It's more important
than ever that as many of you as possible, either organizations or individuals,
sign up as soon as possible to make an oral presentation this fall at
the continued public hearings on the controversial Bill 107 before the
Legislature's Standing Committee on Justice Policy. Bill 107 is the McGuinty
Government's proposed new law that will take away from the Ontario Human
Rights Commission most of its power to investigate and publicly prosecute
discrimination cases. Below we help you with information on how to sign
We urge as many of
you as possible to now contact the Legislature's Standing Committee on
Justice Policy to ask to make an oral presentation at this fall's resumed
public hearings on Bill 107. This is the most important way you can help
with the campaign to prevent the weakening of the Human Rights Commission.
Details on how to submit your request are set out below.
We still don't know
when the Toronto hearings will take place, or how many days of hearings
will be held. All we know about the hearings is:
- The Toronto hearings
won't start until after the Legislature resumes sitting on September
- You can ask to
present at the upcoming Toronto hearings even if you are not from the
Toronto area. If you are from other parts of Ontario, you might either
travel to Toronto to present, or ask to make your presentation over
the phone or by video hookup.
- Don't think that
it is only important for organizations to make presentations. The Standing
Committee has welcomed presentations by individuals as well, even if
they don't speak for an organization.
- We don't know
if the Standing Committee will allow time to hear from everyone who
asks to make a presentation. In its first three days of hearings, held
two weeks ago, we understand that time may have been offered to presenters
on a "first come, first served" basis.
- In London, and
possibly in Ottawa, the Standing Committee had more requests to present
than it had time available during the one day of hearings in each of
those cities. There has been some indication that at least for those
who could not get time to present in London, the Standing Committee
may offer a future opportunity to present. That future opportunity may
involve another hearing day in London, or a chance to present at upcoming
Toronto hearings in person, or a chance to make the presentation to
the Toronto hearings via a phone hook-up. We have no information on
whether the Standing Committee will cover the travel costs of London
presenters or others from outside Toronto who may have to come to Toronto
- To date, the number
of presenters at the first three days of the hearings who oppose bill
107 have strongly outnumbered those who supported the bill by more than
2 to 1. This helps convey a strong message to the McGuinty Government
that this bill is fundamentally flawed.
- You don't have
to submit a written brief in order to make an oral presentation. The
Standing Committee will let presenters know in advance how much time
each gets to present. At the first three days of hearings, presenters
got somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes each. However, you are not obliged
to fill all your allocated time if you don't wish.
- The AODA Alliance
is happy to make available helpful background information and tips for
anyone who signs up to make a presentation. For example, visit:
HOW TO SIGN UP FOR PUBLIC HEARINGS
It's easy and quick
to sign up to ask to make a presentation at the continued hearings! For
the steps to take, visit:
The Standing Committee
hasn't yet fixed a deadline for requesting an opportunity to make an oral
presentation. We have heard word that as many as 80 requests to present
have already been made.
INTERESTING TWIST AT THE THUNDER BAY HEARINGS ON AUG. 10/06
At the August 10,
2006 Thunder Bay hearings, the Standing Committee passed an important
motion, proposed by NDP MPP Peter Kormos, about its upcoming hearings,
move that the standing committee on justice policy invites former chairs/commissioners
of the OHRC and current Commissioner Barbara Hall and commission managers
and staff to attend before the committee during its consideration of
Bill 107, and that they be allowed adequate time for their submissions
and responses to questions."
This motion is very
significant. It's important for the Standing Committee to hear not only
from politically-appointed commissioners, but also from Human Rights Commission
staff to get each of their perspectives on the bill.
Want To Read What
Was Said At The First Three Days Of Public Hearings On Bill 107?
You can read all the
proceedings to date at the Standing Committee on Justice Policy's public
hearings on Bill 107. visit:
Text of 1st Day
of Bill 107 Public Hearings august 8, 2006 London
Text of 2nd Day
of Bill 107 Public Hearings August 9, 2006 Ottawa
Text of 3rd Day
of bill 107 Public Hearings August 10, 2006 Thunder Bay