August 30, 2016
Our tenacity has paid off…again! We now have received answers from the candidates of all three major parties running in the September 1, 2016 Scarborough-Rouge River Ontario by-election. We set them all out below.
In our August 20, 2016 letter to the candidates, we asked for responses to these questions by August 26, 2016:
1. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires the Ontario Government to become fully accessible to people with disabilities by 2025. Do you support that law, and its goal of full accessibility by 2025, and will you oppose any efforts to weaken it or measures under it?
2. Will you support the call by people with disabilities for the Ontario Government to develop an Education Accessibility Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, to make Ontario’s education system fully accessible to students, parents, and education staff with disabilities, including the 334,000 students with special education needs in Ontario-funded schools?
3. Will you support the call by people with disabilities for the Government to act now to keep its promise to effectively enforce the Disabilities Act, and to reveal its plans for enforcing this important law?
4. Will you support the call by people with disabilities for the Government to now implement effective action to ensure that public money is never used to create new barriers against people with disabilities, or to perpetuate existing barriers?
5. Will you promise not to attend any all-candidates debates unless they are in an accessible location for voters with disabilities to attend and take part?
6. Have you ensured that your campaign office has full disability accessibility?
We asked the candidates to respond by August 26, 2016, since the September 1, 2016 voting day is fast approaching. Only the NDP candidate, Neethan Shan, answered by that deadline. After we made the NDP commitment public on August 28,2016, the Conservative candidate Raymond Cho sent us his response. After we made his response public on August 29, 2016, we today received the Liberal candidate’s response. The entire sequence of events is documented on the AODA Alliance’s website.
The voters in the Scarborough-Rouge River riding can assess the differences between the candidates’ responses and commitments, set out below. As always, our efforts are non-partisan. We neither support nor oppose any party or candidate.
We have sent you more AODA Alliance Updates this week than usual. This is because it is important for us to make this time-sensitive information available to our supporters and the public in a prompt fashion.
You can always send your feedback to us on any AODA and accessibility issue at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you taken part in our “Picture Our Barriers campaign? If not, please join in! You can get all the information you need about our “Picture Our Barriers” campaign.
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We encourage you to use the Government’s toll-free number for reporting AODA violations. We fought long and hard to get the Government to promise this, and later to deliver on that promise. If you encounter any accessibility problems at any large retail establishments, it will be especially important to report them to the Government via that toll-free number. Call 1-866-515-2025.
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Please also join the campaign for a strong and effective Canadians with Disabilities Act, spearheaded by Barrier-Free Canada. The AODA Alliance is proud to be the Ontario affiliate of Barrier-Free Canada. Sign up for Barrier-Free Canada updates by emailing info@BarrierFreeCanada.org