ODA Action Tip
April 2, 2001
Get Started Now Raising The ODA Issue In The
Forthcoming Provincial By-Election In
Vaughan King Aurora
A provincial by-election is expected to be called in the York
Region riding of Vaughan King Aurora, just north of Toronto. This
will be to fill the vacancy created by the untimely death of MPP
Al Paladini. It could be called any time now, or not for several
weeks. We expect a lot of media attention on this by-election.
No party has yet selected their candidate for this by-election.
All we know so far is that Former Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara has
announced his intention to seek the Liberal nomination.
The ODA Committee wants to make the Ontarians with Disabilities
Act a prominent issue in this by-election. The ODA Committee's
Hamilton Region and Parry Sound region each did an excellent job
of raising the ODA in the last two by-elections in the Hamilton
and Parry Sound areas. Let's get started right now to repeat
those successes here.
As a non-partisan coalition, we do not seek to elect any
particular person. As we did in the 1999 provincial election and
the two subsequent by-elections, we have three goals here:
(1) to get clear commitments from as many candidates as possible
to support a strong ODA;
(2) to let the public know about the records of the three parties
on the ODA issue; and
(3) to encourage voters to make the ODA issue a major factor in
their decision when they vote in this by-election.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
Here are ideas on what you can do to help. Even though the by-
election has not yet been called, and even though we do not know
when it will be called, the sooner we all get started on this,
the more impact we will have. These ideas focus largely on people
who live in or near this riding. If you live outside this riding,
you can also help a great deal by getting our message out to
people you know who live in the riding, and/or by visiting the
You are encouraged to bring to the attention of voters the need
for a strong and effective ODA, and the record of the three
parties on this issue.
The Conservatives promised to enact the ODA in their first term,
but have never kept that promise, even though they are well into
their second term. The Liberals and NDP both have actively
supported a strong and effective ODA, and have repeatedly pressed
the Harris Government to keep its broken promises to us.
REACHING THE PUBLIC STARTING NOW AND DURING
THE BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGN ITSELF
Here are steps you can take right now and throughout the campaign
to reach the public with our message. You do not need to wait for
the by-election to be called, or until all three parties have
nominated their candidates:
* contact Ivy Henriksen, one of our ODA Committee regional
contacts in York Region, who will be working on coordinating our
by-election efforts there. Offer your help. Your help will be
welcome either if you live in the riding, or if you are somewhere
nearby, especially if you might be able to get to the riding on
occasion. You can reach Ivy Henriksen at: 1-800-290-8939 ext. 9
or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
* download, print up and widely distribute our new ODA by-
election fact sheet. This pamphlet can be printed on both sides
of one page. Organize people to hand these out in public places,
or leave them where public information is generally distributed.
If you print it on two sheets, you can also post it on general
bulletin boards. If you get it in an electronic format, you can
email it widely to people in the Vaughan King Aurora riding. You
can get this by-election fact sheet from:
or by sending us an email request at email@example.com
We also have a longer, more detailed general factsheet on the
ODA, which is not tied to the by-election itself, at:
* publicize the ODA issue in your local media. Inform reporters
about this by-election issue. Write guest columns and letters to
the editor. Phone in to radio call-in shows. Call or visit your
local news media and urge that they give this issue real profile
now and during the campaign.
* talk to people in the riding about this issue. Let other voters
know how important this issue is to you, and encourage them to
take it into account when deciding how to vote. You can do this
at public meetings or even one-on-one by word of mouth.
* find out when all-candidates debates are. Attend them, and
raise the ODA issue with the candidates. Let us know when and
where these debates will occur so we can pass the word on to
others. Urge that these all-candidates' debates be held in
accessible locations. Consider organizing your own all-
candidates' debate on disability issues.
* insist that this by-election be fully barrier-free.
* visit our web site http://www.odacommittee.net. There you will
find more ideas for election action, posted during the 1999
* circulate this action tip on the internet, and print it up to
distribute to others in hard-copy form.
* if you are part of a province-wide community organization,
notify your offices in or near the Vaughan King Aurora riding.
Urge them to distribute this action tip and our by-election
factsheet. Any help with making copies of this action tip and the
by-election factsheet is especially appreciated. Also, ask them
generally to do what they can to get the word out on the ODA
issue. Encourage them to do whatever they can to help ensure that
all voters with disabilities will be able to get to the polling
booths and to vote without facing barriers.
ADDITIONAL ACTION TIPS BEFORE EACH PARTY
NOMINATES ITS CANDIDATE
None of the three parties has yet selected its candidate for this
by-election. You can quickly get the ODA raised during the
nomination process, by:
* contacting candidates for nomination by each party. Encourage
them to endorse enactment of a strong, mandatory ODA by November
23, 2001. The ODA should comply with the 11 principles we have
put forward, and which the Legislature unanimously approved by
resolution on October 29, 1998. Inform them of the Government's
record on this issue to date.
* letting the media know the positions on the ODA issue of each
candidate for nomination.
* getting involved in the nominations process. Attend a party's
candidate nomination meetings or any debates among those seeking
nomination, and publicly ask them about their position on the
ODA. Let the public attending those meetings know about the ODA
issue and why this is important to voters. It will be especially
interesting to see what position is put forward by those seeking
the Conservative Party's nomination. Will they defend the Harris
Government's record on the ODA, or will they seek a mandate to go
to Queen's Park to urge the Harris Government to be more
supportive of a strong, mandatory ODA?
Let us know what steps you can take by contacting Ivy Henriksen
at the above address, and also by updating us at:
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Last updated April 3, 2001