OTTAWA — Official Opposition Seniors and Accessibility critic Joel Harden (Ottawa Centre) issued the following statement to mark National AccessAbility Week:
“National AccessAbility Week is a time to honour the contributions people with disabilities make every single day to our society, and acknowledge the barriers that stand in the way of them living their fullest lives.
These barriers can and must be dismantled. In Ontario, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires this province to be fully accessible by 2025. We are nowhere near meeting this deadline, and the Ford government has shown no urgency in getting us there. At the moment, they are violating the law by still not releasing the recommendations of the post-secondary education accessibility standards development committee, which they received in mid-March, 2021.
People with disabilities have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are more likely to contract and be severely affected by COVID. Over the past year, the Ontario NDP has fought to ensure that people with disabilities are not overlooked by this government. We’ve called for increased income supports, priority vaccination and a triage protocol that respects disability rights.
Alongside the disability community, we will continue working for a province where disability rights are at the forefront of government decision making, not an afterthought. Together, we’ll keep fighting for a barrier-free Ontario where everyone can live their fullest lives.”