Halifax Metro Transit Offends and Insults the Disabled

Report by Daniel J Towsey Universal Accessibility Plan March 11 2011 Public Meeting http://wheelchairrights.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/halifax-metro-transit-offends-and-insults-thedisabled/ I was informed by the disabilities commission that there was to be a public meeting today at the Dartmouth North Community Center. I then telephoned Halifax Regional Municipality for more information and soon discovered that the meeting was not one meeting from three pm to nine pm. But instead it was two public meetings, the first from three to four thirty and the other one started at seven pm. So I went to the place early. I found no sign or notices posted about the meeting. Then when it started I found no information literature for people to read. But I did find a series of signboards lined up. So I did a series of photographs of these which you will find below.. I introduced myself and then tried to find people I have previously been in contact with at metro transit such as Brian Boudreau who I named in my Human Rights complaint against metro transit. He was not there. But I did find Pat Mar and I asked him if he had read my NOVA bus article I emailed to him. He had not. He had read none of my other reports either. I asked him if he had a business card and he said no. Please note; He is the accessibilities issues manager of Metro Transit. So then I approached the speaker Steven Wicks and I wanted to know who he was. I asked him for his business card and he gave me one. I then found it odd that he was not from metro transit and that he was from the IBM corporation out of California USA. He then began his slide show presentation where he just announced about what was on the slide on his screen. Later in the presentation he made it clear that much of what he was presenting had no definite plan as to if or even when any of it would be put into operation. He then made it clear that it could be many years into the future or if ever at all. I and everyone else there was under the impression we were there to also ask questions. A blind lady interupted and asked some questions which were very quickly sidetrack by the speaker. Then he continued with his slide show. Then I asked a qustion and that was quickly sidetrack. But I persisted many times to change this slideshow presentation into a useful questions and answers meeting.

The speaker really did not want to allow this to happen. So I asked him do you work for metro transit and I soon realized he was not with metro transit. He had been hired to put on a public relations show to make it look like metro transit really cared about the public concerns. Then another member of the audiance from ta representative from the disabilities commission asked the speaker if he was going to adress operational issues about metro transit. The speaker was very agitated and said I am not here to deal with anything to do with how Metro transit operates. So that made it very clear that this whole public meeting had nothing to do with finding out from the public what concerns they had about how metro transit operates. I apologized to the speaker for interrupting his slide show presentation and I went to the exit door where three representatives from metro transit sat behind a table. I very loudly told them that they did not care at all about people in wheelchairs. I pointed out many serious issues, I mentioned to them about my previous communications and reports I filed and sent to metro transit about very serious accessibility issues. As well as human rights violations. I told them I was amazed that my information was not being addressed. You can read these reports from me at http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/wheelchairrights I made it very clear that I did not like anything about how metro transit disrespects me and all other disabled people who have to use motorized wheelchairs. I then told them that this would meeting was nothing but window dressing. I then left the this joke of a public meeting where it felt like I was to be a child in a school classroom that was to listen to the indoctrination . This was supposed to be a meeting to represent the democratic process. Instead it was a very clever propaganda show. During the meeting another person in a wheelchair asked why it was that metro transit had not put up notices or signs on the or in the buses announcing these meetings. So the woman from metro transit sitting in the middle of the table by the exit said they had. SO then I after said that was not true. I, as well as the other person said that we never ever saw any such signs. The speaker as well as metro transit representatives did everything they could to stop any meaningful questions from being addressed at this pretend public meeting. I had to leave this place. I was so insulted and I again was reminded as to how metro transit's way over paid executives do not care to really earn their money and to do the work necessary to learn about and then improve all the human rights violations of metro transit. The Wheelchair Rights cause continues..............................

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