Final ruling was
“Halifax Metro Transit has historically been discriminating against wheelchair users“
written by Daniel J Towsey
Please scroll down for downloadable documents.
Below you will find the response I received late July from the Nova Scotia Human Rights commission to my
previously filed human rights complaint about Halifax Metro Transits Discrimination against the disable
who need to use wheelchairs to travel.
You will notice if you have read my previously filed complaint that this response does not address my complaints.
You will also notice that I was never contacted by the Human Rights commission about my complaint.
Nor did they refer to me about it while making their decisions that you will find below.
The human rights commission went ahead with the previously filed complaints which you will find information about
below in the scans of the documents I received.
There is also important information about the new changes that metro transit will be fully implementing by November 11th 2011.
But you will notice that the commissions conclusions are with a huge, I believe, intentional error and omissions.
It says all bus stops but later it talks about the two bus stops by the dartmouth sportsplex.. Which means
that user of wheelchairs will still be denied access to the bus stops at the strategically very important
Dartmouth Bridge terminal which later in the documents is listed as the Sportsplex Terminal..No one calls that.
Metro transit has repeatedly over the past ten years been asked by wheelchair users, that they either remove the advertisements signs
or move the concrete platform to the other side of the bus shelter so that both the wheelchair users and the drivers can see each other.
Also they have been asked to move the bus shelter doorway from the curb side to the sidewalk side in front of the sportplex so wheelchair users
can get under the shelter when needed.
Oh and if you read my article about metro transit deliberately blocking access to the bus stop with their snow removal. You will see
that the designation you will find in the scans below of twenty four hours for snow removal at the sportplex terminals is seriously in doubt.
Metro transit has continuously refused to provide a proper bus stop for wheelchair users at the two sportplex bus stops.
Now also please realize that if wheelchair users are not permitted to use the bridge terminal then most areas of Halifax and Dartmouth will not
be accessible for wheelchair users as many routes arrive and return from Halifax only at the Bridge terminal.
I filed a continuance with the Human rights commission and I also notified them that
the new Nova articulated buses are extremely dangerous to power wheelchair
users and that I that these buses should never be allowed to load electric wheelchairs or scooter. Please read my previous article about
the Nova Articulated buses.
Then I also told the commission that metro transit is operating very unsafe buses for wheelchair users.
As I was told by metro transit that they never do safety inspections on the straps, and harnesses they use to hold the wheelchairs
secured to the bus floor. Also that most buses do not have the proper tie down systems.
All electric wheelchairs for the past twenty years have been made with four steel rings attached so that
the bus driver can easily and safely put the hooks onto the wheelchairs. This is the only way to safely secure the chairs.
But again metro transit refuses to upgrade the tie downs with the necessary and safe hooks and self ratcheting strap buckles.
Instead they want wheelchair users to attach what is called qstrengths straps on the wheelchairs.
These straps are also unsafe as no wheelchair was ever manufactured to provide a safe and secure place to put these straps on.
I expressed to the Human Rights commission that Metro Transit is refusing to provide proper and secure tie downs for wheelchairs
and that they are deliberately criminally negligent.
Since I have previously notified metro transit as to their unsafe tie downs. Many of these ties downs are defective or not operational at all.
Especially the ties downs that the drivers have to hook into the hole in the floor.
These tie downs very often pop out of the floor because the bolts have been very bent out of shape over years of use and the holes are corroded
with rust from the street salt and metro transit management refused to repair them.
Now I will prove to you just how unsafe the straps are that they say wheelchair users have to put on their
chairs because most buses do not have the proper hooks and ratchets.
A bus driver very recently told me of a very unfortunate event where a woman in an electric wheelchair
was very seriously injured because her straps did not hold and the wheelchair slid and flipped over
putting the occupant in the hospital.
You have to understand that like my wheelchair weights as much as 750 pounds.
So when a chair falls over and onto the disabled person it will very likely crush the person to death.
The woman like me was recently given an electric wheelchair.
She was told to put straps on her chair. So she went to a dollar store and bought velcro straps and put them on.
The rest is self explanatory.
So why would anyone expect a bus driver to have to inspect straps or any other safety device.
Should not Metro Transit management be responsible to make sure that the systems in place are
Management knows and has been told repeatedly that all buses need to be equipped with four self ratcheting
straps with a steel hook at the end of the straps.
When I spoke with them (metro transit) they told me they did not have the money to make the buses safe.
One day my chair was released because the old ratchets let go. There was a double baby stroller with two babies in it right beside me.
My chair slid six feet to the end of the strap and stopped just inches from crushing the babies.
No one could of stopped my wheelchair from sliding.]
So I advised the human rights commission that Metro Transit is deliberately endangering me and every
other bus users lives. This is why I said that Metro Transit is criminally negligent.
In court the judge will always tell you that ignorance of the law is no defense.
Well I now say that criminal negligence is no defense as metro transit knows that most of their buses
are unsafe for electric wheelchair users. And especially the new Nova Articulated buses.
Which is why I have created these wheelchairrights websites and posted all this information.
Because publicly posted and published documents and articles are admissible in any court of law.
Also the posting of them proves when and how metro transit was notified.
I want to be able to travel in buses and know that my electric wheelchair is safely and securely secured to the bus floor.
My next article will be an update on metro transit banning me from all public transit because I requested to be let off the bus at the
Dartmouth bridge terminal and they refused. Please read my testimony and watch my videos of the event.
I have now been charged and will soon go to court for having boarded a public transit bus.