reprinted from the Amherstburg Echo
RE: Town council to discuss bylaw exemptions to allow horse and buggy business in Navy Yard Park
With the exception of Councillor Diane Pouget, shame on council for putting accessibility after the cart. In particular, shame on Councillor Bart DiPasquale, a member of the town’s accessibility advisory committee, for not representing the rights of residents with disabilities.
After having appeared before council for the past ten years to raise accessibility issues, critique the town’s annual accessibility plan, and to question the town’s commitment to accessibility, I once again question council’s rationale for its action – the town has an obligation to ensure the safety of all its residents, including persons with disabilities and equal access to its amenities.
Randy Fasan, as a business owner, is also subject to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its Regulations and the Ontario Human Rights Code. Will customers with disabilities be able to access his business, provide feedback in an accessible manner and will he change his website to make it accessible?
Fasan is quoted as saying, “if I have to abide by these bylaws as they stand today I am going to have to move to another town or discontinue any type of business to Amherstburg.” I’d like to know how he assumed he did not have to comply with the bylaw in the first place.
Making an amendment to exempt a business from a bylaw that has not been prosecuted while operating in violation of the bylaw for years sets a precedent for anyone to ignore any town bylaw and illustrates council’s disregard for the safety of its residents.