ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE UPDATE

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United for a Barrier-Free Ontario

AODA Alliance Writes Premier Kathleen Wynne to Highlight Major Disability Accessibility Priorities

September 24, 2014

Summary

As the Wynne Government sets its priorities for its new term in office, we have now written ten cabinet ministers with key areas of responsibilities to identify major disability accessibility priorities for their ministries. We also capped off this effort, by writing Premier Kathleen Wynne on September 19, 2014. We set out that letter below.

In our letter to the Premier, we set out priority actions that Ontarians with disabilities need the Premier to take. We asked the Premier to:

  1. issue a written direction to the Secretary of the Cabinet, and to all cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and associate deputy ministers, that all your Government's accessibility commitments since taking office in 2003 are official Government policy and are to be fulfilled.
  2. designate which Minister and Ministry has responsibility for each Government commitment on accessibility.
  3. direct the Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Minister to immediately make public, implement and publicly report on the results of a comprehensive plan to effectively enforce all AODA obligations in connection with all obligated organizations.
  4. direct the Government's other ministries with inspectors, auditors and other enforcement officials under other legislation, to cooperate with a plan, to be implemented now,  to cross-designate those inspectors, investigators and other enforcement officials to also serve as AODA directors and inspectors.
  5. direct the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure to immediately direct the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council (ASAC) to develop proposals for new AODA accessibility standards to address barriers in education, in health care, and in residential housing.
  6. direct the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure to develop all other AODA accessibility standards, needed to ensure that Ontario reaches full accessibility by 2025, and to announce an action plan and timetable to ensure that this is achieved during this term of the Government.
  7. direct the cabinet to develop, implement, enforce and widely publicize effective across-the-board policies and practices to ensure that the public’s money is never used to finance barriers against persons with disabilities, especially in the areas of infrastructure, procurement, research, innovation or other business grant or loan spending. This effort should be led by the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, the Minister of Research and Innovation, and the Treasury Board President. The secretary of the Cabinet should be directed to devise an action plan to ensure that this is embedded across the Ontario Public Service.
  8. direct the Minister responsible for the Pan/ParaPan American Games, working together with the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, to immediately implement and widely publicize a strong plan for an enduring legacy of substantially improved disability accessibility, for the 2015 Toronto Pan/ParaPan American Games. This should include, among other things, strategies to substantially improve the range of accessible tourism and hospitality services, to educate school children on accessible sports, and to substantially increase accessible athletics and sport opportunities for persons with disabilities of all ages.
  9. designate one cabinet minister, apart from the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, to be responsible for keeping all your Government's accessibility commitments and fulfilling all its accessibility obligations (apart from the Government's duty to develop and enforce AODA accessibility standards).
  10. direct the Secretary of the Cabinet to implement effective strategies to ensure the Ontario Public Service becomes a fully accessible employer and service provider, and to ensure that disability accessibility is embedded in all vital Government decisions.
  11. create a full time deputy minister or associate deputy minister position, with lead responsibility for ensuring that the Ontario Public Service becomes a fully accessible workplace and service provider.
  12. direct the Secretary of the Cabinet to require each Ministry’s Accessibility Lead be made a full time position, reporting to the deputy minister of that Ministry, with needed accessibility expertise.
  13. direct the Attorney General and Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister to prepare and introduce an omnibus bill to address barriers impeding voters and candidates with disabilities in provincial and municipal elections, after designating one of those ministers with responsibility to lead this project.
  14. Direct the Attorney General and the Government and Consumer Services Minister, who are jointly responsible for this review, to dramatically speed up the promised review of all Ontario statutes and regulations, to make public a work plan for completing this entire review by the end of 2015, and to bring forward an omnibus bill to the Legislature at the beginning of 2015 to address barriers found in any laws reviewed to that point.

We have now set the table. It is time for the Government to come to it, and work together with us. For this, we need the help of everyone across Ontario who supports our call for a barrier-free Ontario for all persons with disabilities.

