Regrettably The Answer is No
When I wrote this a few months back, the 2007-2008 Ontario HRC annual report was the most current report. Since then, of course, there has been a new block buster annual report, and some commentary including mine has come out. That does not however make any of the following less current or pertinent, or even dated, as the new report is really more of the same old, same old. You know, dates changed, names changed, targets changed, new victims, new invented rights. SSDD.
Many years ago, when my life was not what my Mother wanted it to be, she prayed that God would hit me over the head with a baseball bat. Well, 5 years ago, he let me get hit in the head by a 1994 Ford Aerostar van. He showed her who was boss, didn’t he.
So, everyday I have these headaches and brain fogs, but in between I have these few hours of clarity of emotion and mental thought. Until today, I have cursed the headaches, because I would like to get back to doing more with my life. Having devoted what energy I have had available recently to looking into the sick joke in our society that is the Human Rights Commissions in Canada, I have realised that my headaches are a blessing. Without the headaches, I would spend more time beating my head against a brick wall trying to figure out the insanity of this whole thing, that is really nothing more than a hammer in search of a nail or more accurately a bulldozer in search of the next mountain to move, whether it needs it or not.
Yesterday, I thought maybe I was being too harsh, and so I went to the Ontario HRC web site to try and get their perspective on things. What better way methinks, than to look at their latest annual report for 2007-2008, and read about all the good things that they are doing.
Right there on the first page it said “Printed on recycled paper”, and went downhill from there. I downloaded it in PDF format to my computer so did not get the full benefit of the recycled paper, but gave them the benefit of the doubt.
It was in reading the annual report that I came across how they screwed over Viola Landry and the Popeye Restaurant in Geraldton Ontario, and how her former employee, Ms. Giguere had tried to bribe someone to testify against Ms. Landry to the Commission. Are you people nuts? Why would you put that in your annual report? Didn’t you do anything better with your time, and my money?
Oh, but you did, didn’t you, you sneaky Devils. You reported that in the Lepovsky V. TTC case that you got the TTC to call out all stops on all transit vehicles because Mr. Lepovsky is blind. I have very seldom ever seen a visually impaired person on the TTC, but I am sure glad that we don’t require them to think any more or perish the thought to ask for help, or even worse that a TTC employee (like a driver) might offer to assist them. Instead the TTC installed these fancy shmancy Call Out systems, and then raised fares, of course.
But, it does not end there. Hot on the heels of this success (excess), our friends at the Ontario HRC wrote this in their annual report:
“With this precedent in place, the Commission is working to expand call-outs across Ontario. The recent Tribunal decision shows that a policy of announcing stops only upon request is not enough — the only way to ensure an accessible system is to call out all stops.”
Are you kidding me? Please read to the bottom. They did not stop there.
“In a letter to operators across Ontario, the Commission asked transit services to review their accessibility policies and practices and inform the Commission on the steps they were taking to make sure all transit stops were announced. The Commission is reporting publicly in May 2008, and will then consider its next steps. Its goal is to have the effect of the Tribunal’s decisions applied across Ontario, and make sure the duty to accommodate riders with disabilities is respected.”
I live in London, Ontario. Our transit system is far less efficient than the TTC, not because of anything wrong particularly at the LTC, but mainly because of the size of the city. In the smaller centres, the drivers know the handicapped people, and make an effort to assist them. That is the nature of living in smaller locales. The last thing we need outside Toronto is some morons from the Ontario HRC decreeing that the Human Rights of disabled persons, of which I am one, are being ignored because the transit systems need to spend money on Call Out systems. When you bump the fares in smaller centres, ridership drops.
I have a little conundrum for Ms. Hall and her cronies. I am a disabled person because I have a brain injury. As such, I am particularly susceptible to noise. I have been in Toronto a number of times recently to see medical practitioners, and to visit family. While there my preference is to take the TTC, since I get confused occasionally, and do not wish to have an accident. Before Call Outs, The subway trains had a route map above the doors on each car in the train. Now, not so much. Because of all the hubbub in the subway system, I had to frequently refer to the map and my current location to know where I was in relation to where I had to get to. Now, I can’t always do that, and so it is more stressful for me to ride the subway. Also, in part of my travels, I often take a bus, and having to listen to the automated voice calling out each street that we pass causes me confusion and anxiety.
So, Ms. Hall, you took a bulldozer to the visually impaired Mr. Lepovsky’s impairment. Got any bright ideas of how to integrate that with mine. I don’t intend to give you the chance.
Ah!!! The Law of Unintended Consequences. I agree with Ezra Levant more every day, and I quote him: “Fire. Them. All.”