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Please Support a Strong & Effective ODA


Press Release
NDP News Release
May 24, 2001

Hampton Challenges Premier:
Tee Up with an ODA



QUEEN'S PARK - On this, the sixth anniversary of Premier Mike
Harris' broken promise to bring in an Ontarians with Disabilities
Act (ODA), NDP Leader Howard Hampton challenges Premier Mike Harris
to finally right that wrong.

"We're asking the Premier to come off the golf course long enough
to table an effective ODA that will force businesses and public
organizations to tear down barriers to people with disabilities,"
said Hampton. "He made the promise, it's time he accounted for it."

Without an effective ODA in place, barriers to disabled people will
continue to exist in Ontario.

"Without strong legislation in place, we can expect the status quo.
And the status quo simply isn't good enough for the people of

Hampton praised the Ontario Human Rights Commissioner for actively
seeking voluntary accessibility improvements in major restaurants.
But he says such standards need to be mandated. Premier Harris
promised on May 24, 1995 to develop legislation for an ODA, but
people living with disabilities have been waiting six long years
and still see no action.

"There is an all-party resolution to pass an ODA into law by
November 23, 2001 -- so we need to act fast," Hampton said. "The
sooner the Premier gets that legislation on the table, the closer
he comes to keeping his promise."

Hampton sent Harris symbolic copies of a resolution spelling out
support for an ODA in Braille in both official languages.


Media contact:
Sheila White (416) 325-2503,
Gil Hardy at (416) 325-7118 or
Daniel Bonin (416) 325-7324



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Last updated May 24, 2001 2:45 pm