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November 19, 2015

Woozles and Heffalumps

Yesterday on 'Ask Mayor Savage', Liz Crocker of Woozles, Canada's oldest children's book store, called in to inquire about tax relief for small business. She also wondered, by the way, why she had an encroachment fee on her tax bill for her spiffy ramp.

His Worship explained patiently that a ramp would impede wheelchairs from otherwise using the sidewalk, so HRM was encouraging the use of portable ramps and had partnered with Parker Street Skills Development Centre to offer ramps at cost to businesses.

Then the Mayor's trousers spontaneously combusted.  

He burned completely up, and the litter patrol swept up the pile of ashes and deposited it in the trash.

The Princess's tax bill was marked Paid and we all lived happily ever after!

The End


As you can see from the Google streetview, Woozle's ramp is a very attractive, harmonious and unobtrusive addition to the front of a rather lovely old Halifax building.  Since it intrudes no further upon the right-of-way than the steps, it's no surprise the Mayor's drawers were smoking even before they caught fire.

Furthermore, there is no partnership with Parker Street.

The ending isn't happy after all.  Woozles is one of a very few small Halifax businesses where a kid with a wheelchair could be part of the fun, or a slightly older wheelchair user could actually get in to work.  HRM is actively discouraging employment of people with disabilities, which is illegal.  Illegal.  Let me say it again.  Illegal.  The relevant section of the Human Rights act is included at the end.

By discouraging employment of people with disabilities, HRM is costing taxpayers money.  A wheelchair user trying to get by on social assistance costs you about $10,000/year.  Imagine if they had a job and paid taxes instead!  Yet the heavy handed Heffalumps at HRM take special pleasure in enforcing arcane and counterproductive rules.  Part of their job seems to be to keep people with disabilities isolated and unemployed - it must be in their job description.
A Heffalump making sure Piglet doesn't get a ramp

Tuesday, coincidentally, the un-ignited mayor announced  the Game Changers Action Plan, challenging thousands of Halifax business leaders to hire youth and become Game Changers.

As HalifaxExaminer says of Game Changers (cover your ears children)

"More likely, it’s just the same old bullshit wrapped in new packaging."

Pooh and Piglet, following woozle tracks that turn out to be their own are like the HRM leadership - always announcing something new that turns out to be where we've been before.

Oh Pooh, do you think it a G-G-G-G-Game Changer?
Here's  what must be done:
  • Eeyore Butts needs to be instructed by Council to issue an order to Municipal Compliance rescinding most exceptions to the barrier-free requirements of the building code.
  • No encroachment fees will be levied for accessibility amenities.
  • All permit applications for accessibility amenities will be granted

Human Rights Act 

Meaning of discrimination 
4 For the purpose of this Act, a person discriminates where the person makes a distinction, whether intentional or not, based on a characteristic, or perceived characteristic, referred to in clauses (h) to (v) of subsection (1) of Section 5 that has the effect of imposing burdens, obligations or disadvantages on an individual or a class of individuals not imposed upon others or which withholds or limits access to opportunities, benefits and advantages available to other individuals or classes of individuals in society. 1991, c. 12, s. 1. 
Prohibition of discrimination 
5 (1) No person shall in respect of
(a) the provision of or access to services or facilities;
(d) employment;
discriminate against an individual or class of individuals on account of
(o) physical disability or mental disability; 

Oh yeah, and 

Act binds Crown 
21 This Act binds Her Majesty in right of the Province and every servant and agent of Her Majesty.

A Tip o' the Hatlo Hat to PBD

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