By Victor Schwartzman
Aug 1, 2014
A recent Financial Post article, “No Rest for the Weary: More AODA Compliance Required in January 2015,” expressed concern over the difficulties faced by weary Ontario businesses already struggling to recover from avoiding previous AODA requirements and deadlines.
Avoiding the law can be wearying! “It is horrible,” said I.M.A. Badperson, who was not quoted in the article. “Every day takes so much effort to do nothing. We only have so much energy to fill out forms, and I was concerned filling out AODA forms would use up all my form-filling energy, which I have to reserve for Government subsidies and tax credits.”
Up until now AODA requirements mostly involved filling out simple forms. However, worse is coming, according to the Financial Post, and that means more weariness. For the Financial Post, regulations involving people who have a disability are exhausting and clearly a big ol’ pain in the butt. Perhaps that was why the article was so short, leaving no information for readers on the new regulations. Perhaps that attitude reflects why most businesses to date have butted out.
However, the article did refer readers to an actual good, detailed article by Will Hockin on the new requirements. Examples of those new requirements include employers conducting training programs for employees on AODA and that they have feedback processes in place from customers. Some new requirements are issues which were largely ignored by employers with 50+ staff this year and are now slated to be largely ignored in 2015 by employers with less than 50 staff. Some are new issues for employers with 50+ staff to now begin ignoring, although businesses with less than 50 staff do not have to start ignoring them until 2016.
This personal analysis on ignoringosity is not from Hockin but this writer. It is based on the history of Ontario businesses up until now, including about three-quarters of them ignoring a recent deadline. Even the Ontario Government ignored an AODA deadline about appointing a new Independent Review.
The election is over, Ontario Government. Congratulations. Time is passing. Does Minister Duiguid have a plan to at least encourage compliance with AODA? To date, he has publicly stated nothing about implementing the law. But assuming if he had called a media conference on AODA, he may likely have said “I am concerned about the vast majority of Ontario businesses being weary from ignoring AODA. I am actively exploring new options for them.”
His first option? Special gym memberships for business executives. “If they were in better shape they would not have been weary from ignoring the law,” Minister Duiguid explained. “We cannot tolerate this situation. Our businesses must be strong!”
Minister Duiguid also announced that executives in AODA-impacted businesses would be regularly shipped cartons of energy drinks. And, expanding on this approach, he also announced vacation cruises for Members of the Legislature who have to deal with complaints from the public that AODA is not being enforced. MLAs will also get energy drinks and a subscription to the Financial Post.
Minister Duiguid might also have told the journalists, “Personally, I am so committed to AODA being enforced before 2025 that I have already started a regimen to build up my wrist muscles, so like the previous Minister I can sign more letters to a tiny percentage of the businesses ignoring the law, telling them ignoring the law is bad.”
In conclusion, Minister Duiguid could have said that in extreme cases especially exhausted businesses executive will now be able to access Ontario Government grants for stress relief, including massages, acupuncture and therapy.
When he might have been asked by one journalist what he was doing to actually implement AODA, Minister Duiguid would likely have replied “Isn’t that obvious?”
Next: AODA II: The Summer Blockbuster Coming To Your Theatres Soon! Or not!
Victor Schwartzman contributes this weekly satiric column to Accessibility News nothing in these columns is true except what they are about. His graphic novel (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 a monthly poetry review to http://www.targetaudiencemagazine.com. He has had poetry and short fiction published, and has edited novels. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.