Amherstburg Caremongering Comment Declined

I guess the Caremongering group didn’t care for my comment. I tried to join the conversation about the re-opening of Jack Purdie park and its lack of accessible playground equipment.

In response to Councillor Molly Allaire’s comments, i tried to post:

There should be no reason for ‘baby steps.’ There’s the ODA 2001, AODA 2005, Human Rights Code, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities. What is the explanation for NOT incorporating accessible design? Who approved the design? Who approved the tender? Anyone could file a human rights complaint against the town, like I had to resort to for the library. There is a long history of persons with disabilities being marginalized and discriminated against and it is unacceptable, given all the legislation, polices, practices, guidelines, etc. to encounter ‘it’s just a painfully slow process.’ The law is the law is the law.

Questions For New Council Unanswered: Update

Some elected officials have now answered some of my October 26 questions, as mentioned in the November 14 post, Kudos And Questions For New Council Unanswered.

Since I did not encounter any barriers during campaigns by Councillor Diane Pouget and Councillor Peter Courtney, they were not asked to answer the three questions.

Mayor Michael Prue and Councillor Donald McArthur did not respond at the time of this post.

All answers, including typos and misspellings, are as received.

  • of the accessibility information the town provided to you for your campaign, which did you read?

    Deputy Mayor Chris Gibb: no answer

    Councillor Molly Allaire: I read all materials supplied to me during my campaign from the town. I did not want anything to jeopardize my chances of making it into council.

    Councillor Linden Crain: I read all election material provided by the Town throughout my campaign, including any information pertaining to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

  • what trainings have you participated in for accessibility legislation, for example, as an employee, volunteer, etc.?

    Deputy Mayor Chris Gibb
    : I’m proud to say that I did complete the ADOA training that was offered to all members of council and I hope to put what I learned into practice not only in my “municipal life” but also in my personal life.

Councillor Molly Allaire: I have never really had any accessibility training. I have taken a few courses in university such as “Special Populations” and “Athletics for Everyone” which basically taught us many different populations accessibility needs and how to make recreation possible for everyone. At my previous job I learnt in the field about all walking aid assistive devices and such/

Councillor Linden Crain: Both the Town of Amherstburg and the County of Essex members of Council have received training on accessibility. I have also been advised that Administration will be doing a special session on accessibility in the first quarter of 2023.

  • how will you fulfill the obligation to remove barriers?

    Deputy Mayor Chris Gibb: no answer

Councillor Molly Allaire: I am just dipping my feet into the waters here so bare with me. I plan to start applying for grants with the towns approval of course to help making our playgrounds and “heritage buildings” more accessible. I know this is not the perfect plan but starting somewhere is important. If you have any ideas or concerns specifically about the town that you would like to bring forward I will always listen and try to help. This is why I stepped up for this position.

Councillor Linden Crain:

  • Continue an open dialogue with the Town’s Accessibility Advisory Committee.
  • Follow regulations outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. 
  • Always remain available to address concerns any resident faces in the Town of Amherstburg.
  • Work closely with Town Administration to establish procedures and measures that ensure those with disabilities have the opportunity to experience all our community has to offer.

Kudos And Questions For New Council Unanswered

Two days after the election, on October 26, 2022, I congratulated all members of the new council and offered kudos to councillors Pouget and Courtney; I did not encounter any barriers during their campaigns to represent their community.

Unfortunately, the remaining 5 created and/or perpetuated barriers for the approximate 5000 Amherstburg residents with disabilities so as a result, I asked:

  • of the accessibility information the town provided to you for your campaign, which did you read?
  • what trainings have you participated in for accessibility legislation, for example, as an employee, volunteer, etc.?
  • how will you fulfill the obligation to remove barriers?

Election Barriers 2022

From Administration report to council, ‘After the election is complete, the Clerk shall report to Council on election related accessibility issues that were identified and how each issue was addressed during the election period. The Clerk’s report will also be provided to the Municipality’s Accessibility Advisory Committee for information and comment.’

I submitted my list of barriers, including the canddiates’ I encountered and encourage everyone to submit to:

Valerie Critchley
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Amherstburg
519-736-0012 ext.2238

email: vcritchley@amherstburg.ca

‘Fully Accessible’ Richmond Popcorn Company

Candidate Linden Crain tweeted his congrats about The Richmond Popcorn Company’s October 8 grand opening. Even if it is unwelcome, I raise accessibility awareness at every opportunity so I tweeted, I’m not celebrating; it’s another one step barrier to a shop that may exclude some people with disabilities in Amherstburg.

I guess Dan Gemus saw it and replied, ‘Just so happens we have custom ramps on order for our building. They are scheduled to arrive any time now’ to which I responded, ‘Just so you know, Accessibility involves more than ramps.’ Besides, access delayed is access denied.

