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In the current Campaign for the Ontario Simcoe North By-Election, Urge New Conservative Leader Patrick Brown to Commit to Support the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update United for a Barrier-Free Ontario for All People with Disabilities

August 29, 2015

Even though most are focused on the current federal election in Canada, an Ontario by-election is being held in the Simcoe North riding on September 3, 2015. New Ontario Conservative leader Patrick Brown is running in this riding, and is expected to win.

We want to take the opportunity of this by-election campaign to urge Mr. Brown to commit to support the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, and to promise not to weaken it or any regulations, policies, programs or activities taken under it. As a non-partisan community coalition, we don’t support or oppose any candidate or party. We use elections and by-elections as a chance to help advance our campaign for accessibility for people with disabilities.

Mr. Brown is the first major Ontario political party leader who was not a member of the Ontario Legislature on the historic day in 2005 when the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was unanimously passed. He therefore did not have a chance to cast a vote for the AODA, unlike the other party leaders now in the Ontario Legislature.

We want to ensure that there is no reduction in the all-party support for this legislation. In the Conservative Party’s leadership race earlier this year, we wrote the candidates (including Patrick Brown) to seek commitments to this effect. None of them responded. To read the AODA alliance’s February 22, 2015 letter to the Ontario Conservative Party leadership candidates, visit http://www.aodaalliance.org/strong-effective-aoda/02232015.asp

We encourage anyone and everyone who has the chance, to help in the days leading up to this by-election. You can:

* Ask Patrick Brown in person to commit to support the AODA 2005, and not to weaken that law or any regulations, program, policies or activities taken as a result of it. Raise this issue with Mr. Brown if he is campaigning in your area, or if he is on a call-in radio or TV program.

* If you know anyone in the Simcoe North riding, pass this Update along to them, and urge them to raise this issue with Mr. Brown.

* Tweet Mr. Brown a request for this commitment. His Twitter handle is @BrownBarrie Here is a tweet you might try:

@BrownBarrie WillU support #Accessibility 4OntariansW/DisabilitiesAct ¬ weaken it or regs policies programs taken under it?

* Urge the media to ask Patrick Brown about his position on maintaining and not weakening the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005.

Let us know what you try.

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Learn all about our campaign for a fully accessible Ontario by visiting http://www.aodaalliance.org