A good number of the members of the Ontario Legislature, and indeed several cabinet ministers to whom we have written, were elected after our long ten year battle to win the enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. That campaign ran from November 1994 to May 2005. We need as many people as possible to visit their local MPP, and urge them to get the Government to act on the priorities that we have listed for the Premier and the cabinet. Let us know what you can do to help with this grassroots effort.

Here is how to find our other letters to the Government that we earlier made public:

To read the AODA Alliance's August 14, 2014 letter to Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Brad Duguid.

To read the AODA Alliance's August 28, 2014 letter to the 2015 Toronto Pan/ParaPan American Games Minister Michael Coteau.

To read the AODA Alliance's September 12, letter to the Government and Consumer Services Minister David Orazietti.

To read the AODA Alliance's September 16, 2014 letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Ted McMeekin.

To read the AODA Alliance's September 16, 2014 letter to International Trade Minister Michael Chan.

To read the AODA Alliance's September 16, 2014 letter to Ontario Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur.

To read the AODA Alliance's September 16, 2014 letter to Treasury Board President Deb Matthews.

To read the AODA Alliance's September 16, 2014 letter to the Minister of Education Liz Sandals.

To read the AODA Alliance's September 16, 2014 letter to the Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Reza Moridi (who is also responsible for Training and Innovation).

To read the AODA Alliance's September 16, 2014 letter to the Minister of Health Eric Hoskins.

Let's check in with the accessibility clock. A worrisome 310 days have now passed since we revealed that the Ontario Government was not enforcing the AODA, and that there have been rampant AODA violations in the private sector. The Government still has not made public its promised plan for the AODA's effective enforcement. Two hundred and sixteen days have passed since the Toronto Star reported on February 20, 2014 that the Government would be publicly posting that new enforcement plan "in short order."

To read our November 18, 2013 revelation that the Government was failing to effectively enforce the Disabilities Act despite knowing of rampant private sector violations, and funds on hand for enforcement.

To read the Government's February 20, 2014 pledge to publish in "short order" its plan for enforcing the Disabilities Act.

As well, 392 days have passed since the Government unveiled its plans for the legacy of the 2015 Toronto Pan/ParaPan American Games. Yet it has still not released details and specifics of a comprehensive disability accessibility legacy for the Games. Only 289 days remain until the 2015 Games begin. Time is running out!

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MORE DETAILS

Text of the AODA Alliance's September 19, 2014 Letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne

ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE
1929 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4G 3E8
Email: aodafeedback@gmail.com
Visit: www.aodalliance.org

September 19, 2014

Via email: Premier@ontario.ca
 
Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier
Room 281, Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A1

Dear Premier,

RE: Government Action Needed to Ensure Ontario Becomes Fully Accessible to All People with Disabilities by 2025

Please accept our congratulations on your new term as Ontario’s Premier. We look forward to working with you and your Government on keeping your pledge to ensure that Ontario is on schedule for becoming fully-accessible to all Ontarians with disabilities by 2025, as well as your promise to honour all prior Liberal Government disability accessibility commitments.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), which your Government proudly enacted in 2005, requires your Government to lead Ontario to become fully accessible for all persons with disabilities no later than 2025. Ontario now clearly lags behind schedule for reaching full accessibility by 2025. We need strong, renewed Government leadership to substantially speed up overdue action.

To learn how and why Ontario is so clearly behind schedule for full accessibility by 2025, and how to fix this, It is important for you to have your Government's ministries carefully examine our 368-page brief to the current Independent Review of the AODA which your Government appointed University of Toronto's Dean Mayo Moran to conduct. Our June 30, 2014 brief to the Mayo Moran AODA Independent Review is at http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/06302014-Final-Brief-Mayo-Moran-AODA.doc  
 
A decade ago, your Government showed it can take prompt, effective action on disability accessibility. After taking power in 2003, your government promptly undertook a thorough consultation on what to include in the promised disabilities act. Within one year, it introduced a promising bill into the Legislature. Your Government then held unprecedented televised public hearings on the AODA bill around Ontario. It strengthened the bill with amendments on the disability community's request.

