ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT COMMITTEE.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
Saturday, September 28, 1996.
HARRIS GOVERNMENT INACTION TO BE CONFRONTED TODAY AT MAJOR TORONTO DISABILITY ORGANIZATION MEETING.
Representatives of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee, a broad based disability coalition, are eager to learn if Ontario's Minister responsible for persons with disubilities, Marilyn Mushinski, will have anything new to say this weekend when she makes a rare public appearance in Toronto before an audience of people with disabilities. The Committee has been waiting for more than 14 months for some glimmer of real action by the government toward a hitherto ignored Harris election promise to introduce a new law to ensure a barrier- free Ontario for persons with disabilities.
During his election campaign, Mike Harris promised that he would direct new resources to removing barriers that prevent people with disabilities from full participation in education, training and the workplace, and that a Harris Government would develop and enact an Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The ODA Committee has scrutinized the government's persistent inaction since the election.
The Premier having refused consistently to meet with the Committee, persons with disabilities resorted to getting a universal resolution passed in the Legislature last spring, calling on the Government to keep the Harris election promise. Since then, there have been no practical results. The Committee is hoping that Ms. Mushinski will use the forum of the annual meeting of the Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped (ARCH) to make the announcement that an Ontarians with Disabilities Act is on the way soon. Ms. Mushinski is the guest speaker at the meeting to be held today Saturday, September 28, 1996, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the North Toronto Community Center, 200 Eglinton Ave. West. Mushinski will field questions.
"The Minister has a lot to answer for, and we will be there with plenty of questions", said ODA Committee co-chair, David Lepofsky. "The Harris Government claims to be keeping all their election promises, but those made to people with disabilities have been tossed aside. All the movement toward this bill has come from the grassroots. It's time for the Government to put its political action where its election promises are. The ARCH annual meeting seems like a natural place to start.". Representatives from the ODA Committee will be available at the meeting to provide further information.