By Victor Schwartzman
September 26, 2014
Brad Duguids experience is in business development, not social services. That could explain why, when he became Minister responsible for AODA, he was not quoted saying Wow! Ive always looked forward to this!
Since becoming Minister, he has been silent on AODA. However, on everything else Minister Duguid can talk up a storm.
Curious as to this surgical silence, last week we wrote the Minister but to date we have not received even an acknowledgement. Why? Minister Duguid has met with other people–weve seen photos! Why such avoidance on AODA?
To date, his sole comments on anything AODA were at the announcement of a new award named after former Lieutenant Governor David Onley. Covering the event, the Toronto Star noted that in Onleys final speech he said I wanted people to see that accessibility is much, much more than the things that we have pretty much taken for granted? the wheelchair curb cuts, parking spots, the automatic doors, the ubiquitous wheel chair symbols.
In comparison, when announcing this new award, Minister Duguid was quoting as saying Accessibility ultimately . . . is simply about good business practiceso I am delighted this legacy award will acknowledge this. He added that research shows that people with disabilities are incredibly loyal, reliable yet are currently missing in our workplace because they cant get access to jobs that they are qualified for.
AODA itself was not mentioned. And, for the record, when referring to people with disabilities as being incredibly loyal, reliable it later turned out the Minister accidentally quoted from an article about dogs. So that leaves the Ministers sole comment in three months as referring to accessibility being good business (he is right about that.)
Why has Minister Duguid been silent on AODA for three months? Why has he not arranged a meeting with the AODA Alliance? Why has he not announced improvements to implementing AODA? We now have discovered quotes from Minister Duguid which illustrate his feelings about AODA and implementing it. TOP TEN QUOTES WHY MINISTER DUGUID IS SILENT ON AODA
They are all direct quotes from Minister Duguid which we made up. Some quotes require explanation:
10. I cant talk about it because Ive never seen Star Wars. (Minister Duguid confuses AODA with Yoda.)
9. Accessibility is very important because otherwise you cant build logging roads. (The Minister is not aware of the definition of access in the context of AODA.)
8. Disabled Ontorians? I have no experience with able-bodied aliens, much less the other kind. (Minister Duguid misread the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and believes the legislation refers to Ontorians, beings from outer space.)
7. Until I finish studying, I wont be able to belt out with any justice an AL-LEI-HE-WHO-A-ODA. (The Minister confused AODA with yodel.)
Some quotes, however, require no explanation:
6. If I talked about problems with AODA, I would have to do something.
5. No one else has implemented AODA, why should I?
4. We have until 2025 and thats a lot of elections from now. Well, it used to be a lot of elections from now, but its still several elections away.
3. No one important to me cares!
2. I am allergic to AODA. When I even think about it I get a rash.
And the number one reason Minister Duguid is silent on AODA? When asked what he knows about access, he replied:
Next: Its so hard to say!
Victor Schwartzman contributes this weekly satiric column to Accessibility News nothing in these columns is true except what they are about. Buy the first nine chapters of his current satirical fantasy novel, King Of The Planet, for .99 on Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/King-Planet-Victor-Schwartzman-ebook/dp/B00NE0CCRC/ref.
His graphic novel The Winnipeg Weakly Herald (where each chapter is one issue of a community newspaper) is serialized on the great Canadian lit site, http://www.redfez.net. He also contributes to http://www.targetaudiencemagazine.com. He has had poetry and short fiction published, has edited novels and hosts two writers circles. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.