June 7, 1999
Monday, June 7th, 1999: For Immediate Release
Ontarians With Disabilities Act Committee
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES TO HOLD
QUEEN'S PARK NEWS CONFERENCE
TO KICK OFF NEWEST ROUND IN THE
CAMPAIGN FOR A BARRIER-FREE ONTARIO
Monday, June 7, 1999: At an 11:00 AM news conference on Tuesday, June 8, 1999 in the media studio at Queen's Park, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee will kick off the latest round in its campaign for a barrier-free Ontario for 1.5 million Ontarians with Disabilities.
Following on its success in the recent Ontario election at bringing disability issues to the forefront, the ODA Committee has written to the Premier asking for an urgent meeting to begin work on keeping his 1995 written election promise to pass a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act, a promise the Premier failed to keep in his first term.
"We want to take the Premier up on his post-election offer to reach out to and cooperate with those who were left out in his first term", said Lepofsky. "What better way for the Premier to do this than to meet with us as soon as possible. After all, he pledged in writing in the 1995 election that he would personally work together with us to develop the law we were promised, and yet he refused to even meet with us throughout his entire first term."
During the 1999 election campaign, the ODA Committee mounted Ontario's first organized province-wide campaign to make disability issues count in this election. "The popular vote sends a clear message that there is support for a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act", said David Lepofsky, ODA Committee chair. "A clear majority of Ontarians voted for the Liberals and NDP who support strong access legislation. And the Harris Minister who bungled this issue in the last mandate, Isabel Bassett, went down to defeat."
At the news conference, the ODA Committee will commit itself to building on its unprecedented and effective grassroots campaign. The Committee will now step up the pressure on the Ontario Government to pass a strong and effective Disabilities Act that will make our schools, health care, and all other opportunities barrier-free.
"The Premier said during the campaign that Ontario's economy is stronger than ever, and his Minister responsible for this issue, Isabel Bassett, committed that the Harris Government would strengthen the bill they introduce, as compared to the toothless three-page bill that died on the order paper last December. This is a strong foundation on which we will build the next round in our campaign for a barrier-free Ontario", said Lepofsky.
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