Mayor Mike Bradley Speaks out Against As...

Mayor Mike Bradley Speaks out Against Associations


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Mayor Mike Bradley Speaks out Against Associations

 

Sarnia, Ontario, May 6th, 2011 – Mayor Mike Bradley spoke out against the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) as well as the Ontario Public Transit Association (OPT A).

Both organizations have each urged the McGuinty Government to delay enactment of the Integrated Accessibility Regulation (IAR) made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (commonly known as the AODA) and to weaken its protections for persons with disabilities.  Mayor Bradley spoke out against the groups after receiving recommendations from top-ranking City staff based upon recommendations made by the Sarnia Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Bradley likened this move by the AMO and OPT A to slow changes related to the rights of persons’ who have a disability to similar moves that were made in some of the southern United States during the American Civil Rights movement for African Americans in the 1960’s.  “Ontario’s population is made up of close to 20% of persons who have a disability and combined with family and friends it amounts to over 50% of the population,” he said.  “Do municipalities really want to disenfranchise that amount of their citizenry?”  He went on to quote the late great Martin Luther King and the “fierce urgency of now”.

Mayor Bradley also announced his plans to request Sarnia City Council this Monday evening to follow the recommendations made by The Sarnia Accessibility Advisory Committee requesting that Sarnia City Council pass the following resolutions:

1. That the draft Integrated Accessibility Regulation and its vision of an Accessible Ontario by 2025 be supported; and

2. That a copy of this report and resolution be forwarded to Lambton County Council and the Lambton County Accessibility Advisory Committee for their consideration and support.

Hoping that this will lead other municipalities to do the right thing and follow the recommendations of the AODA Alliance Group in Ontario.

Mayor Mike Bradley is well known for his on-going Mayor’s Challenge to the other Mayor’s in Ontario – - “to do the right thing and take up the challenge of hiring persons’ who have a disability.”

Mark Wafer, who owns 7 Tim Horton’s stores in Toronto, area also spoke out in support of Mayor Bradley’s comments.  Wafer is a business owner who is out in front of AODA as the first fast food franchise in Ontario to be certified under AODA.  Wafer stated, “This argument that business can’t afford to comply with the AODA is simply ridiculous.  It’s stupid not to comply.  As a business owner complying with all of the requirements of the AODA has allowed me to see a whole new demographic of customers and I have the increased profits to prove it.”

Contact:                               Mayor Mike Bradley  519-332-0560  Mike Bradley mayor@sarnia.ca

Contact:                       Mark Wafer, 416-258-4231,  mwafer@xplornet.com

Backgrounder:                        AODA Report.  Download Here.

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AODA Report


View the entire report here.

TO: Mayor Bradley and Members of Sarnia City Council

FROM: Lloyd Fennell, City Manager

DATE: April 20th, 2011

SUBJECT: AODA Integrated Standards

RECOMMENDATIONS
The Sarnia Accessibility Advisory Committee requests that Sarnia City Council pass the
following resolutions:
1. That the draft Integrated Accessibility Regulation and its vision of an Accessible Ontario
by 2025 be supported; and
2. That a copy of this report and resolution be forwarded to Lambton County Council and
the Lambton County Accessibility Advisory Committee for their consideration and
support.

BACKGROUND
The AODA Alliance has been asking municipal accessibility advisory committees to distance
themselves from AMO’s submission on the Integrated Accessibility Standard to the province on
behalf of municipal governments.
A copy of the AODA Alliance Communication as well as the AMO submission of March 16,
2011, and the AMO News Release of April 14, 2011 have been attached for Council’s
Information.

COMMENTS
The following is a brief summary of the AODA Alliance concerns regarding AMO’s position:
• AMO is asking to delay timelines for Integrated Accessibility Regulations (IAR);
• AMO is asking for the legislation to be delayed until reviewed by an independent
regulatory impact assessment to do a cost benefits analysis, however most provisions of
the IAR are already obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code and are not new;
• AMO already participated and provided input into the standards committees;
• Human Rights Commission, AODA Alliance, many disability groups and AAC’s feel
IAR is already not strong enough and too slow;
• The AODA Alliance is concerned that AMO is using public funds to fight for delays in
advancing accessibility, and;
• Without the above resolution, there may be a perception that AMO is representing all
municipalities when working to slow this legislation.
Unlike the position of AMO, as set out in their March 16th submission, the Sarnia Accessibility
Advisory Committee supports the disability communities in their concern that the provincial
government should move forward with timelines as in the draft legislation. The Committee
further agrees with the disability communities that many of the provisions of the draft Integrated
Legislation are already obligations under existing human rights legislation and should not be
further delayed past the timelines already put forward in the draft legislation.

CONSULTATION
This report is being brought forward at the request of the Sarnia Accessibility Advisory
Committee after consultation with the AODA Alliance.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
There are no financial consequences for the preparation of this report.

View the entire report here.

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