Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update
United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities
AODA Alliance Receives a Response from Cabinet Office to Our Letter to Premier Ford – The Premier Again Refuses to Meet
November 21, 2022
The AODA Alliance got an answer to our latest letter to Premier Ford, but it’s not from Premier Ford.
On Friday, November 10, 2023, the AODA Alliance wrote Premier Doug Ford. We asked him for a meeting. We urged him to kick-start the Government ‘s sluggish implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Premier Ford is the first Ontario Premier in two decades who has never agreed to a meeting. Successive Independent Reviews of the AODA, appointed by successive Ontario Government’s have called for Ontario’s Premier to show much-needed new leadership on accessibility for people with disabilities. (See the 2015 final report of the Mayo Moran AODA Independent Review, the 2019 David Onley AODA Independent Review final report, and the 2023 interim report of the Rich Donovan AODA Independent Review)
Below, we set out the brief response that the AODA Alliance received on November 17, 2023. It is not from Premier Ford. It is from the Cabinet Office Correspondence Unit. It reads like a standard form “fill in the blanks” letter cranked out by a low-level bureaucrat.
In this letter, our request to meet with Premier Ford is refused. None of our questions or issues that we directed to Premier Ford are addressed. Our entire letter is simply referred to Accessibility Minister Raymond Cho. Yet, Minister Cho and his Minister’s Office have not responded to any of the AODA Alliance’s efforts to communicate with them for over two years.
Meanwhile, the Ford Government has still not made public the final report of the Rich Donovan AODA Independent Review, which it received on June 6, 2023. Section 41(4) of the AODA requires that that report be made public. AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky has filed a Freedom of Information application in an effort to force the Ford Government to stop keeping it secret.
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Text of the November 17, 2023 Email from the Ontario Cabinet Office to the AODA Alliance
From: Correspondence Services Unit CSU@ontario.ca
Sent: Friday, November 17, 2023 2:57 PM
To: David Lepofsky
Subject: Your email to the Premier
Thank you very much for your letter concerning the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The Premier and his office appreciate hearing your views and concerns.
Unfortunately, due to the Premier’s extremely demanding schedule, we are unable to accommodate your request to meet at this time.
As the issue you raised falls in the area of responsibility of the Honourable Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, we’ve asked Minister Cho or a member of his staff to respond to you as soon as possible.
Thank you again for contacting Premier Doug Ford.
Correspondence Services Unit
c: The Honourable Raymond Cho