Tuesday, 20 November 2018

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,

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.