ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE UPDATE
ON LIVE TV, AODA ALLIANCE CHAIR ASKS PC LEADER TIM HUDAK FOR DISABILITY ACCESSIBILITY ELECTION COMMITMENT
October 2, 2011
Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak has again been asked on television to make election commitments on disability accessibility. This time Mr. Hudak was asked by AODA Alliance chair David Lepofsky.
On Friday, September 30, 2011, Tim Hudak took part in a live televised town hall meeting for the current election on cable TV channel CP24's Stephen LeDrew Show-LeDrew Live. As a question from the audience, David Lepofsky asked Mr. Hudak to clearly commit that he won't cut new accessibility regulations enacted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. In his answer, Mr. Hudak said, among other things: "So that anything that we would do to change regulations with respect to those with disabilities would be to help improve things, to help get better access, to help people move forward, to help them get jobs and move into the workplace, if they want to."
We set out below our transcription of the entire exchange. You can also view it on YouTube, with automated captioning available if desired. To watch the exchange, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joUKHjplZRU
You can also download the audio of this exchange, which is loud enough without turning up the volume on your computer. Click here to download audio version of the exchange between David Lepofsky and Mr. Hudak.
Later in the one-hour town hall meeting (in a passage not
included in the posted video excerpt), Mr. Hudak repeated his clear and
unequivocal commitment that he would cut fully 30% of all the regulations now in
This is the second time in three days that Mr. Hudak was asked on TV to make election accessibility commitments we seek. On Wed., September 28, 2011, TV Ontario's Steve Paikin asked Mr. Hudak why the PCs are the only major party who won't commit not to cut gains Ontarians with disabilities have made on accessibility. Mr. Hudak there responded by saying he still supports the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. You can read that exchange at: http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/09302011.asp
Let us know what you think of Mr. Hudak's responses to our request. Write us at: email@example.com
To see what each of the major parties have committed to us in writing in this election, visit: http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/090220116.asp
To read our guest column in the September 29, 2011 on-line edition of the Toronto Star, visit: http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/09282011.asp
For practical ways you can help us with our non-partisan campaign, visit: http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/09162011.asp
Plan ahead to vote on Election Day, if you have not already voted. If you need to arrange accessible transportation, plan for it now. Try to get to the polls early, in case you encounter unexpected barriers or long lines.
TRANSCRIPTION OF EXCHANGE BETWEEN AODA ALLIANCE CHAIR David Lepofsky AND CONSERVATIVE LEADER TIM HUDAK ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 EDITION OF CP24'S LEDREW LIVE PROGRAM
David Lepofsky: My name is David Lepofsky. I lead a
non-partisan coalition of people with disabilities across
TIM HUDAK: Well, David, listen, thanks for being here and I've enjoyed working with you in the past in moving legislation through the House and the advice you've given me in my capacity as leader of the Ontario PC Party, and, if I get a chance, as Premier of the province. So that anything that we would do to change regulations with respect to those with disabilities would be to help improve things, to help get better access, to help people move forward, to help them get jobs and move into the workplace, if they want to. And I'll give you one example of some of the red tape that we need to clear aside to help people with disabilities. Right now if you're on Ontario Disability Support Program and you try to get a job, a part time job or full time job, the money gets clawed back. So 50 cents of every dollar you make gets taken away from you. That's a disincentive. If somebody wants to get out there in the workforce, we want to help them do that –to get a full time job, part time job, and help as best as we can to contribute back to society. So there's an example of something I think we'd agree upon, to help clear aside, to allow more people to move into the workforce.
And moving forward, David, I'd look for a chance to work
with you to make sure we can help move even more people – make sure they have
access to the right buildings. They can get in the Government offices. They get
the services that they need as citizens here in the
David Lepofsky: Could you just say yes?
TIM HUDAK: Yeah, I think I answered your question. Like, there's some red tape I think we need to move aside that actually holds people back. Why, if somebody is getting into the workplace, why in the world you'd punish somebody, taking 50 cents off every dollar that they make? I think we'd want to reward work in our system, and those that have disabilities, to help them when they want to get a job, to move into the workplace.