Between 2005 and 2011, there was some helpful progress. Your Government enacted limited AODA accessibility standards, principally to address the prevention of some new disability barriers in customer service, employment, information and communication, transportation, and in public spaces. The Government developed helpful (albeit poorly publicized) guides to assist obligated organizations to comply.

Some helpful policies on accessibility were adopted within the Ontario Public Service. Unfortunately, these are neither monitored nor enforced, and are not followed consistently across the Government. Your Government’s 2011 Ten-Year Infrastructure Plan included some unenforced and unmonitored accessibility provisions for the built environment.

Since mid 2011, progress has ground down to an agonizing, slow crawl. Your Government has been mired in a self-imposed bureaucratic paralysis on disability accessibility.

Just a little over ten years remain of the twenty years which the AODA gave for Ontario to become fully accessible. Yet Ontario isn't even close to being halfway along the road to full accessibility. Too many of your Government's 2007, 2011, and 2014 election pledges to strengthen the AODA's implementation, as well as commitments during your Government's terms in office remain unkept. Even new promises in the 2014 election have led to no visible action. 

Premier, you are in the pivotal position to kick-start action, and re-energize your Government's work on this issue. Ontario’s budget situation doesn’t justify any further delay in keeping your promises. Keeping them requires no major new funding. You now have a firm majority government. Moreover, neither opposition party has voiced any opposition to the Government keeping those promises.

We need strong, decisive leadership from the Premier's desk. This letter explains what Ontarians need their Premier to do, to break this multi-year log-jam.

To assist you, we recently wrote key Ontario cabinet ministers to list specific actions for them to take to get Ontario back on schedule for full accessibility by 2025. This includes the Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Minister, the Government and Consumer Services Minister, The Education Minister, the Training, Colleges and University Minister (who is also the Minister of Research and Innovation), the International Trade Minister, the Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister, the Pan/ParaPan American Games Minister, the Attorney General and the Treasury Board President. You received copies of those letters.   

I. Explicitly Mandate the Secretary of the Cabinet and All cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Associate Deputy Ministers to Keep All of Your Government's Accessibility Commitments

From years of dealing with the Government at all levels, it is evident that the Premier's Office has not clearly directed its senior officials to keep all your Government's accessibility pledges. From the Ontario Public Service, we have been told that a political party's pledges are not government policy until and unless a Premier's proper direction comes down to the Ontario Public Service. We are heartened that in the 2014 election, you pledged to do this. Your May 14, 2014 letter to us, setting out your Government's accessibility pledges, states:

"If we win the honour of re-election, our government will continue to implement our accessibility obligations and commitments.  This includes directing Cabinet Ministers and senior public officials to implement accessibility obligations and commitments."
 
Your May 14, 2014 letter to the AODA Alliance is available at http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/06132014.asp

We ask you to:

1. issue a written direction to the Secretary of the Cabinet, and to all cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and associate deputy ministers, that all your Government's accessibility commitments since taking office in 2003 are official Government policy and are to be fulfilled.

2. designate which Minister and Ministry has responsibility for each Government commitment on accessibility.

We hope you find that our letters to ten ministers, listed earlier in this letter, and our June 30, 2014 brief to the Mayo Moran AODA Independent Review, are helpful in implementing this recommendation.

II. Fully and Effectively Enforce all Enforceable AODA Accessibility Requirements

Since 2003, your Government has repeatedly pledged to effectively enforce the AODA. Yet last November, we revealed that your Government was not doing so. This was so even though your Government knew of rampant violations of the AODA in the private sector, even though your government had unused budget on hand that could be used for enforcement, even though you have ample legislated enforcement powers, and even though your Government had on hand since 2012 an AODA enforcement plan that the Public Service designed.

Seven months ago, your Government committed that it would make public an enforcement plan "in short order." In your May 14, 2014 letter setting out your 2014 accessibility election promises, you said that this plan's release had to await the end of the election, after which it would be released "promptly." That election ended over three months ago. Yet no enforcement plan has been made public.

