Now is the time to step up to the mark. If Bill 183 is to pass third reading we to put on a big push right immediately !!!
The committee hearings for Bill 183 took place last week. All but 3 of the presenters spoke in favour of the bill. However, the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) spoke at length about her fears regarding the bill. Despite the fact that her predictions of doom, based on evidence from other jurisdictions, are totally unfounded, it caught the attention of the media. As a result, several stories have appeared in the paper that appear to bolster her argument for a disclosure veto.
The Conservatives are watching this very closely because certain members of their party do not support the Bill and are prepared to delay the democratic process and hold up the vote, if necessary.
Yesterday afternoon, we met with staff members at the IPC office. They told us that they have received only about 75 letters in support of the bill and nearly that same amount against it. As far as they are concerned, only half of the adoption community supports the bill. This is troubling news.
We, the adoption community, must act now if we want Bill 183 to become law.
Next Monday, May 30, the members of the Standing Committee on Social Policy will meet to debate the Bill's contents. This is called the "clause by clause". After that the bill will be sent to third and final reading.
It is imperative that the members of the standing committee know that we do NOT support a disclosure veto and that we overwhelmingly want a retroactive bill.
Take five minutes today and write one e-mail to all the members of the Standing Committee on Social Policy. Your e-mail need only be a few lines long.
Simply state three things: you support Bill 183, that you do not support a disclosure veto and the Bill must be retroactive.
Please forward this message to everyone (friends, family, neighbours) you know who will also write in favour of the Bill. We need to flood the committee members' mail boxes. They must know what we, the adoption community, want.
E-mail it to every member of the standing committee (addresses below.) Please cc the letter to Minister Pupatello, John Tory, and Ann Cavoukian, the IPC.
It may be many years before we have another chance to change adoption disclosure law in Ontario. Please, if you support open records, write now.
Address your e-mail to the members of the Standing Committee on Social Policy:
Please cc Minister Pupatello, John Tory, Leader of the Opposition, and Ann Cavoukian, the Information and Privacy Commissioner:
ALSO, please write a separate email to John Tory, Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and insist that his caucus not filibuster the Bill, thus delaying any possibility that it will come to third reading. The PCs must respect the democratic process and allow the Bill to move forward. If they block this Bill, we will remember them at the polls next election.
Please take note: we may be writing soon to ask you for immediate further action.
We are nearing the end of this long battle for open records in Ontario. Let's make sure we win.
COAR Coordinating Committee
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