By Victor Schwartzman
June 3, 2013
The Ontario Government on June 2, 2013 issued a media release formally denying that its AODA consultation process with the community had been a confidence game.
“Few people had confidence in the Government taking this seriously to begin with,” the media release noted, “so criticisms by advocates are unfair.
Why did the advocates not complain during the consultation process that the Government would in the future not implement the legislation adequately? Are advocates
willing to share responsibility?
“That said, that ‘con’ and ‘consultation’ share the same letters means nothing, no more than it means that the consultation process meant nothing. This ‘con’ in ‘consultation’ situation is very unlike the concurrent problem involving our inability to implement AODA because of the sexism inherent in the word ‘implement’, given there is no ‘implewoment’.”
The statement appears to be as straightforward as any other Government media release. But is there a further story behind it? We went to an anonymous source within the Government for the inside scoop.
“We’d been getting a lot of pressure for decades from the community to do something about access issues. We came up with the consultation idea. True, we developed the idea one night while we were watching The Sting, but that was a coincidence. When it came to AODA, we could just as easily have been watching Diabolique or The Illusionist or even DOA (Dead On Arrival.”)
When asked about the failure of the Government to properly implement AODA, the internal source stated “Frankly, we blew all our energy on the consultation process. It took a lot to set up and carry out. You should see all the reports we wrote, they fill many shelves. I know it seems ironic, but after the consultation process when it came to implementing AODA there was nothing left in the tank.”
However, the source confirmed that the Government is now taking steps on the AODA implementation situation. “There’s been a lot of pressure from the advocates all over again, so we formed a special committee, and meet regularly. Unfortunately, we’re still on the agenda phase. Maybe that is because the meetings are scheduled for Friday afternoons. At our last meeting we addressed this problem and had a very serious discussion about moving the meetings to Monday mornings, except in the end we all agreed that would be worse. So there’s progress and we’re making decisions.”
Next: Ontario Government Claims Disability In Its Disability In Enforcing AODA