We ask you to:

3. direct the Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Minister to immediately make public, implement and publicly report on the results of a comprehensive plan to effectively enforce all AODA obligations in connection with all obligated organizations.

4. direct your Government's other ministries with inspectors, auditors and other enforcement officials under other legislation, to cooperate with a plan, to be implemented now,  to cross-designate those inspectors, investigators and other enforcement officials to also serve as AODA directors and inspectors.

III. Fulfill the Government's Legal Duty to Enact All the Accessibility Standards under the AODA Needed to Ensure that Ontario Becomes Fully Accessible by 2025

A key Government duty under the AODA is to develop and enact all the AODA accessibility standards needed to ensure that Ontario becomes fully accessible by 2025.

Section 7 of the AODA provides:

"7. The Minister is responsible for establishing and overseeing a process to develop and implement all accessibility standards necessary to achieving the purposes of this Act."

The AODA accessibility standards enacted to date will not ensure that Ontario becomes fully accessible by 2025. Ontario needs new accessibility standards to supplement them.

We have endured more than three frustrating years trying to get the Government to decide which accessibility standards to next develop. As you know, we have urged that three accessibility standards be the next on the agenda. These should address barriers in education, in health care, and in residential housing.

Over the three months since the 2014 election, we have heard nothing from your Government about the next accessibility standards to be developed. In your May 14, 2014 letter to us, setting out your Government's 2011 election pledges, you wrote:

"The next accessibility standard we will develop will focus on education and/or health."

Two weeks after you wrote that letter, we received a stronger public election commitment from the Ontario Liberal Party. On May 31, 2014, we received two tweets from Ontario Liberal candidate, Cabinet minister, and former president of the Ontario Liberal Party, Yasir Naqvi. He said that a Liberal Government, if re-elected, would create a standard for both health care and education. His two May 31, 2014 tweets, separately sent to both the AODA Alliance and to its chair, David Lepofsky, stated:

"Yasir Naqvi: @DavidLepofsky Yes, the next accessibility standard a re-elected @OntLiberal will develop will focus on education and health standards."

And

"Yasir Naqvi: @aodaalliance Yes, the next accessibility standard a re-elected @OntLiberal will develop will focus on education & health standards."

We immediately made this Twitter exchange public. We announced this development on Twitter and in our May 31, 2014 AODA Alliance Update.  We stated:

"Tweets are on the public record. We will hold the Liberal Party to this new, strengthened commitment. We know the parties track Twitter activity on the election, including ours."

We immediately and repeatedly tweeted back to confirm this commitment, both to Mr. Naqvi and to you. No one on the Government's behalf denied or tried to walk back this stronger commitment. We hold the Government to it.

Your Government is therefore on the record as agreeing to develop the next accessibility standards in both the areas of health care and education. People with disabilities should not have to face a cruel choice of whether they will achieve accessibility to education but not health care, or accessibility to health care, but not education. The Government does not require Ontarians without disabilities to make such an impossible choice.

Your Government has also been on the record since 2009, as committing to address barriers in residential housing through the standards development process. In July 2009, the Government made public an initial proposal for a Built Environment Accessibility Standard, developed by the Built Environment Standards Development Committee. The Government posted a web announcement that included the following:

"The government does not plan to require that all existing buildings be retrofitted to meet accessibility requirements in the final accessible built environment standard at this time. Also, the government does not intend to require Ontarians to make their existing or new houses accessible in the final accessible built environment standard at this time.

A subsequent step the government plans to take to achieve an accessible built environment in the province is to take a more focused look at how to deal with retrofitting existing buildings and making houses accessible. These two issues are expected to be addressed through a standard development committee process."

Since you have promised to honour all prior Liberal party accessibility pledges, your Government should also direct the development of a residential housing accessibility standard.

