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April 26, 2015

Constituency Office follow-up

Parker Donham asked for a follow-up on the accessibility requirement for constituency offices.  Under the new rules, 31 of 54 offices (3 MLAs have 2 offices) are presently accessible.

6 have been granted exemptions for not having visible AND audible alarms, though I don't understand why they're too cheap to buy one.  Here's one for seventy-five bucks.

Geoff MacLellan of Glace Bay was re-elected and moved his office, which is still not completely accessible.  His lease runs out June 30.

17 have been grandfathered under the old (nonexistent) rules and have evidently been too busy to read the handwriting on the ramp.  These are (a couple in flux):

Baillie, JamieCumberland SouthRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016PC
Casey, KarenColchester NorthRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016L
Churchill, ZachYarmouthRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016L
Colwell, KeithPreston-DartmouthRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016L
Corbett, FrankCape Breton CentreRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016NDP
Glavine, LeoKings WestRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016L
MacDonald, MaureenHalifax NeedhamRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016NDP
MacLeod, AlfieSydney River-Mira-LouisbourgRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016PC
MacMaster, AllanInvernessRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016PC
Orrell, EddieNorthside-WestmountRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016PC
Porter, ChuckHants WestRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016PC
Regan, KellyBedfordRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016L
Samson, Michel PCape Breton-RichmondRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016L
Whalen, DianaClayton Park WestRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016L
Wilson, DaveSackville-CobequidRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016NDP
Younger, AndrewDartmouth EastRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016L
Zann, LenoreTruro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon RiverRe-elected MLA, due October 2016Not required until Oct 2016NDP

PC 5
Liberal  8
NDP 4

Not to make too much of the $89,234.90 each of these gets paid, I'd just say disabled taxpayers aren't getting a lot for their $1,517,010.30.  It's only democracy, not something vital like Mr. Leahy's tax credit.

I looked at a couple of places in Google Street View.  The Premier's place in Middleton looks pretty thin on the accessible parking requirements, but I'm holding fire until I can get to Middleton with a television crew.   

My suspicious nature got the better of me when I looked at Randy Delorey's Antigonish office in Street View.  Remembering his office is on the 2nd floor and doubting the 2 story building has an elevator, I asked accessibility advocate Anne Camozzi to have a look.  She reported completely:

They have some issues with signage which I pointed out - mainly there are two entrances to the bldg. one says Randy Delorey and there's a flight of stairs.  If you did not know, there is no signage to indicate a second entrance further from Main St. also marked Randy Delorey with a push button door and elevator.  I pointed out the need for signage at the first entrance.
Once off the elevator there are two fire doors to get through to get to his office. I needed help with those doors. His assistant was very obliging.  They had changed all their doorknobs to levers
The main door to his office is narrow but got my big power chair through just barely. It is def not a 36" door. Inside OK.  Its a very tight turn in.  The accessible washroom is not in his office but in the nearby Dept. of Environment office on the same floor.  There's a door I could not open to get to the Dept. of Environment area where the washroom is located but by knocking on the door someone can come from Environment and opened it. I pointed out this needed to be signed.  Others more able bodied in a chair could probably open the doors.
Did not have time to try the washroom and was worried about my power chair and tight spaces.His assistant seemed keen to know what was working and not working and came downstairs to more fully understand the signage.

So there you have it.  Two thirds Accessible, One third dragging their feet (knuckles).

Gus Reed

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