Toronto, Ont., Tuesday, October 12, 2004 – “We are pleased that the Government has recognized a number of recommendations made by AMO in the proposed changes to the ODA introduced today,” said AMO President Roger Anderson.
“Most importantly, providing municipalities the flexibility required in the development, implementation and certification of standards is welcomed, as is including the private sector in the responsibility of making our communities barrier free,” Anderson continued.

The proposed changes introduced today intend to support the Government’s commitment to strengthen the Act and provide equal access for people of all abilities. Based on a twenty-year plan with the objective of Ontario being the leading jurisdiction in accessibility, government, private and public sectors will be required within five years to develop standards that address the full range of disabilities and barriers and make recommendations on implementation and issues related to achieving accessibility. The Act recognizes that developing standards must be sector specific and flexible to meet realistic and manageable timelines and circumstances. Sectors will also be responsible for ensuring standards are met. 

Municipal governments have already made great strides toward making communities barrier free.  They have worked collaboratively, especially with the disability community, to plan and make accessibility changes to municipal facilities and streetscape.   “Municipal governments will continue to work collectively and cooperatively with the disability community,” said Anderson. “There is much to be done, and the involvement of the private sector is critical to ensuring Ontarians with disabilities can contribute fully to our communities.”

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 445 municipal governments.  AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

- 30 -