Judy Haiven: It seems people who use wheelchairs or walkers are not as welcome as dogs are on Halifax patios. While dogs are permitted to drink water on the decks, Gerry Post, a wheelchair user and disability rights advocate said, “I’d probably have to restrict myself to one beer because I can’t go to the bathroom.”
Martyn Williams writes a letter to city staff and councillors to plea for safer intersections for old people and people who live with disabilities. “This is not an issue where engineers may balance the cost to vulnerable road user lives against the benefit gained to traffic flow. It is a human rights issue that requires urgent action and intervention by leadership through appropriate policy.”
Warren (Gus) Reed: My present complaint against the Human Rights Commission and the ministries of health, environment and justice goes to the heart of government indifference to the needs of people with disabilities. Being disabled in Nova Scotia is no cakewalk. There is discrimination at every turn. Employment, health, income, education, transportation – you name it – people with disabilities face discrimination.
A 3-year construction-related closure of a Robie Street sidewalk will require either a long detour along Agricola, a very dangerous unmarked crosswalk crossing of Robie, or a one-kilometre detour along signalized crosswalks. That’s too hard for many people who are older or who live with disabilities, writes Martyn Williams.
Warren (Gus) Reed: “I’m gonna go ‘way out on a limb here and venture to say that none of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commissioners is a person with a transformative disability. The odds are in my favor. Very few people with disabilities are appointed to Nova Scotia’s 135 Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABCs).”
Warren (Gus) Reed; “I wonder when Strang got hand washing religion. Four years ago, wheelchair users asked Strang to weigh in on enforcement of the province’s food safety regulation requiring “washroom facilities for staff and washroom facilities for the public available in a convenient location” in restaurants. He was indifferent:”
Warren (Gus) Reed is still waiting for the province to follow up on the September 2018 NS Human Rights Decision that restaurants must provide wheelchair access to washrooms. A recent case of Norovirus while traveling in the US made the risks wheelchair users are exposed to all the more real.
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.
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.