LIBERAL PARTY PRESS RELEASE
February 01, 2000
Tuesday, February 01, 2000: For Immediate Release
Minister Ignoring Disabled: Liberals to Act
McGuinty and Peters Launch Consultation on Disability Barriers
Tuesday, February 01, 2000: Queen's Park - Liberal Critic for Persons with Disabilities Steve Peters announced last evening that he will undertake an extensive fact finding mission across Ontario to help develop the framework for an Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
"Mike Harris promised that he would enact a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act within his first term in office," says Peters. "That was five years, three ministers and two elections ago. I haven't seen any indication from this government that they take this issue seriously."
"The Minister of Citizenship has failed to take any real or meaningful steps toward developing a strong and effective law to remove the barriers persons with disabilities encounter," says Peters and Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty. "We are launching this consultation to correct that error by the government and provide people an honest chance to talk to MPP's about the problems they face."
Former Minister Bassett undertook a deeply flawed, invitation only consultation in the summer of 1998. As a result of the government's closed policy, activists for persons with disabilities were forced to use the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to the consultation's findings.
Since the election, Minister Helen Johns has been undertaking closed-door informal meetings with some disability groups, despite promising to produce a strong and effective ODA within two years. Under questioning from Peters, the Minister revealed that there are currently no government plans for a formal consultation.
"Even on our limited budget, we are going to more cities than Minister Bassett did during her failed consultation," says Peters.
Contact: Steve Peters, M.P.P.
Or Suzanne Van Bommel
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