Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

December 02, 2009 12:21 ET

OFL Statement for International Day of Persons with Disabilities

(December 3, 2009)

Attention: Assignment Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2009) - The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the World Programme of Action adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982.

"In recognizing December 3, we must also recognize that there is much that the McGuinty government could do to improve the lives of Ontarians with disabilities," says Ontario Federation of Labour executive vice-president Terry Downey.

On May 3, 2008 the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006, entered into force after receiving its 20th ratification from a member state of the United Nations. Canada has not yet ratified this Convention. The OFL has lobbied the McGuinty government asking them to influence the Harper government to ratify this Convention.

Ontarians with disabilities fought long and hard to ensure that the Ontario Human Rights Commission could investigate and prosecute disability discrimination, a victory they won in 1982. The McGuinty government's imposition of the Human Rights Code Amendment, 2006 (Bill 107) which came into force on June 30, 2008 has undermined the ability of Ontarians with disabilities to find justice when they must stand up for their rights. The OFL has written to all MPPs, calling on them to address this situation.

The Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is flawed legislation but can still be used to identify and address the challenges to bringing about true accessibility for all Ontarians. The OFL agrees with the concerns raised by the AODA Alliance - a broadly based coalition of Ontarians with disabilities - that to be effective, this legislation needs on-going strong leadership from Queen's Park. The OFL also took part in the review of the AODA conducted by Charles Beer.

"The Ontario Federation of Labour is committed to working with Ontarians with disabilities and their organizations, to ensure that all Ontarians have the opportunity to play a full role in their province," said Downey. "Our Ontario is one that is accessible, supportive and welcoming to all."


Contact Information

  • Terry Downey, OFL Executive Vice-President
    Primary Phone: 416-578-3230