It is essential during this Government term to also develop and enact any and all other AODA accessibility standards needed to ensure that Ontario reaches full accessibility by 2025.  Well over four years have passed since any AODA Standards Development committee has met to develop proposals for the content of a new accessibility standard. It is taking longer for the Government to merely decide which accessibility standards to develop next than it takes to actually develop an entire AODA accessibility standard. Ontario can't afford any more delay.

We therefore ask you to:

5. direct the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure to immediately direct the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council (ASAC) to develop proposals for new AODA accessibility standards to address barriers in education, in health care, and in residential housing.

6. direct the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure to develop all other AODA accessibility standards, needed to ensure that Ontario reaches full accessibility by 2025, and to announce an action plan and timetable to ensure that this is achieved during this term of the Government.

IV.  Ensure Public Money is Never Used to Create or Perpetuate Barriers Against people with Disabilities

We commend you for committing in your May 14, 2014 letter:

"We will continue to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to create or perpetuate barriers against Ontarians with disabilities."

Part VII of our June 30, 2014 brief to the Mayo Moran AODA Independent Review describes in detail our years of frustration trying to get your Government to ensure that Government spending on infrastructure, procurement, research, innovation or other programs and initiatives is never used to create or perpetuate barriers against persons with disabilities. The Government has missed many great opportunities to date. A stunning example of this is the current plan by your Government's Metrolinx agency to include troubling barriers to disability accessibility and safety in several new subway stations on the Eglinton Crosstown public transit line, now under construction. More details about that example are available at    http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/08272014.asp

We ask you to:

7. direct your cabinet to develop, implement, enforce and widely publicize effective across-the-board policies and practices to ensure that the public’s money is never used to finance barriers against persons with disabilities, especially in the areas of infrastructure, procurement, research, innovation or other business grant or loan spending. This effort should be led by the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, the Minister of Research and Innovation, and the Treasury Board President. The secretary of the Cabinet should be directed to devise an action plan to ensure that this is embedded across the Ontario Public Service.

V. Ensure the 2015 Toronto Pan/ParaPan American Games Leave a Strong Legacy of Improved Disability Accessibility

The 2015 Toronto Games are fast approaching. Your Government has still not announced a comprehensive legacy to ensure that the huge public investment in the Games leaves behind a strong and enduring legacy of substantially improved disability accessibility.

One year ago, on October 1, 2013, we tried to help fill this gap by making public our own proposal for a comprehensive disability accessibility legacy. We have spoken at length to senior Government officials. We have heard lots in the way of good intentions but too little in the way of action. Time is running out. Our proposed plan for a comprehensive disability accessibility legacy for the 2015 Toronto Pan/ParaPan American Games can be found at http://is.gd/mhgxzm

We ask you to:

8. direct the Minister responsible for the Pan/ParaPan American Games, working together with the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, to immediately implement and widely publicize a strong plan for an enduring legacy of substantially improved disability accessibility, for the 2015 Toronto Pan/ParaPan American Games. This should include, among other things, strategies to substantially improve the range of accessible tourism and hospitality services, to educate school children on accessible sports, and to substantially increase accessible athletics and sport opportunities for persons with disabilities of all ages.

VI. Re-Engineer How the Ontario Public Service Addresses Accessibility of Its Services and Workplaces

Since 2003, disability accessibility has been weakly, disjointedly addressed across the huge Ontario Public Service in isolated, disconnected silos. We have suffered through frustrating year after year, having to separately advocate to several different ministries and ministers, endlessly chasing our tails. After each cabinet shuffle, typically at intervals of one or two years, we must start all over again. Because of this persistent problem, several of your Government’s low-cost 2007 and 2011 promises on accessibility are still unkept, with no end in sight.

Your Government needs to substantially re-engineer how the Ontario Public Service ensures that its services, facilities and workplaces are fully accessible. We again offer some key ways to do this.

Ontario has a minister responsible for women’s issues. It has a minister responsible for aboriginal issues. It has a minister responsible for seniors. This shows the importance of having one minister at the cabinet table with comprehensive responsibility, to whom you can turn for answers, and who can make sure that all your cabinet colleagues are always attentive to such issues.

