Accessibility advocate Warren (Gus) Reed on the importance of not giving up when bureaucrats and politicians feed you a steady diet red herrings.
In a decision issued a year ago a Nova Scotia Human Right Board of Inquiry ordered the Department of the Environment in no uncertain terms to enforce food safety regulations that make it mandatory for restaurants to provide wheelchair-accessible washrooms. Almost a year later plaintiffs are still waiting for actual changes.
Jen Powley. a tireless advocate for disability rights and housing for people with disabilities, has been presented with the 2019 James McGregor Stewart Award. Jen is a tireless activist for the right of persons with severe physical disabilities to live independently, rather than in nursing homes
Gus Reed is not happy about government inaction after the Human Rights Commission decision that Environment must enforce the requirement that restaurants provide accessible washrooms.
On the International Day for Persons with a Disability Paul Vienneau takes stock. Some progress, especially in the crafting of Bill 59, and a long way to go, he writes. “It’s as if the government thinks the work is done now. But change doesn’t come from from legislation. The legislation is merely the starting point.”
This weekend’s weekend video features Halifax musician, photographer, stalwart activist and Nova Scotia Advocate author Paul Vienneau as he hands out bottled water on a hot Spring Garden day. ““This helped me see that giving away water has become part of what I am doing with my life. It’s an antidepressant in 24 little plastic bottles.”
Paul Vienneau is one of the accessibility advocates who successfully challenged the government’s refusal to enforce health and safety regulations when it comes to accessible washrooms. After a long battle with the Human Rights Commission there finally was a human rights tribunal, and in September they won their case. Just this Friday the government announced that it accepts the decision. Paul is NOT impressed.
There are two accessible parking spots along the Harbourwalk South, where you will find the NSCAD Port Campus, the Nova Scotia Centre for Crafts and Design, the Mary E. Black Gallery, and more. Unless the cruise ships are in town, that is. That’s when the Halifax Port Authority shuts the spots down.
Warren (Gus) Reed is one of the successful complainants in a recent human rights case that considered the province’s refusal to enforce accessible washrooms in restaurants. Here Reed looks back on the tribunal in all its absurdity. “It is typical of the provincial authorities not to exercise any creative economic thinking. Accessibility calls for new approaches and less whining!,” writes Reed, who pulls out a calculator himself. The money spent on government lawyers could have been spent so much wiser.
In July we reported on a Nova Scotia Human Rights tribunal asked to decide whether to prevent people who use wheelchairs from washing their hands in a restaurant amounts to discrimination. Well, this time the good guys won, and the the province lost. Another loser was the NS Human Rights Commission, which did not want to consider the case until told by a judge to do so,