By Victor Schwartzman
December 24, 2014
Nostradamus was contacted by this always truthful journalist on the internet, where nothing ever dies. The seer was asked to make a prediction for the Ontario Government’s 2015 Implementation of the AODA access legislation. He refused. His response was:
Predictions for the predictable!
Why ask what you know already
Answer the unanswerable
Their ethics are like spaghetti
This is a rough translation, so I might not have gotten it quite right (which is often true in Canada of any English understanding of French.) Nostradamus, even though dead for centuries and arguably with plenty of time on his hands, refused to spend a minute more on AODA implementation. His argument was why predict a predictable future? There was no fun in it. Good predictions involve surprises. So Nostradamus told me, been there and done that.
However, our readers, if there are any, deserve better. Therefore, I have decided to step into Nostradamus’ shoes and offer my own predictions! I created them with the assistance of our home OUIJA board, the magic answer ball, and a flippable coin. Here is how 2015 will begin:
A letter will go out
The Minister will be proud
Business failure he’ll rout
He’ll state out loud.
What this quatrain means is that three or four months into 2015, Minister Duguid will make an announcement. In April, perhaps April 1, he will announce a bold letter going out to all businesses which have not submitted required AODA forms about 70% of Ontario eligible businesses. He will hail the letter as demanding that businesses comply because if the forms are not filled out there is no way to determine accessibility and whether the businesses are compliant. The letter will be hailed as a bold new step in pushing for compliance of AODA, although the Minister will prefer the less judgmental sounding “pushing forward with improvements.”
In the early Summer, Minister Duguid will hail the letter as a success. He will note that it was sent out and businesses received it. Minister Duguid will again state that the Government is “early” in AODA implementing, looking not at the importance of ensuring access quickly, but instead looking at the 2025 final deadline.
Look at David Onley
Champion on the inside
He became very lonely
Tried and tried and tried
In late 2014, Minister Duguid announced the involvement/appointment of David Onley, a respected advocate on access issues. Onley was to be a “champion” for implementing the AODA access legislation, both inside and outside the Government. For the first half of 2015, he will meet with Government officials and business leaders, working with them to improve AODA implementation. Tirelessly he will champion access in the community.
He will get nowhere.
By July, David Onley will announce that he had to spend June in the hospital, due to a drug addiction. He said on being released that he considered his involvement with the Government completed. Onley stated that his “championing” of implementation quickly created a dangerous dependency on tranquilizers. “Now that I’m clean, I want to stay clean, and if I continued with the Government that would not be possible.”
Minister Duguid stated that he was disappointed at Onley’s statement because tranquilizers had always worked for him.
In September, a Freedom Of Information application by the AODA Alliance will result in the discovery that, still, only a handful of noncompliant businesses had complied with AODA.
We will lose AODA’s sole Minister
Alone he will no longer be
It is not a move to call sinister
It makes sense politically
In October, Premier Wynne will announce that there is a decade of evidence that AODA implementation under a single Minister has not worked. This is because access implementation involves many society-wide elements, including employment, service provision and physical transportation issues. Successfully implementing AODA, she will announce, means involving virtually all of the Ministers, because all of their Departments have to be directly involved in implementing AODA.
This is hailed as a prescient, holistic approach. With all of the Ministers involved communications would be improved and AODA might be implemented not in 2025, but well ahead of schedule! That will be the prediction for this new plan.
In November, it will be discovered that the first problem encountered implementing the plan was getting a date when all the Ministers were available to meet. The first available time was on the morning of November 23, 2015. The subject of the first meeting will be to arrange more frequent meetings.
Next: Happy New Year! May It Improve On This One!
Victor Schwartzman contributes this weekly column to Accessibility News. Buy the first nine chapters of his current satirical fantasy novel, King Of The Planet, for .99 on Kindle at http://www.amazon.ca/King-The-Planet-Victor-Schwartzman-ebook/dp/B00NE0CCRC or read the earlier drafts and current chapters for free, on the King Of The Planet Facebook page. It has a “4 out of 5 star” review already!
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.