage you to do what you can to publicize the consultations in your local community. Get as many people to attend and participate as possible. Here are some ideas of what you can do:
These Barrier Walls can be displayed in public places and at events, to help educate the public about the many barriers faced by people with disabilities. Your "barrier wall" can be shown to Steve Peters when he comes to your community, and can be expanded afterwards. It should not be torn down until a strong ODA is enacted.
You could write about, take pictures of, create a collage of, draw, paint, colour, clip a newspaper article about, or do anything else to get an example of a real life barrier that you, your family member, or friends with disabilities face. It's not necessary to include the name or exact location of the barrier.
Contact your nearest ODA Committee Regional Contacts and see if they have plans to build a Barrier Wall in your community. If your community doesn't yet have a plan to create a barrier wall, we encourage you to get in touch with your nearest ODA Committee's regional contacts and offer to help get one started!
If your community decides to create a barrier wall, please get in touch with us via the names listed below. If you are in the Toronto area, or there is not yet any activity in your part of the province to create a local Barrier Wall, please send your submissions for the Toronto Barrier Wall by March 17, 2000 if possible to:
Ms. Andy Snider br> 350 Rumsey Rd.
Toronto, ON M4G 1R8
or by e-mail to: Susan Fearnley firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Toronto Barrier Wall project, you can call Andy Snider at (416)424-3855 extension 3472#.
WHAT DOES THE STEVE PETERS'
ODA CONSULTATION WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU ABOUT?
Here are the four questions that the Steve Peters public ODA consultation will be asking:
WHERE DID THIS NEW ROUND OF ODA CONSULTATIONS COME FROM?
MPP Steve Peters has announced that he is holding his ODA public consultation forums after it became clear that the Ontario Government has no plans to do it. In the 1999 election, the Harris Government promised to hold a new round of consultations with the public and then to introduce a new, stronger bill, after its widely-condemned 3-page Bill 83 died. In September 1999, the new Citizenship Minister Helen Johns asked the ODA Committee for advice on how the Government should conduct the promised new round of consultations. We suggested to her that an all-party "Select Committee" of the Ontario Legislature hold accessible public hearings across Ontario this spring. Both the Liberal and NDP Parties agreed with this idea. The Harris Government never responded to it.
In January 2000, Liberal Disability Critic Steve Peters met with the Citizenship Minister Helen Johns to press her to start holding the promised public consultations. We were shocked to learn from Mr. Peters that Minister Johns said that her "consultations" are already underway. She is holding private, invitation-only meetings with selected groups. She will not tell us who she is meeting with, or what is being discussed. The ODA Committee has said that this is just more of the kind of back- room, closed process that the previous Minister Isabel Bassett held in 1998. That flawwed consultation process resulted in the disasterous Bill 83, which the Government now admits was a failure.
Because of these developments, the Liberal Party has decided to take the first step, and to hold its own public consultation. MPP Steve Peters has said that he wants to hear from as many people as possible. He will make public his findings and the report he makes to the Government.
If you want to see the full correspondence about these events, visit our web site at www.odacommittee.net/letters.html
ONTARIO LEGISLATURE FIXES DEADLINE FOR ENACTMENT OF THE ODA
On November 23, 1999, the Ontario Legislature unanimously passed its third resolution about the ODA. This resolution was sponsored by Liberal Disability critic Steve Peters. It says that an Ontarians with Disabilities Act "which is strong and effective" must be enacted no later than two years from November 1999, by November 23, 2001.
We appreciate the Liberal Party using one of its two scarce "Opposition Days" in the Legislature for the ODA. We also appreciate the votes of all parties to pass this resolution. ODA Committee supporters from many parts of Ontario converged on Queens Park for the November 23 debate. Our victory was due to the support of our members in their local communities right across Ontario.
After the resolution passed, citizenship Minister Helen Johns publicly committed her Government to comply with this resolution. This was an important step for two reasons. First, no citizenship minister had supported either of the two previous resolutions on the ODA. Second, support of this resolution puts to an end the Government's previous waffling on whether they had a commitment to enact the Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The Citizenship Minister had been suggesting in the Legislature in the fall of 1999 that because the Government had proposed Bill 83 a year before, they had no further obligation to pass the Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
KEEP US UP TO DATE WITH YOUR ADDRESS
If you change your address, please notify Marg Thomas email email@example.com If you want to receive regular updates about the ODA via E mail, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
WHEN AND WHERE ARE THE STEVE PETERS ODA PUBLIC FORUMS?
Schedule of Tour Dates
Monday March 6 2000 7:00 - 9:00 pm
DisAbled Adult & Youth Centre
239 Main Street East
Tuesday March 7 2000 2:00 - 4:00 pm
J.T. Koski Conference Centre
1400 Barrydowne Rd. (Main Campus Cambrian College)
Wednesday March 8 2000 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Watertower Inn-East Centre Hall Room
360 Great Northern Rd.
Thursday March 9 2000 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Airlane-Travelodge - Barcelona Room
698 West Arthur Street
Monday March 13 2000 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Stroke Recovery Association
80 Bradford Street
Tuesday March 14 2000 7:00 - 9:00 pm
2399 Folkway Drive
Wednesday March 15 2000 10:30 - 12:30 pm
124 Bunting Rd.
2 ASL Interpreters booked
Wednesday March 15 2000 7:00 - 9:00pm
Hamilton Central Library Room 215-
55 York Blvd.
Thursday March 16 2000 2:00 - 4:30 pm
City of Ottawa
Monday March 20 2000 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Windsor Public Library (Central Branch)
850 Ouellette Ave.
Tuesday March 21 2000 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Harpo's Banquet Halls (Formerly the Steelworkers Centre)
89 Dawson Road
Wednesday March 22 2000 2:30 - 4:30 pm
Kingston Independent Living Resource Centre
869 Princess St.
Thursday March 23 2000 2:00 - 4:30 pm
347 Burnham Street
Friday March 24 2000 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Mount Hope Long Term Care Facility
21 Grosvenor Street
519- 646-6100 x 64209
Monday March 27 2000 4:30 - 7:30 pm
Queen's Park - Amethyst Room
Main Legislative Bldg.
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