October 18, The Richmond Popcorn shop’s Facebook page states, “It was super important to us to make sure our non accessible building was fully accessible for the newest shop in town! We had to get a little creative, but we made it happen!”

October 20, I commented, I’d like you to explain how this is ‘fully accessible’ and by what or whose standards? the stop gap ramp company stipulates it is not intended to be a permanent fixture and should only be used when required. the permanent accessibility design should be incorporated at the design stage so it’s never an afterthought and full accessibility would include many more features than a ramp.

October 21 I went to check out the store but the ramp wasn’t out. There still would have been barriers though.

step barrier to Richmond Popcorn store entrance in Amherstburg, Ontario

Amherstburg Candidates And Accessibility: Chamber of Commerce

I appreciated Mayoral Candidate John Laframboise holding his meet and greet at the K of C Hall in Amherstburg, while several other candidates held meet and greets in locations with barriers.

I was just as disappointed that the Chamber of Commerce used the stage, with its stairs, for the Mayoral and Deputy Mayoral Candidates’ Night on October 12, 2022.

stairs leading up to stage in hall for municipal candidate night in Amherstburg, Ontario 2022

Amherstburg Candidates And Accessibility: Meet And Greets

The following candidates should have known better than to hold meet and greet session in these locations since the town was to provide them with accessibility information.

Downtown Espresso Cafe wouldn’t allow my comment to be posted, but it was advertising the following candidates’ meet and greets. step up barrier into Downtown Espresso Cafe Amherstburg, Ontario

Linden Crain launch July 14

Frank DiPasquale August 30 6 to 8 pm
September 27 6 to 8 pm

Lori Wightman September 13 6 to 8 pm

Molly Allaire September 22 6 to 8 pm

Patricia Simone October 2 11am to 2 pm

Donald McArthur October 3 6 to 8 pm

Gregory Moore October 5 6 to 8 pm

Holger Kretschmann October 6 6 to 8 pm

Artisan Grill

step up barrier into Artisan Grill Amherstburg, Ontario

Michael Prue  October 3 7 to 9 pm

Speck’s

step up barrier into Speck's restaurant Amherstburg, Ontario

Nancy Atkinson September 21

Accessibility Awareness And Candidate Accountability

The Downtown Espresso Cafe is advertising candidate meet and greet sessions. Out of concern that persons with disabilities may be excluded because of the step, I posted to You know you are from Amherstburg when…. a Facebook group “for all who grew up in the great town of Amherstburg, Ontario Canada!!!”

Notification: “Your comment was automatically declined based on certain criteria in this group.”

‘See feedback’ revealed: These rules come from the group admins.

1 No Promotions or Spam
Absolutely no sale posts of any kind unless you have approved it by the admin first. Certain posts will be allowed based on the discretion of the admin.

2 No Hate Speech or Bullying
Make sure everyone feels safe. Bullying of any kind isn’t allowed, and degrading comments about things like race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender or identity will not be tolerated.

3 Be Kind and Courteous
We’re all in this together to create a welcoming environment. Let’s treat everyone with respect. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required.

I then wrote the same comment on the Downtown Espresso Cafe Facebook page and it was deleted.

Other than ‘the candidates should know better,” everything else in the comment was quoted from the town’s information.

The candidates should know better. The step to get in can make this inaccessible. From the town’s 2022 Municipal Election Draft Accessibility Plan: “The Town of Amherstburg will provide Candidates with the Candidates’ Guide to Accessible Elections produced by the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO). The Town will also incorporate accessibility information and messaging into Candidate Information Packages and Candidate Information Sessions.”

Copyright – this information is protected by Canada’s Copyright Act. Request written permission from the burg watch at gmail dot com.

Buying A Bus Pass

Patricia Simone’s video buying a bus pass at Amherstburg town hall.

This week’s River Town Times ad referring to ‘mobile device.’

newspaper ad about amherstburg buss

Several emails were sent to Transit Windsor and the City of Windsor trying to obtain clarification. The closest answer was, “I am not exactly sure what you are asking me.  If you are referring to what type of mobility devices are allowed on the bus, than that is an easy question to answer.”

Maybe more training is needed to prevent town employees from using outdated language like ‘handicap accessible’ and generating information that should inform people, not confuse them.  

Caffeine and Company Stairs A Barrier To Some Persons With Disabilities

I’m continuing my tour of some of the downtown Amherstburg eateries; more photos to follow.

The former Echo building is now a coffee shop.

stairs a barier to Caffeine and Company in Amherstburg, OntarioThis is where Windsor Police held Coffee With A Cop in 2019 and apologized: Coffee With A Cop: Windsor Police Apologize For ‘Misstep.’

stairs a barrier to coffee with a cop in amherstburg, ontario