An Act respecting
accountability for barriers
impeding people with
disabilities from full
participation in the life
Ontario has at least 1.5 million people with disabilities. Everyone either now has a disability, or has someone near and dear to them who has a disability, or will acquire a disability during his or her lifetime.
People with disabilities in Ontario face barriers in access to employment, services, goods, facilities and accommodation. All Ontarians will benefit from the removal of these barriers, thereby enabling these persons to enjoy equal opportunity and full participation in the life of the province.
It is the shared responsibility of everyone in Ontario to identify, remove and prevent the barriers to the full participation of persons with disabilities. Identifying, preventing and removing those barriers will increase the contribution of persons with disabilities to the economic and social life of the province. To allow existing barriers to remain and new barriers to be created inflicts serious hardships and costs on Ontario and Ontarians, including those who have a disability now and those who do not yet have a disability.
During the 1995 election, Premier Mike Harris promised in a letter to the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee dated May 24, 1995 to,
(a)enact the Ontarians with Disabilities Act in its first term in office; and
(b)work together with members of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee, amongst others, in the development of such legislation.
A strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act is needed to achieve a barrier-free Ontario. Voluntary efforts at removing and preventing these barriers have been tried for decades, and do not work to achieve this goal.
This Legislature unanimously passed resolutions on May 16, 1996, October 29, 1998 and November 23, 1999 which, taken together, call for the enactment of an Ontarians with Disabilities Act that is strong and effective.
A strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act has not been enacted. Over his five and a half years in office, Premier Mike Harris has repeatedly and consistently refused to meet with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committtee, the province-wide coalition with whom he had promised to work together to develop this promised legislation.
For more than five and a half years since taking office, the current Government has allowed new barriers to be created that block persons with disabilities from fully participating in Ontario life, including barriers which have been paid for, in whole or in part, by Ontario taxpayers' dollars.
It is especially important that the Government of Ontario be accountable to the public for its promises and its action or inaction on those promises, including promises to enact a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
Government accountability for using public money
to create new barriers
1. Where any new barrier to the full participation of people with disabilities in employment, goods, services, accommodation or facilities in Ontario is created after this Act comes into force with the assistance of any expenditure, contribution, grant or other payment by or on behalf of the Government of Ontario or any Ministry or agency thereof, the persons involved in the creation of that barrier shall post as near as reasonably practicable to that barrier in plain view for ready viewing by the public a sign in legible, accessible lettering which bears the following: "
Your Ontario Tax Dollars At Waste - This is a New Barrier Impeding Ontarians with Disabilities, which Premier Mike Harris Helped Finance with Your Tax Dollars."
Accountability in Government advertising
2. In any advertisement of programs or activities of the Ontario Government, or any Ministry or agency thereof, published in any newspaper or broadcast on any television or radio broadcast that is paid for, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by Ontario taxpayers' dollars, the following words shall be prominently displayed in print and in the spoken word, as the case may be, and in closed captioning: "
This advertisement is brought to you by the Ontario Government, which has broken its promises to enact a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act."
3. (1) This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
(2) This Act shall remain in force until a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act complying with the unanimous resolutions of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed on May 16, 1996, October 29, 1998 and November 23, 1999 is enacted and comes into force.
4. The short title of this Act is the Promise Made Promise Broken Act, 2000.
The purpose of the Bill is to foster and promote the accountability of the Government of Ontario concerning its broken and unkept promises to enact a strong and effective Ontarians with Disabilities Act.