By Victor Schwartzman
August 4, 2013
It was a dark and stormy Knight who created AODA.
Specifically, it was Sir Dalton Rae Davis, a largely unknown knight who spends too much time in tanning beds and has anger management problems. His importance is that for Liberal, Conservative and NDP Governments he specializes in “handling” community pressure groups.
In the late 1990’s, the worst pressure felt by the political parties came from advocates on access issues for people who had disabilitiesphysical access to buildings and access to jobs. All three Ontario parties called a secret conference on September 31, 1998, chaired by Sir Dalton. The Liberals, Conservatives and NDP all laid out why they believed in creating access in their hearts but not in their wallets. Access created problems for businesses and services, and to help a group of nonvoters.
Sir Dalton then laid out his bold plan, was based on strategies employed successfully in other Canadian Provinces, the United States and other countries. His plan was on a scale never seen since criminals developed Prohibition. Sir Dalton proposed years of misdirection and co-option that would cost the Government nothing.
It would begin by creating an extensive consultation process with community advocates to create entirely new legislation, even though existing legislation was adequate. The consultation process alone would take several years, followed by another year or two to draft the legislation and read it into law.
Sir Dalton’s genius was that AODA only appeared to be an effective law. It actually required only that businesses and services submit forms. Years would go by, he predicted, before anyone would even think to ask what happened to the forms. The pressure would take a long time to build, Sir Dalton relying on the advocates being Canadians and being too polite to complain. It would only be when the Government would be forced, rather than do anything, to miss AODA deadlines that he predicted advocates’ complaints would become publicly noticeable.
However, Sir Dalton noted, history showed that the media never listened to the advocates unless they had a positive uplifting story about disability. Not implementing AODA was just another Government scandal. The media would make space for advocates to complain, so everyone would feel good in the best Canadian sense (there is the illusion of action but nothing changes.)
Which is where we are now, fifteen years later, in Sir Dalton’s plan. The current phase is planned to last until 2025, the year when Ontario will be, under the AODA legislation, completely accessible.
The really funny part of this article is that it seems ridiculous yet it’s probably pretty much what happened, except for the Knight. Why aren’t you laughing? The joke is on us!
Next: Nostradamus Prediction Discovered: AODA Will Be Implemented!