Image of black text with drop shadow that reads: Ontarians With Disabilities Act Committee


Ontario Association of the Deaf (OAD)

December 14, 1998

Premier Harris has SCROOGED Bill 83 -
Ontarians with Disabilities Act

Monday, December 14, 1998:   For Immediate Release

On December 15th, 1998 at 7 p.m. at the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf on 2395 Bayview St. The Ontario Association of the Deaf (OAD) is hosting the Emergency Community Forum to demand that the Harris Government withdraw and replace Bill 83 with a strong, effective and enforceable Ontarians with Disabilities Act now.

"This proposed legislation clearly violates the Supreme Court of Canada's landmark ruling in the Eldridge vs British Columbia case" says Chris Kenopic, President, Ontario Association of the Deaf. "Bill 83 is useless and an insult to our Deaf consumers."

David Lepofsky, co-chair of the ODA Committee and Gary Malkowski, former MPP York East are invited to speak at the Community Forum.

On November 23, 1998, Minister of Citizenship, Isabel Bassett introduced Bill 83, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act into the legislature, claiming that this Bill represents the fulfilment of Premier Harris 1995 election promise to introduce an ODA within his first term of office.

During a month long, province-wide consultation period in the late summer, people with disabilities and organizations that serve them repeatedly told the government that for an ODA to be effective it must contain mandatory, enforceable measures. They argued that voluntary measures have been proven to be ineffective time and time again.

"I cannot believe this government has the nerve to present this 2-1/2 page document and call it a "milestone". At best, it is just a "stone" that will ensure that no progress is made on achieving our goal of a barrier-free society," says Mr. Kenopic.

The Ontario Association of the Deaf joins the ODA Committee, a voluntary coalition of individuals and organizations concerned with the rights of people with disabilities in asking Premier Harris to withdraw Bill 83 and replace it with a strong and meaningful ODA.

For more information, contact Chris Kenopic at:
(416) 513-1893 TTY
(416) 413-822 Fax

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