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Please Support a Strong & Effective ODA


ODA Committee Update
dated April 8, 2003



April 8, 2003


With a provincial election widely expected soon, the Ontario LIBERAL PARTY has unveiled its election platform regarding the Ontarians with Disabilities Act. It includes specific commitments to enact a new, strong, effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act that fulfils the ODA Committee's 11 principles, and to introduce this legislation with the intention of passing it within one year of taking office.


The Ontario Liberal Party released its 2003 election platform on the Ontarians with Disabilities Act issue by a letter dated April 7, 2003 to the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee. This letter is set out below.

In this letter, the Liberals pledge to include in the strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act all 11 principles which the ODA Committee has formulated and which the Ontario Legislature unanimously approved on October 29, 1998, on a motion by Liberal MPP Dwight Duncan. They commit that at a minimum, their ODA will include the substance of the amendments which the Liberal Party put forward at the ODA Committee's request, when the governing Conservatives brought their ODA bill before the Ontario Legislature in the fall of 2001.

The Liberals commit to introduce their new, strong and effective ODA with the intention of passing it into law within one year of taking office. They pledge to work together with the ODA Committee to develop this legislation and to hold open, accessible hearings on their legislation.

The Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty commits that as premier, he would personally meet with representatives of the ODA Committee.

The Liberal Party promises as well to make a cost-of-living increase to the Ontario Disability Support Program. This is the Ontario social assistance program specifically for persons with disabilities.

This upcoming provincial election will be another important phase in our Barrier Busters campaign for a barrier-free Ontario. The ODA Committee (which does not seek to elect or defeat any party or candidate) commends the Liberal Party for making these commitments.

This is the second election platform addressing the ODA to be announced in this lead-up to the forthcoming provincial election. The New Democratic Party announced their platform on the ODA on March 1, 2003. It is available on the ODA Committee website at: http://www.odacommittee.net/NDP_2003.html

We will announce any commitments that are made by the Conservative party concerning the ODA. We plan to raise the ODA issue in the upcoming provincial election, to inform voters about its importance to all of us, and to encourage voters to take this issue into account in making their voting decisions.

The ODA Committee welcomes your feedback on this announcement. Email us at:



Dalton McGuinty, M.P.P.
Leader of the Official Opposition
Room 381, Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A4
(416) 325-7155
(416) 325-9895 fax

April 7, 2003

David Lepofsky
Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee
1929 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, ON M4G 3E8

Dear Mr. Lepofsky,

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Liberal Caucus to thank you once again for the work that you and your organization are doing to improve the lives of people with disabilities here in Ontario.

I would also like to share with you the Ontario Liberal Party platform for the approaching election regarding Ontarians With Disabilities.

We believe that the Harris-Eves government's Ontarians With Disabilities Act does not even begin to adequately address the needs and rights of countless Ontarians. We therefore commit

We will introduce, with the intent of passing within one year of forming government, a strong and effective Ontarians With Disabilities Act, following fully-accessible, province-wide hearings. It will incorporate all 11 principles that were adopted by the Ontario Legislature on October 29, 1998. The legislation and regulations will include timelines, standards and a mechanism for effective enforcement, and, at a minimum, will reflect the substance of amendments to the Conservative bill offered by the Liberal party in the fall of 2001.

As Premier, I will meet with ODA Committee representatives and my government will work together with the Committee to develop the new Act.

On forming government following the election, we will provide a Cost of Living increase for participants in the Ontario Disability Support Program.

I look forward to continuing to work with you to advance the interests of persons with disabilities in Ontario and I wish you the greatest possible success in that regard.

Yours truly,

Dalton McGuinty, MPP
Leader of the Official Opposition
Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party

Link to ODA Committee Press Release dd April 8, 2003
Ontario Liberal Election Promise Unveiled Today Pledges To Enact New,
Strong Ontarians With Disabilities Act



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Last updated April 13, 2003