Democratic Accountability for Protecting Human Rights in Ontario
In a democracy it is important that every elected politician be made accountable for how they vote on important issues.
In the fall of 2006, the McGuinty Government passed Bill 107. The Conservatives and NDP voted against it.
Bill 107 was widely criticized by many, including by the AODA Alliance and many others from Ontario’s disability community. It takes away the right of discrimination victims to a public investigation of their human rights complaints by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. It also Takes away the right of discrimination victims to have the Human Rights Commission publicly prosecute individual discrimination complaints where there’s enough proof.
Click to see which MPPs voted for or against Bill 107 at Third Reading, the final vote in the Legislature where Bill 107 was passed.
When the McGuinty Government first announced its plans to bring forward Bill 107 in early 2006, many, including the AODA Alliance, called on the Ontario Government to hold a public consultation before bringing forward a bill to reform Ontario’s under-funded, back-logged human rights enforcement system. We hadn’t been consulted before the Government announced its plans. The McGuinty Government refused. It said that instead, the Legislature would hold public hearings on the bill.
Later a commitment was made by the McGuinty Government that everyone who wanted to appear before those public hearings would get an opportunity. When the public hearings began, the McGuinty Government found that a large proportion of presenters were opposed to Bill 107. Click here to read more about this.
In the face of this wide opposition to Bill 107, the McGuinty Government then brought forward a “closure motion” to shut down the public hearings which had been promised, advertised and scheduled. Some 200 presenters were denied the promised public hearing before the Legislature, including the AODA Alliance. the Liberals voted in favour of the closure motion. The NDP and Conservatives voted against it.
Click here to see how each member of the Ontario Legislature voted on the November 21, 2006 “closure” motion to shut down the Legislature’s public hearings on the McGuinty Government’s Bill 107.
The McGuinty Government’s closure motion was widely condemned, including by the Ontario Human Rights Commission and a Toronto Star editorial.
Click here to read a media report that describes the Human Rights Commission’s opposition to the closure motion.
Click here to read the Toronto Star editorial.
This closure motion was an even bigger flip-flop for the McGuinty Government. Five years earlier to the day, the McGuinty Liberals, then in opposition, roundly slammed the former Harris Government for using a closure motion on debates over the proposed Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001.
Click here to read more about that flip-flop:
To learn more about the history of the controversial Bill 107, and the wide community opposition to it, visit: