The burg watch Open Air posts’ viewing statistics have increased, particularly then-candidates’ opinions, which is worth repeating.
Will you remove barriers during Open Air weekends that block people with disabilities from driving to the bank, local stores, bars, and generally driving through town?
- Councillor Peter Courtney: Of course I would!
- Councillor Diane Pouget: Yes, I am definitely in favor of removing barriers for people with disabilities during Open Air. The fact that 51% of the businesses in the downtown core want the closure of streets for 3 days on weekends and 4 days on long weekends from May to September is unreasonable and unfair. This is especially true, since 49% claim that Open Air hurts their business, especially their clients with disability issues. Further to that, the taxpayers are footing the bill to hurt our most vulnerable residents. It was disappointing to learn that only one person with a disability was consulted. This is unfair and must be revisited.
- Councillor Linden Crain: Yes. It is important that all members of the community can experience Open Air. If there are particular barriers in place, I am more than willing to investigate further and help find a solution.
Councillor Donald McArthur: If there are persisting issues with accessibility, let’s work collaboratively to address them in consultation with the Town’s Accessibility Advisory Committee. Let’s not give up on something that engages our youth while promoting economic development, something that sets our Town apart in a positive way and creates the sort of bustling environment where a hotel cannot only open but flourish.
Councillor Molly Allaire: I love Open Air Weekends, my family partakes every weekend for sure. I will be honest after going door to door my eyes have been opened up to a great deal of problems in our town that I was unaware of. Open air has many positives and negatives. I think the blockades that they created this year allow better parking for the majority. We could make it more accessible for people with disabilities by blocking off the waterfront parking area specifically for them allowing closer access to amenities. I also believe that open air is wonderful but should only be one day instead of 3. Many residents say that it is more of a nuisance trying to get to their bank, business, home etc. Business owners have stated that their business has actually done worse during these hours because lack of access to the area. I think having it one day would be a fair compromise and make it still an event for people to come and enjoy.
Mayor Michael Prue
Deputy Mayor Gibb