The Horrors of Becoming Disabled in Nova Scotia
and having no human rights while disabled.
written by Daniel J Towsey
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Nova Scotia has to have the lowest standards in the country for protecting the rights of the disabled.
That is probably because it has no standards at all and the disabled have no rights either.
I thought that things would change when it comes to the attitudes of the Nova Scotia government after the Canadian government signed the new treaty at the United Nation for the disabled.
I am horrified that nothing changed.
Even the Nova Scotia human rights commission knew nothing about it and did not even have a copy of the United Nations treaty for the human rights of the disabled.
They had not even heard of it.
Can you imagine that?
Again I was horrified that the Nova Scotia Human rights commission knew nothing about the human rights of the disabled.
So that means that if family, friends, or the disabled tries to get justice from the Nova Scotia human rights commission, they are out of luck.
Because according to them, you have no human rights while disabled.
Even after I told them about the treaty, nothing changed and they never even got a copy of the treaty, even for handing out to anyone that is concerned about the rights of the disabled.
The horrors started when I was run over by a motorist making a left turn, not looking both ways and knocking me off my bicycle and then continuing to drive over me several times before leisurely driving away and leaving me to die.
The horror was not just discovering that here in Nova Scotia a negligent driver only gets a $168 fine for driving over a pedestrian. Yes that is it. No criminal charges, No investigation, No day in court. No penalties, No losing their license for endangering human lives or while driving impaired for being eighty years old.
That is what the Police told me, that the driver was eighty years old.
The horrors do not end.
The horror of discovering that a driver can go out and plead guilty to doing property damage and even before that happens the insurance company will immediately pay for the property damages.
But hey if the driver does damage to a human body. The insurance company will never pay. They actually told me that here in Nova Scotia they can keep delaying the payment for damages until the day you die and never pay, which is what they usually do.
Now three years later they still refuse to pay for the electric wheelchair I need and for anything else I need due to the injuries and disabilities I received because of their fully insured driver.
It is this way because the former Premier Ham of Nova Scotia long ago changed all the insurance laws to favor the corporations over the people.
Do not be fooled by the section A and section b of the insurance laws. Section B being no fault insurance for physical injuries. Because the insurance companies were given full control of the no fault rules and they decide what they will pay for or not pay for.
The no fault section should be administered by an independent agency.
But the Nova Scotia government does not care about that.
It is horrible to discover that even the Economical insurance company thinks I have no human rights while disabled.
The horror of discovering that even the hospital had no literature on becoming disabled.
No councillors to help you with the horror of finding yourself newly disabled after surviving numerous traumatic surgeries.
The horror of discovering that the is no support in place to help you to do everything you can to live free and independent and how to adjust to your new situation in life.
The horror of discovering you can no longer participate in all every day activities of life.
The horrors of discovering that you can no longer visit your children and friends because their homes are not accessible.
The horrors that you can no longer go shopping because the Halifax metro transit refuses to provide you with the same access to buses everyone else gets.
The horror of discovering that metro transit is now running the Nova articulated buses on all the major routes and that those buses are extremely dangerous for the lives of electric wheelchair users and that they refuse to safely secure wheelchairs so that you can use those buses.
The horror of discovering that you now are not able to safely use those buses and that most areas in the Halifax region are no longer accessible for you.
The horror that they actually charge you full fares when you only have access to about twenty percent of the city bus routes.
The horror that when you call the Halifax call center to get information about routes they will not tell you if those routes are running the Nova articulated buses.
So if you go out and end up in a place where the bus that arrives is a Nova articulated bus, you end up stranded and metro transit will not help you.
The horrors do not end.
Like wanting to go to a place and phoning ahead to see if it is accessible and has an accessible bathroom, only to arrive there and discover that you can not reach the button to open the door because it is in the wrong place or that the the accessible bathroom is to small to fit or maneuver your wheelchair in it and then you have to be in pain for possibly hours before you can get to and find and accessible bathroom.
The horror of discovering that when you go to downtown Halifax, that is only one truly accessible bathroom in the whole of downtown. That bathroom being at Scotia Square.