Why not do the same for Ontarians with disabilities? This requires no new legislation, no new staff, nor shifting any front-line operations. Whomever you choose, it should not be the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. This is because he is responsible for enforcement of the AODA. The same minister cannot wear two conflicting hats, trying to ensure the Government complies with the AODA on the one hand, and enforcing the AODA against ministries that do not comply, on the other.

It is time to at last implement the commendable recommendation to this effect, in the 2010 report of the Charles Beer Independent Review of the AODA. Nothing has been done to implement that recommendation in over four years since it was delivered.

We propose that you:

9. designate one cabinet minister, apart from the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, to be responsible for keeping all your Government's accessibility commitments and fulfilling all its accessibility obligations (apart from the Government's duty to develop and enforce AODA accessibility standards).

We also need the Secretary of the Cabinet to institute effective new Government-wide initiatives, to more effectively ensure that accessibility for persons with disabilities is imbedded and integrated in all the Ontario Public Service's work. In the 2011 election, Premier McGuinty pledged to integrate accessibility as a fundamental principle when the Government is making vital decisions that affect the daily lives of Ontarians. The Ontario Public Service is a huge organization. It too often has been too difficult to get accessibility integrated into its activities across the board, despite constructive laws and policies on point.

We recommend that you:

10. direct the Secretary of the Cabinet to implement effective strategies to ensure the Ontario Public Service becomes a fully accessible employer and service provider, and to ensure that disability accessibility is embedded in all vital Government decisions.

The Ontario Public Service also needs a fulltime deputy minister or associate deputy minister responsible for ensuring that the Ontario Public Service becomes a fully accessible workplace and service provider. None now exists.

In the 2011 election, Premier McGuinty promised to restore the previous full time assistant deputy minister position at the Ministry of Government Services, with such a mandate. Minister after deputy Minister has simply ignored that election promise. It remains unkept to this day. Instead, all we have at the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is a part time assistant deputy minister, the Chief Diversity Officer. That is not a deputy Minister. That person has other important responsibilities crowding the rest of their time.

Leading the Ontario Public Service to full accessibility is not a part time job. The 2010 Final Report of the Charles Beer Independent Review of the AODA had declared the full time position of an assistant deputy minister of accessibility at that Ministry to be "vital."

Such a post would be more effective an influential if it were not only full time, but also elevated to the status of deputy or associate deputy minister. That official could then deal with all other Ontario deputy ministers on a footing of equality. 

We ask you to direct that:

11. A full time deputy minister or associate deputy minister position be immediately created, with lead responsibility for ensuring that the Ontario Public Service becomes a fully accessible workplace and service provider.

Right now, each ministry has a part time or full time official designated as an Accessibility Lead for that ministry. However, too often, these Accessibility Leads are buried too far down in the hierarchy of their organizations to have a full and effective impact. Moreover, these individuals have varying disability accessibility expertise, some more than others. We have tried for a long time without success to get this weak system strengthened. 

We recommend that you

12. direct the Secretary of the Cabinet to require each Ministry’s Accessibility Lead be made a full time position, reporting to the deputy minister of that Ministry, with needed accessibility expertise.

VII. Introduce an Omnibus Bill to Reform Provincial and Municipal Election Legislation to Remove Accessibility Barriers Facing Voters and Candidates with Disabilities

In 2007, your Government promised to put in place an election accessibility action plan for provincial and municipal elections. Yet legislation passed four and five years ago have not solved the disability accessibility problems that continue to plague provincial and municipal elections.

In your May 14, 2014 letter to us, setting out your Government's 2014 election pledges, you committed:

"Ensuring the proper accessibility of the provincial and municipal elections falls in line is a top priority for us to safeguard the interests of Ontarians with disabilities through ease of access to the provincial and municipal elections as does every citizen of Ontario. We will ensure that the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Elections Ontario are committed to providing the best possible services to ensure accessible elections."

The same disability barriers arise in provincial and municipal elections. The solutions are the same. It is far more efficient to introduce an omnibus bill to tackle all these barriers at the same time.

