ODA Committee Update
dated Oct. 9, 2003
Posted Oct. 30, 2003
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT COMMITTEE UPDATE
Premier-Designate Mcguinty Speaks By Phone With ODA Committee Chair - Another Signal That An Optimistic New Chapter Has Opened In Our Campaign For A Barrier-Free Ontario
October 10, 2003
On October 9, 2003, Premier-Designate Dalton McGuinty spoke by telephone with ODA Committee Chair David Lepofsky. In this congenial and positive conversation, the ODA Committee chair congratulated Mr. McGuinty on his election, and offered the ODA Committee's help to the new Ontario Government in developing a strong and effective new Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The ODA Committee has followed up on this phone call by sending a letter to the Premier-Designate repeating this. That letter is set out below.
This conversation has great symbolic importance. Within one week of the election, the incoming Premier has clearly distinguished himself from Premiers Harris and Eves. Both Premiers Harris and Eves refused every one of the many requests that we made to meet to discuss the ODA, during their combined eight years in office. We made over 25 written requests to Premier Harris for a chance to meet. After the Conservatives were elected in 1995, it also took us a full year to just get our first introductory meeting with the first Conservative Citizenship Minister, Marilyn Mushinski.
We hope to learn on October 23, 2003 who will be appointed to have lead responsibility within the new Liberal Government for developing the new Ontarians with Disabilities Act. That's the day when the new Cabinet will
Send us your feedback at:
ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT COMMITTEE
c/o Marg Thomas
1929 Bayview Avenue, Toronto ON M4G 3E8
Tel: (Voice direct) 416-480-7686
Voice mail: 416-480-7012
TTY: c/o Susan Main 416 964-0023 ex. 343
Web site: www.odacommittee.net
October 10, 2003
Premier-Designate Dalton McGuinty
Room 381, Legislative Building
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A4
Dear Premier-Designate McGuinty,
Re: Ontarians with Disabilities Act
On behalf of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee, I want to thank you for taking the time out of your undoubtedly hectic schedule to speak with me by phone yesterday. I welcomed the opportunity to congratulate you on your election as Premier, and to reiterate our offer to work together with you and your Government to develop a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Your openness to speak by phone so soon after last week's election further signals the opening of a new, optimistic chapter on the road to our shared goal of a barrier-free province for Ontarians with disabilities. We regret that in contrast, over the past eight years, both of your immediate predecessors refused each of our many requests to meet.
We are ready to buckle down for the hard work that lies ahead for all who have a stake in developing a strong, effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act. As I mentioned during our conversation, we will look forward to working with whichever member of your caucus to whom you assign lead responsibility for developing the new Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Whether you decide that this will fall to the Minister of Citizenship, or to a new post which would be dedicated to the development of this legislation, such as a new Associate Minister, or a Parliamentary Assistant, we will be ready to help. If you opt to appoint one of your caucus members who already has a good background on this issue, we will have the benefit of their accumulated experience. If you opt instead to appoint a caucus member who is new to this issue, we will be pleased to do whatever we can to help them learn about this issue and to make good
contact with Ontario's disability community.
Again, please accept our thanks for your taking the time to speak by phone.
David Lepofsky, C.M.
Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee
cc: The Hon. Ernie Eves 325-7578
Dwight Duncan 325-2201
Steve Peters 325-7262
Ernie Parsons 325-4757
Howard Hampton 325-8222
Nadia Temple, Director, Accessibility Directorate
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