You are on page 1of 0

Gabriel Bianchi

Broker of Record / Owner THE WORLD’S LARGEST PRIVATELY OWNED REAL ESTATE SERVICES COMPANY
Call me today and let’s choose a Premier Realtor
®
just for you
416.987.8000 • www.remax-premier.ca
Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX. RE/MAX agents are involved in over a third of all
home sales in Canada. Remarkably, that’s a home sold by a RE/MAX agent every two minutes. The core
strength of the RE/MAX network is the quality of it’s realtors.
For all the things that move.
sm
416.987.8000
YOUR PREMIER
REALTOR
®
IS HERE TO HELP
yorkregion.com 905-264-8703
■Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 ■ $1 INCLUDING HST / 48 PAGES
Publicationmail agreement #40051189
LEGAL RENTALS ARE COMING
TO YOUR CITY SOON
YOUR VIEW
WE WRAP KNUCKLES ON ELECTING
CHAIRPERSON/TOP POLITICIAN
OUR VIEW
PAGE 4
VAUGHAN CITIZEN
PAGE 6
What’s in a name?
York cop remembered
Shots fired
Strict street-naming policy
remains for your community
Const. to be buried Friday
a ‘stand-up’ man, sister says
York police investigate
reports of gunshots at mall
NEWS
YORKREGION.COM
PAGE 7
PAGE 10
NEWS
Stopped in his tracks
It is not easy getting around Vaughan in a wheelchair.
One resident hopes to change that / Page 43
STAFF PHOTO/SJOERD WITTEVEEN
4
3
,

V
a
u
g
h
a
n

C
i
t
i
z
e
n
,

T
h
u
r
s
d
a
y
,

D
e
c
.

5
,

2
0
1
3
STRONG CAPS, R.O.I,
GREAT LOCATIONS!!!!
BETWEEN 600k-10 MILLION
CALL FOR A FREE LIST OF
INVESTMENT PROPERTIES
****INCOME PROPERTIES****
www.Incomepropertyreports.com
or 1-800-229-3180
REMAX PREMIER BROKERAGE INC.
BY TIM KELLY
tkelly@yrmg.com
It’s a long uphill struggle, but
that won’t stop Vaughan resident
Randy McNeil from waging war
on anybody who tries to deny him
access to accessibility.
The local man, who persuaded
GO Transit this summer to overhaul
a bathroom stall that wasn’t acces-
sible, says there’s much more work
to do.
Wheelchair-bound for almost
a decade since the onset of mul-
tiple sclerosis, Mr. McNeil is keenly
aware of accessibility challenges.
And he said the provincial gov-
ernment is falling behind in its
responsibility to meet 2025 targets
to make the province fully acces-
sible.
“I really don’t think 2025 is a fea-
sible date based on compliance to
date. I think it’s bull---,” he said in
his blunt manner.
“I worked in manufacturing all
my life. If a company decides to do
something, boom, they do it. They
don’t waste time,” he said.
Part of the frustration for Mr.
McNeil is the daily challenges he
faces, such as attempts to enter a
mall that’s at the end of the road he
lives on.
“I’m taking my life into my own
hands by rolling up that driveway
trying to get in there,” he said of
the mall at the corner of Hawkview
Boulevard and Weston Road.
“I’m talking to someone that’s
working there one day and he said
he would take care of it. He never
did. I talked to a Vaughan council-
lor and he said he was going to take
care of it and he never did,” Mr.
McNeil said.
The mall was built in the mid-
2000s and lacks a wheelchair-ac-
cessible cut to a walkway. It also
doesn’t have a footway into the
mall area, only drive-in access, Mr.
McNeil added.
For Woodbridge East Council-
lor Rosanna DeFrancesca, who is a
member of the city’s accessibility’s
advisory committee, a big prob-
lem with the province’s accessibil-
ity recommendations are the lack
of guidelines and strength behind
building code regulations.
“They have to abide by the
building code and that’s all they’re
(developers) legally responsible for.
We need that bite in the building
code to make the developers meet
the requirements,” she said.
Ms DeFrancesca also has doubts
about a 2025 deadline being met
for full accessibility for all Ontario
public buildings.
There are no regulations in the
Ontario Building Code, she said.,
adding, at this rate, we’re never
going to achieve it (full accessibil-
ity).
Meanwhile, David Lepofsky, a
Toronto resident who is an advocate
for accessibility and was responsible
for getting the TTC to announce all
stops for buses and subways after
pushing it for years, is undeterred
in his drive to hit 2025.
Mr. Lepofsky pushed for 11 years
to get the government to adopt the
Accessibility for Ontarians with Dis-
abilities Act (AODA) in 2005 and
said it is people such as Mr. McNeil
who motivate him to keep working
every day to keep up the pressure
on politicians.
“We are fueled by the Randy
McNeils around the province,
many of whom we may not know.
We prime the pump and there are
many people doing the kind of local
work he’s doing,” he said. “Some are
people in wheelchairs, some are
people like me who are blind, some
are people with hearing loss. It’s a
whole range of people, people with
brain injuries, some with mental
issues.”
There are more than 1.7 million
people with a disability in Ontario.
There were major concerns
raised earlier this year when the
province dragged its feet on appoint-
ing a person to do an independent
review of the act, as required by law
every three years.
The deadline was May 31, but
the province was three months
overdue before finally choosing
University of Toronto Law School
dean Mayo Moran.
“She’s a good choice, but if you
want an illustration of Ontario lag-
ging behind in enforcing standards,
it’s the government for apponting
someone 102 days late and not even
obeying its own law. We think that
was a horrible example for busi-
ness,” Mr. Lepofsky said.
The government has to develop
accessibility standards that spell
out what you have to do and then
it has to enforce those standards,
he said.
“And we say the government
isn’t doing either. They have prom-
ised they will effectively enforce the
standards that are out there and
we saw they are not doing a good
job on the enforcement side,” he
added.
For Mr. McNeil, it comes down
to being determined not to take no
for an answer and to keep pushing
until accessibility is granted.
“You have to push and push and
push it all the time. As I say, once
you start the ball rolling, there’s no
stopping it,” he said.
Vaughan Liberal MPP Steven
Del Duca, meanwhile, said Queen’s
Park is committed to achieving an
accessible Ontario by 2025.
“We are phasing in implementa-
tion so that organizations can plan
and make improvements over time
and within their existing business
planning cycles, allowing sufficient
time to achieve accessibility in stag-
es,” he said. “We know there is more
work to be done to build awareness
about the act and the need to com-
ply and report and we continue
to reach out to organizations in a
variety of ways.”
Mall not accessible, poses safety risk: resident
Randy McNeil of Hawkview Boulevard, in the Weston and Rutherford roads area of Vaughan, has problems accessing his area mall. He says that
travelling to them via his wheelchair is a safety issue.
STAFF PHOTO/SJOERD WITTEVEEN
4Randy McNeil has started a global
petition to persuade Google to include
an accessibility option on its worldwide
maps. For more information and to sign
the petition, visit http://chn.ge/19hg2rk
SIGN THE PETITION