I would like to counter all the accolades with a dose of reality.
Shame on Anne Rota for recommending a report for adoption that omits compliance with provincial legislation.
Rota’s Report referenced under-utilized parking for employees but plans to continue offering those spots. However, the alleged under-utilized accessible parking in the King’s Navy Yard Park lot will be reduced. The rationale for this differentiation was unclear, until the council meeting when Ms. Rota stated this reduction would allow for a turn around to be created instead. Further, the plan is to add three accessible parking spaces in three locations at the outside perimeter.
Shame on council for approving a plan that fails to meet its obligation to consult with the public.
Mayor DiCarlo advised, in April 2021, the Amherstburg Accessibility Advisory Committee was not consulted with respect to Open Air Weekends and only one person with a disability was consulted in the design of the footprint.
It is mandatory, pursuant to O. Reg. 191/11: Integrated Accessibility Standards for the town to consult on the need, location and design of accessible on-street parking spaces and shall do so with the public and persons with disabilities as well as its Accessibility Advisory Committee.
My submission to members of council, prior to the council meeting, wherein I asked if the town would discriminate against persons with disabilities, quoted the provincial legislation regarding public consultation, and objected to the arbitrary placement of accessible parking spaces, especially in a distant perimeter, and accessible spaces that cannot be accessed due to road closures, was ignored.
Given council’s duty to represent the public and to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality, I must question the $90,000. taxpayer funded expenditure that creates barriers to persons with disabilities.
Commentary by Linda Saxon as published in the River Town Times December 1, 2021