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,
Our friends at the James McGregor Stewart Society report on a Halifax restaurant that went from a nicely wheelchair-accessible entrance to make-do.
Day one in a human rights inquiry into wheelchair access to washrooms in restaurants. It was quick, wrap up is tomorrow. Oh, and the case almost didn’t happen because the Human Rights Commission didn’t think it had merit, and the complainants had to take the Commission to court. Sound familiar?
Paul Vienneau, disability advocate, asshole with a shovel and sometime NS Advocate contributor, won an award for his disability advocacy. We went to the ceremony, and it was very nice.
“Exclusive lifestyles are profoundly antisocial. They lead to the creation residential and commercial ghettos. Inclusive culture makes space for and welcomes people of all cultures, abilities and income levels,” writes Kimberly Smith. We need more of the latter, and thinking about cohousing may get us there.
Paul Vienneau considers a new all-ages Pavilion on the Common, more accessible and even better than the current one, because live music matters.
Warren (Gus) Reed, together with five others, filed a complaint about inaccessible washrooms in restaurants with the NS Human Rights Commission almost two years ago. He’s still waiting for some kind of resolution. We talk with Reed about why the delays, and what he would do to change that. It’s about way more than not having enough resources.
Sure a bus will kneel, but once on the bus a wheelchair can give you a rough ride. New contributor Paul Vienneau writes on how he has been working with Halifax Transit to fix that, and how a trip to Disney World made him realize that a solution is out there.
We talk with disability activist Gus Reed about (successfully) taking the NS Human Rights Commission to court, and why the Commission appears so reluctant to fight on behalf of people whose human rights have been breached. “I think there is a reluctance to take on tough issues that involve systemic problems. I also don’t think they like to take on the government,” says Reed.