Ontario Human rights Reform - A call to Action

Aoda Alliance Releases Draft Submission On Bill 107 For Your Feedback

July 15, 2006

SUMMARY

The AODA Alliance here makes public a proposed draft submission to the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Committee on Justice Policy regarding Bill 107. Bill 107 is the McGuinty Government’s controversial bill to weaken the Ontario Human Rights Commission. (See the attached draft submission, in MS Word)

This is just a draft. We really want your feedback on it. Once we get your feedback, the AODA Alliance board will take into account all feedback and will finalize the submission. The final product will be made public.

Send your feedback before August 11 to:
aodafeedback@rogers.com

The positions proposed in this draft are consistent with previous materials we have circulated, including our April 2006 Discussion Paper, referred to above, the AODA Alliance’s Preliminary Response to Bill 107 released on May _, 2006, and the positions presented to the Government and the public in letters to the Government and news conferences we have held this past spring. It fully takes into account all the feedback that the AODA alliance has received over the past months, and the concerns that individuals and disability organizations have raised with the Government. We thank everyone who has taken the time to give us their feedback.

We are following the practice successfully used by the AODA Alliance’s predecessor, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee. In 2001 and 2005, the ODA Committee circulated a draft, got input, and then finalized its submission to the Legislature.

Our submission uses the same format that the ODA Committee successfully used. It proved very helpful to groups presenting the to the Legislature’s Standing Committee.

We encourage you to make liberal use of this draft submission as you prepare your own submissions to the Standing Committee. Feel free to cut and paste from it as much as you want. The more people that use our materials, the better!

Here’s just a brief word on how the draft submission is laid out. In the first part, it summarizes the proposed position on Bill 107. it sets out in a few of pages what is wrong with the bill, and summarizes how it should be amended to improve the bill.

In the second part, the brief includes a very extensive analysis (about 40 pages) of the bill. It offers fully 49 proposals for amending the bill, with a thorough explanation of each.

We plan for the brief to include three appendices. The first (which is included in the attached draft) is a list of the 49 amendments that the submission proposes. If you don’t have time to read all the detailed analysis in Part II of the submission, you can just go through this shorter list of the amendments.

The appendices will also include two other documents not attached here, but which we previously circulated. They are:

We wrote this draft to be useful to people who are not fully versed in the Human Rights Code. We know that at times, the content gets a bit technical.

This draft is rather long. We wanted to provide the Legislature’s Standing Committee with all the information the MPPs need. We hope you find this document useful as you assess Bill 107.

Finally, we have tried to work together closely with other equality-seeking communities that have voiced concerns about Bill 107 that are similar to ours. We are working in harmony with these other groups, while ensuring that disability concerns are effectively presented. We are delighted that advocates from other equality-seeking groups that are similarly concerned about Bill 107 have been eager to work together with us.