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April 8, 2004
Councillor Joe Mihevc submits the City's position to the Provincial Consultation on the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA)
Councillor Joe Mihevc recently reiterated the City of Toronto's position on the
Ontarians with Disabilities Act in the submission to the current Provincial
Consultation on the Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

"The purpose of the Act should be changed to provide protection and to remove
barriers for persons with disabilities. It should not be to only provide
opportunities," said Mihevc.

"Toronto has a long-standing goal of becoming an inclusive society where people
with disabilities are able to fully participate in all aspects of daily living
on the same basis as everyone else," stated Mihevc. "The central focus of the
City's Accessibility Plan is to make City facilities, information and
activities more accessible, to identify and eliminate disparities and to create
an accessible workplace."

The City's access and equity policies and programs include: the completion of
its corporate employment equity survey, the formalization of an employment
accommodation policy, the preparation of accessibility guidelines for new
construction and renovation of City-owned facilities, and the preparation of
access and equity guidelines to be used by City departments and external

During previous hearings held by the Province on the current legislation, which
received Royal Assent in 2001, the City of Toronto endorsed the principles
previously adopted by the Ontario Legislature to guide the development of a
strong and effective ODA. The City advocated for legislation which applied to
all sectors, imposed mandatory standards, and established enforcement
mechanisms with timelines.

The Ontario Government consultations were initiated by Dr. Marie Bountrogianni,
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to seek advice from organizations and
individuals on how to strengthen the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001

To read the City of Toronto's submission, please visit:

Media contacts:
Councillor Joe Mihevc, Ward 21 St. Paul's, 416-392-0208
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Manager, Diversity Management and Community Engagement,
Chief Administrator's Office, 416-392-6824
Bernita Lee, Consultant, Diversity Management and Community Engagement, Chief
Administrator's Office, 416-397-5251



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