Then And Now

Comparing Amherstburg To Other Municipalities: Accessibility Committee Applications

How will council appoint applicants on January 23 pursuant to the AODA 2005 if they are unaware of applicants’ eligibility?

Section 29 (3) of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 states: ‘A majority of the members of the committee shall be persons with disabilities.  2005, c. 11, s. 29 (3).’

Amherstburg advertised, ‘A majority of the members of the committee shall be persons with disabilities or caregivers of persons with disabilities.

Municipal Clerks from Essex County, Kingsville, Leamington, LaSalle and Tecumseh quickly responded to my request for copies of the application form for this article.

Note: emphasis has been added if application forms reference the legislation and eligibility lists have been summarized.

Amherstburg: Applications Form

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA (Please check all boxes applicable to you)

  • resident or owner/tenant of land in the Town of Amherstburg
  • at least 18 years old
  • not prohibited from voting in a municipal election
  • understand and agree to adhere to the Council and Committee Code of Conduct.
    (Each Committee may have additional criteria for eligibility – Refer to Terms of Reference)
    Do you meet the qualifications for your chosen Committee/Board?

There was no link to the Terms of Reference.

Essex County Application Form

You are eligible to apply if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • person living with a disability
  • resident, owner or tenant of land in Essex County
  • Canadian citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • Not prohibited by law from voting in a municipal election
  • Not an employee of the Corporation of the County of Essex
    Do you meet all of the eligibility criteria listed above? * Yes No

In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, a majority of the members of the Accessibility Advisory Committee must be persons with disabilities.

Please select the sector which you would be representing on the Committee. I am a person with a disability. I am a professional from the disability stakeholder community.

Kingsville Application Form

If you are applying for the Accessibility Advisory Committee, please note that the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 requires that a majority of the committee members be persons with disabilities.

Do you identify yourself as having a disability? * Yes No Prefer not to identify

LaSalle Application Form

For more information about the Committee, please review the Terms of Reference here.

Have you read the Terms of Reference for this Committee? * Yes No

What are three areas related to increasing accessibility and inclusion that the Town of LaSalle Accessibility Advisory Committee should focus on during the 2022-2026 term? *

What is your understanding of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA)? How do you think the Town of LaSalle Accessibility Advisory Committee can support the Town in implementing the standards laid out in the AODA? *

Do you identify as a person with a disability or disabilities? *No Yes Prefer Not to Say

If you have identified yourself as a person with a disability or disabilities, and feel comfortable in sharing, can you please tell us about the barriers you may have experienced or are able to identify in our community?

Leamington Application Form

In accordance with the Committee’s membership requirements, the Municipality is searching for a citizen that is a person with a disability or disabilities. Do you wish to identify yourself as a person with a disability or disabilities?

I have read and understand the Terms of Reference for this Board or Committee. I understand that as a Board or Committee Member I will be required to attend mandatory training as organized and provided by the Municipality of Leamington Clerk. * Yes No

Tecumseh 

Our application follows the legislative requirements for advisory committees which can be found here.

Essex and Lakeshore did not respond at the time of writing, but information is posted to their websites:

Essex

View the proposed Terms of Reference and Learn More about the Accessibility Advisory Committee.

The Committee is made up of 1 member of Council and up to 12 members who are appointed by Council from the community. The Mayor may also attend meetings as an ex officio. The Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires that the majority of the Committee members be persons with disabilities.

Lakeshore 

Applications for vacant positions will be accepted until Friday, February 3, 2023 at 12:00 PM.

Prospective applicants can read each committee/board’s terms of reference and apply online at Lakeshore.ca/CommitteeApp (under the “Vacancies” tab).

Related posts: Amherstburg’s vacancy ad and committee composition.

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No Vote For Prue As Per Agreement With Windsor

Unfortunately, but true, no vote for Prue. The Agreement between the Town of Amherstburg and the City of Windsor, signed on October 12, 2018 stipulated:

The following shall determine the role of the Town with respect to the Board:

14. l (a) The City shall appoint the Mayor or his or her designate to the Board for the remaining term of Council until November 14, 2022, starting with the commencement of this Agreement on January 1, 2019.

(b) The City may consider the appointment of the Mayor or his or her designate for subsequent terms of Council provided that the City is providing police services to the Town.

(c) If at any time during the Initial Term or any Renewal Term, the Mayor or his or her designate is not appointed to the Board, the City agrees to allow the Mayor or his or her designate to become an advisor to the Board, as contemplated by the Act with the full ability to attend all meetings of the Board.

For further clarification regarding 14.1 (c), ‘all meetings of the Board’ shall include in-camera meetings and the advisor shall also receive all reports and correspondence as a full member of the Board would receive, subject to the advisor signing a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement.

CBC reports, Police board ‘missed opportunity’ for diversity with new appointment, says former councillor:

Another change is that Amherstburg’s mayor will no longer have a vote at the table. When Windsor began policing the Town of Amherstburg in 2019, previous mayor Aldo DiCarlo had a seat and a vote at the board.

The new mayor, Michael Prue, said he’s not happy he’ll only be on the board in an advisory role.

The Windsor Star also reports, A’burg mayor decries loss of voting power on Windsor police board:

Amherstburg will have a voice but not a vote at the Windsor Police Services Board this term, a change the town’s new mayor says may influence whether his council renews its contract with the city force.

