Today, Ontario PC Accessibility Critic Bill Walker slammed the Wynne Liberals for trying to block the AODA Alliance from accessing information on the government’s progress to improve the lives of people with disabilities, and also attempting to stick the organization with a hefty legal bill.
“It’s deplorable the Wynne Liberals tried to hide information from this volunteer organization about an issue they’ve only paid lip service to, and it’s even worse she then set her team of lawyers on this group,” said Walker. “It’s clear the Wynne Liberals have pushed people living with disabilities off of their agenda.”
The AODA Alliance is a not-for-profit coalition that advocates on behalf of persons with disabilities. Recently the Ontario Information and Privacy Commission sided with the Alliance against the $4,250 fee the government wanted to charge the Alliance for information on the government’s progress towards creating an accessible Ontario by 2025. The ruling agreed the original fee was unjustified and would cause unnecessary financial hardship to the not-for-profit.
“Who would have thought a government would try to squeeze every dollar out of an organization whose job is to protect some of society’s most vulnerable?” added Walker. “Instead of working to help improve the lives of 1.8 million Ontarians living with a disability, Kathleen Wynne has been busy launching legal battles against a volunteer organization with no disposable funds.”
The Wynne government has claimed to be a leader on accessibility, however there has been ongoing criticism that her government is falling short on its promises. At minimum, Walker asked the government to waive the remainder of the Access to Information fees, and to support the organization in their efforts to help Ontarians.
“The next election will be about who will make it easier for Ontario families to make ends meet and get ahead. Every single action this government taken for the past 14 years has been about helping the Ontario Liberal Party instead of hardworking Ontarians. This disgraceful behaviour is just more proof that if they’re re-elected they’ll continue down the same path.”