March 12, 1999
Sarnia Lambton ODA Committee's Meeting with
Isabel Bassett, Minister of Citizenship, Culture, and Recreation
Delegation of the Sarnia ODA Committee &
the Honourable Isabel Bassett
How the Meeting with the Citizenship Minister Came to Be:
Mr. David Boushy MPP had unexpectedly attended a recent meeting of the Sarnia Regional ODA Committee. During the course of discussions, he asked us if we would be interested, should he ne able to arrange it, to attend a meeting with the Minister. The Sarnia ODA Committee accepted.
MPP, David Boushy advised the Sarnia ODA of the caucus schedule, and wanted to know if they would be prepared with as little as an hour's notice to meet with the Minister. The Sarnia ODA Committee readily agreed.
Gord Dingle was nominated to be the spokesperson for the delegation. They established a list of who would be available for the delegation. Later, they indeed received a call from Mr. Boushy, informing them that the Minister was prepared to meet with the local committee on Friday March 12th, at 9am.
The Sarnia ODA Committee was greeted in the lobby of the Holiday Inn. David Boushy introduced the delagation to the Minister and indicated the Minister would not have a lot of time. The delagation was asked if meeting in the lobby was acceptable, to which they responded "No" that it would not be suitable, as two of the delegation members had hearing impairments.
Consequently, the delagation, along with the Minister, were lead to a more private area. David Boushy took his leave indicating he would return in about 20 minutes. The Sarnia ODA delagation were pleased that when he did so, the Minister chose to deflect his signals, and continued her discussions with the group.
During these discussions, the Minister, reiterated the government position; although acknowledging that in view of the feedback they were hearing that, perhaps certain aspects of Bill 83 needed to be re-assessed. As a group the delagation remained steadfast as proponents of the ODA Committee position.
As lead spokesperson, Gord Dingle highlighted these sentiments, but each member of the group prior to the meeting had been encouraged to interject, contribute, and expand on any points that were being presented. Gord Dingle had the following to say of the meeting:"It was in many respects a worthwhile experience; if nothing else reaffirming that this is indeed a province wide movement, and should not be taken lightly.
Naturally, we were not likely to alter the government position, but we feel our accomplishment was that, we did secure (and this was later confirmed by the Minister directly to the local media) a committment from the Minister to support province wide, fully accessible, and open public hearings on the Bill if and when it is re-introduced in the Legislature.
In fact, the Minister had spent 45 minutes with us, and in the end, we felt that while we had presented a regional front of the ODA, we had also conveyed to her that these issues were deeply rooted within us, as Ontarians with Disabilities, as individuals faces, so to speak."
| Index Page | Action Kit |