Comparing Amherstburg To Other Municipalities: Candidates’ Questions

Are candidate and third party advertiser questions to administration disclosed to the public? I received two different answers when I requested the same information from Amherstburg and Toronto.

Amherstburg:

I requested information, without revealing the source, to post to the burg watch blog.

Answer from CAO Critchley: Please file a Freedom of Information Request for this information. The form can be found at this link.

i’m not requesting any personal information; just the questions asked and answered.

Answer: This request is properly an MFIPPA request.

thank you but i respectfully disagree that a formal FOI request would be required.


Toronto:

I requested information to post to the burg watch blog.

Answer from City Clerk’s Office: Access to records held by the City of Toronto is regulated by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). The public has a right to see most City records, with some exceptions.

The City of Toronto engages in routine disclosure to automatically make information available to the public when it is requested. When information is not available routinely, the public may submit a freedom of information request.

In regards to the “You Asked Us” page, the City has established a protocol for responding to requests for information from candidates and third party advertisers about City services and programs so that all candidates have equal access to information for the municipal election.

Candidate & Third Party Advertiser Questions to the City

Why Does Committee Vacancy Ad Not Mirror Provincial Legislation?

For decades, since the Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2001 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005, a majority of the members of the committee shall be persons with disabilities.

The River Town Times ad states, A majority of the members of the committee shall be persons with disabilities or caregivers of persons with disabilities. Caregivers cannot be substituted.

River Town Times ad committee vacancies

Accessibility Advisory Committee Composition

I’ve emailed members of council my concern regarding the call for applications, specifically the composition of the Accessibility Advisory Committee. It may be confusing, as it has been in the past, given the information on the town’s site or received by email.

Town committee members’ Applications will be accepted until January 9, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.

The town’s website states, ‘Application forms are available at Town Hall, 271 Sandwich Street South or on the Town website at www.amherstburg.ca.’

the burg watch note: the link is to the town’s home page, not specifically to the forms.

There are links to:

The completed printable form is to be submitted with a resume and notes ‘Each Committee may have additional criteria for eligibility – Refer to Terms of Reference.’

the burg watch note: the Terms of Reference is not attached to the printable form.

The electronic form allows a resume to be uploaded and notes, ‘Each Committee may have additional criteria for eligibility – Refer to Terms of Reference.’

the burg watch note: there is no link to the Terms of Reference from the Vacancies page or the electronic form.

I searched and located the Local Boards/Committees ~ Terms of Reference and it stipulates:

‘The Amherstburg Accessibility Advisory Committee must be made up of 50% or more of members affected by a disability, as per AODA.’ page 3

‘The AODA requires that not less than 50 percent of this Committee’s members be persons with disabilities or such members as Council deems appropriate.’ page 16

The call for applications section states, A majority of the members of the committee shall be persons with disabilities or caregivers of persons with disabilities. 

The Accessibility Advisory Committee section of the town’s site states, ‘The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires that a majority of the Committee’s members be persons with disabilities.’

A 2020 inquiry about the total number of members of the Amherstburg Accessibility Advisory Committee and the number of members that are people with disabilities ended with a percentage of people.

Answer:  link to the composition and 75% of the committees’ membership are affected by disabilities.

i did not inquire about the number of members affected by disabilities. i requested ‘the number of committee members that are people with disabilities.’

Answer: 63% of the committee are people with disabilities.

i would like the NUMBER of people with disabilities as requested, not the percentage.

CAO Critchley Answers Questions About Accounts Payable On Agenda

Following up on yesterday’s post, Accounts Payable On Agenda: A Matter of Trust, Council’s discussion left me wondering – aren’t documents already accessible when they’re created? how do employees with disabilities access these documents? are employees with disabilities working at town hall?

As an aside, I also questioned why the majority of barriers I submitted were not included in the post-election report to council.

  1. i’m writing to request an explanation for the verbal statement that if the accounts payable were to be placed back on the agenda it will cost about $1000.00 per month and 6 hours of work to render the document accessible.

    In order to render the document accessible and ensure it is in compliance with accessibility rules for municipal websites, the Town will need to contract with an outside service provider to do the work as we do not have the internal resource capacity. We anticipate that this will take anywhere between 6-10 hours of work depending on the size of each document.

  2. i’m also writing to request an explanation for the $20,000. estimate for the same.

    It was suggested that an UP SET LIMIT of $20,000 be allocated to this issue in order to ensure we had built enough funding into the budget to complete the work however, that amount was not approved.

  3. would you confirm that the documents are therefore currently inaccessible? 

    In order for the document to meet website accessibility requirements, they need to be rendered so, as is the case with many computer generated documents. The documentation requested is not currently being produced. As with any content that is created, effort is required to build accessible components into the work to meet the legislative requirements.

  4. would you confirm that sending this information via email that would negate the necessity of making it accessible would result in inaccessible documents being emailed? 

    As is the case with many computer and word processed documents, they need to be adjusted to meet website accessibility requirements. To be emailed, they would also need to be rendered accessible.

  5. how would elected officials then share those inaccessible documents with the public?

    If citizen needs a document tco be rendered accessible, we would work to have that done, but there could be costs involved.

  6. what process is in place for elected officials with disabilities to receive accessible documents?

    The process would be the same as listed for question 5 above.

  7. on what date did current members of council receive training in accessibility?

    November 29, 2022.

  8. i also request an explanation for the post election report’s exclusion of the majority of 2022 election barriers i submitted.

    Administration developed a report which it felt was fulsome and the majority of your issues were mentioned.

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