We ask you to:

13. direct the Attorney General and Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister to prepare and introduce an omnibus bill to address barriers impeding voters and candidates with disabilities in provincial and municipal elections, after designating one of those ministers with responsibility to lead this project.

VIII. Accelerate the Sluggish and Long-Overdue Review of All Ontario Laws for Accessibility Barriers

In the 2007 election, Premier McGuinty promised that your Government would review all Ontario laws for accessibility barriers. In his September 14, 2007 letter to us, setting out the Government's 2007 election pledges to us, he stated:

"The Ontario Liberal government believes this is the next step toward our goal of a fully accessible Ontario."  

Seven years later, only a fraction of Ontario statutes are under review. Most have not yet been examined at all. No Ontario regulations have been reviewed. We are not aware of a single legislative amendment that has been passed or even introduced into the Legislature as a result of this legislative review, to correct accessibility barriers.

At the present rate, all Ontario laws won't be reviewed, much less fixed, by 2025. Ontarians with disabilities deserve better.

We ask you to:

14. Direct the Attorney General and the Government and Consumer Services Minister, who are jointly responsible for this review, to dramatically speed up the promised review of all Ontario statutes and regulations, to make public a work plan for completing this entire review by the end of 2015, and to bring forward an omnibus bill to the Legislature at the beginning of 2015 to address barriers found in any laws reviewed to that point.

Premier, Ontario is now at a turning point. The measures we have recommended to you in this letter, and to your cabinet colleagues in our recent letters to them, are all vital to get Ontario on schedule for full accessibility by 2025. If these actions are not taken now, we fear that Ontario will have conceded that it won't reach full accessibility by 2025. Making sure that we stay on track is inextricably wedded to the core themes in your campaign during the 2014 election. We remain eager to help your Government ensure that Ontario gets back on schedule and on track.

Sincerely,

David Lepofsky CM, O.Ont.
Chair
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance

cc:
Steve Orsini, Secretary to the Cabinet email steve.orsini@ontario.ca
Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure email brad.duguid@ontario.ca
David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services email
david.orazietti@Ontario.ca
Madeleine Meilleur, Attorney General of Ontario email Madeleine.meilleur@ontario.ca
Michael Coteau, Minister for the Pan/ParaPan American Games email Michael.coteau@ontario.ca
Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, email Liz.Sandals@ontario.ca
Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health, email eric.hoskins@ontario.ca
Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade email Michael.chan@ontario.ca
Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Minister of Research and Innovation email Reza.Moridi@ontario.ca
Deb Matthews, President of Treasury Board email deb.matthews@ontario.ca
Ted McMeekin Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, email ted.mcmeekin@ontario.ca
Wendy Tilford, Deputy Minister of Government and Consumer Services email wendy.tilford@ontario.ca
Giles Gerson, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure email giles.gerson@ontario.ca
Steven Davidson, Deputy Minister for the Pan/ParaPan American Games email steven.davidson@ontario.ca
Drew Fagan, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and soon-to-be Deputy Minister of the 2015 Games email drew.fagan@ontario.ca
Patrick Monahan, Deputy Attorney General of Ontario email patrick.monahan@ontario.ca
George Zegarac, Deputy Minister of Education email george.zegarac@ontario.ca
Dr. Bob Bell, Deputy Minister of Health and Long Term Care email bob.bell@ontario.ca
Chisanga Puta-Cheqwe, Deputy Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade email chisanga.puta-chekwe@ontario.ca
Deborah Newman, Deputy Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities email deborah.newman@ontario.ca
Greg Orencsak, Deputy Minister of the Treasury Board email greg.orencsak@ontario.ca
Laurie LeBlanc, Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing email laurie.leblanc@ontario.ca
Ann Hoy, Assistant Deputy Minister, Accessibility Directorate of Ontario email ann.hoy@ontario.ca
Yvonne Defoe, Chief Diversity Officer of Ontario email yvonne.defoe@ontario.ca