How many truly accessible bathrooms that have enough room for a person to maneuver their electric wheelchair in, do you think the city government has? None, that is how many.
How would you like to have to drive for miles in your indoor wheelchair on all the broken and uneven sidewalks of Halifax. In severe pain to find a bathroom?
How would you like to discover that the government of Nova Scotia’s occupational therapists , who write the prescriptions for wheelchairs, refuse to give people who live independently out door wheelchairs that have lights, are waterproof, have out door tires and with shock absorbing suspension.
Meaning that the government of Nova Scotia refuses to give wheelchair users out door chairs.
How would you like to go out in your car and get a flat tire and there is no emergency service for you and no one will come and help you? Will that is what it is like here in Halifax. There is no emergency help or rescue for wheelchair users if their chairs break down.
The horrors do not end here in Nova Scotia for people who have to use wheelchairs and want to live free and independent.
The horrors do not end because here in Nova Scotia the whole industry of the disabled, be it home care workers that do no work, Public transit buses that will not and can not safely secure your chair, wheelchair taxis that have roofs that are too low, wheelchair ramps that have no railings to keep you from sliding off when they are wet or have ice on them, people that park in wheelchair spots or block wheelchair ramps and public sidewalks.
The horror of fake wheelchair mechanics that work for big corporations, who deliberately sabotage wheelchairs to make more money and bill the government what ever they want, put on used parts and get paid for new parts because they offer no warranties or even receipts. Or the parts are covered by manufacturers free replacement and then the mechanic bill the government full price.
The horror is that there are no regulations, rules, certifications, contracts or anything else to protect the disabled who use wheelchairs.
Would you allow all this criminality to happen to your car? No way.. There are countless laws, rules, regulations and more to protect motorists, so why no laws to protect disabled people who drive much smaller vehicles, being electric wheelchairs or mobility scooters?
How would you like to have the Provincial protection of property act imposed on you every time you fight for your rights about accessibility, and the property owners can just call the Police to take all your rights away and ban you from the property because you were upset at being treated like trash by the property owners.
How would you like to have the Police use that act to ban you from whole blocks of the city, public common areas outside and sidewalks because the security guard does not care about your human rights of access.
How would you like to be banned from using all public transit services because the bus driver would not let you off the bus at the bus terminal saying he was not permitted to. And when you call the Police because the driver will not let you get off the bus at a bus terminal and then the Police use the Protection of property act to ban you from all public transit properties.?
Here is another horror.
Do you realize that the only aspect of our society that is a free for all of criminality, is anything and everything that has to do with the equipment and services for the disabled.
No matter what you consume as in purchase in this country. we have laws to protect the people.
But that does not apply as soon as you become disabled. Baby strollers are strictly regulated but dangerous and defective four wheel walkers with seats are not.
How about that all vehicles and electrical devices need to be certified before being permitted on the Canadian markets.
Not so with any equipment for the disabled and in particular electric wheelchairs. If we had regulations, the defective wheelchairs could be reported and the manufacturers would have to fix the problem.
But the corporations who service wheelchairs would not want that because they make huge profits at tax payers expense fixing and fixing defective chairs.
Did you know that electric wheelchairs are much more expensive than most family cars. The chairs cost from $10,000 to $110,000
Why is it that all of Europe has laws that require that all electric wheelchairs have to have lights just like any car? After all electric wheelchairs have to drive in traffic with pedestrians and cars everyday.
But here the government of Nova Scotia thinks it is all right to give the disabled chairs that are all black with no reflectors of lights or horns. Do realize that a good part of the year it is dark at 4:30 in the afternoon here.
Give them chairs that are not manufactured to be used outdoors.
The horror of making the disabled use chairs manufactured to be only used indoors to go outdoors.
Please do realize that since most properties are not accessible that the only socializing the disabled can do is outdoors.
See how Horrible The Government of Nova Scotia treats the disabled who just want to live free and be safe.
Also please note that many of the issues I have written about also applies to departments of the Canadian federal government.
Are you now horrified of ever becoming disabled and no longer having any human rights?