Ontarians With Disabilities Act Committee

For Immediate Release


MAY 5, 1997

TORONTO: For the first time, the 17 per cent of Ontarians who have disabilities, and others concerned with social justice for people with disabilities, across Canada and around the world have immediate Internet access to Ontario's fastest growing, most vigorous disability rights advocacy group. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee has just launched its comprehensive website on the Internet at indie.ca/oda/

This broad-based disability coalition is dedicated to the passage of a new law in Ontario which will create a barrier free society for persons with disabilities by the year 2000. Premier Harris promised in writing during the 1995 Ontario election that he would pass an Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and would work together with the ODA Committee to develop it. However, since he won the election, Premier Harris has delivered nothing on this promise, and has refused in writing to even meet this province-wide coalition. The website will provide complete, detailed news and background information on the ODA Committee's fight to hold Premier Mike Harris to his election promise.

Website visitors can access the little-known but critically important Mike Harris written election pledge to Ontarians with disabilities, formal ODA Committee briefs to the Harris Government; transcripts of the debates and questions on point in the Ontario Legislature; ODA Committee news releases; and the two years of correspondence between the ODA Committee and the Harris Government which reveals the Committee's efforts and the Government's evasions. "The website is the latest tool in our campaign to force the government to put its money where its mouth is on disability rights," says ODA Committee co-chair David Lepofsky, "we trusted the Harris government to live up to its solemn election promises to us. So far we have got nothing. We feel that the website will allow us to bring out message to more people with disabilities in Ontario, increasing the pressure on the government."

The new website will serve as a helpful resource for the news media, by providing instant access to a comprehensive, up-to-date collection of the major documents and information concerning this current provincial issue.

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