NDP Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities Critic Monique Taylor issued the following statement on the recent ruling from the Information and Privacy Commission regarding a Freedom of Information request from the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance:
“As the NDP critic for Accessibility Issues, I was pleased to see that the Information and Privacy Commission has ruled in favour of transparency and accountability by ordering the Liberal government to waive the thousands of dollars in fees they had levied against Ontarians trying to access information about accessibility enforcement and compliance in the province.
It’s been literally years since David Lepofsky and the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance requested straight forward details on what the Liberal government was doing to make sure businesses were complying with the accessibility act. New Democrats support the enforcement of accessibility standards in Ontario, and we believe the government should do so in a transparent, accountable way.
The Information and Privacy Commission rightly saw the information being sought as having a clear public health and safety benefit – and how could it not?
It’s totally unreasonable for the government to charge over $4,000 for access to the information in the first place, as well as spending thousands of dollars on a team of lawyers to fight the AODA Alliance. Ordering the Liberals to drop the $4,000 fee is a good start; the right thing for the Wynne Liberals to do would be to waive the remaining $750 charge entirely.”