By Victor Schwartzman
May 27, 2013
On May 32, 2013 the Ontario Government responded to critics that it has failed to implement AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005) by agreeing.
“As the new Premier, I have looked into this matter. The Government has failed to implement AODA properly. The reason? Our fight against sexism,” stated Premier Obi Wynne-Kenobi.
Premier Wynne-Kenobi, a Jedi Master before entering politics, stated that AODA implementation appeared to have been drawn from
a galaxy long ago and far away. The language involved was so irreparably sexist, she stated, it delayed progress in putting AODA into practice.
“As my mentor Yoda said about AODA, ‘progress forward you must, but at what expense not?’ While I never quite understood, but I think he meant we cannot implement AODA.
Unfortunately, ‘implement’ has ‘men’ right in it. This sexist language clearly emphasizes men, and as the whole point of AODA is to fight
discrimination it would be completely discriminatory to implement AODA at all.”
Premier Wynne-Kenobi stated that it was the sexist language problem which had ground progress to a halt. “You can hardly fight discrimination with discrimination.
We therefore realized that we must find a new word to use before we can even think of beginning to apply AODA regulations, or put them into practice, or execute AODA requirements, or carry out the regulations, or start inspections, or whatever.”
The Premier acknowledged community frustration.
AODA was developed after pressure from the community and a lengthy community consultation process. Going
ten years on after AODA was proclaimed and there is no public information on how many forms have been submitted, inspections conducted, or other fundamental information.
“This entire situation symbolizes the problem in creating change,” Premier Wynne-Kenobi stated. Therefore, the Government has now proposed a new community consultation process. The purpose of this process will be to develop a new word to crank up work on AODA, or undertake work on AODA, or to commence enforcing AODA regulations, “or whatever.”
The new Premier noted that “Community consultation process are very worthwhile and important. Look what they have produced so far—almost twenty years of keeping community advocates busy. That is certainly an achievement the Government can be proud of.”
Next: The Ontario Government Explains the ‘con’ in Consultation