Ac­ces­si­bil­ity event an eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in Wolfville

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - WOLFVILLE

Many shops and res­tau­rants in down­town Wolfville could use some up­grades to be­come wheelchair-friendly en­vi­ron­ments.

There are a few ramps, but they’re steep and paint can make them slip­pery when wet, noted Deputy Mayor Wendy Dono­van.

Push but­ton door open­ers are a rar­ity. Sand­wich boards parked on the side­walk can be a haz­ard for those us­ing a white cane.

That is why Gerry Post, who heads the Ac­ces­si­bil­ity Direc­torate in the Jus­tice De­part­ment, vis­ited Wolfville from Hal­i­fax Oct. 2 to help teach a class on down­town nav­i­ga­tion.

Jo­hanna Stork of the Hal­i­fax branch of the CNIB ex­plained to town coun­cil mem­bers, staff and other vol­un­teers that, among other changes, sim­ply paint­ing curb edges white is help­ful for those with vi­sion chal­lenges.

Tr­isha Swan and Ben Mars­den of Em­bra­cor Med­i­cal brought a truck­load of wheel­chairs for those who wanted to try mov­ing along Main Street in a wheelchair. The Com­mu­nity Roll-About was aimed at in­creas­ing un­der­stand­ing.

It’s a fact the im­pacts of in­ac­ces­si­ble de­sign are in­vis­i­ble to most of us, es­pe­cially in older com­mu­ni­ties, so it’s easy to make mis­takes, Post says.

Nova Sco­tia, said Post, has one of the high­est per­cent­ages of dis­abled cit­i­zens. It stands at 20 per cent, while the Cana­dian av­er­age is 14 per cent.

Wolfville is act­ing as a pi­lot in the cre­ation of ac­ces­si­bil­ity stan­dards, which could af­fect ev­ery­thing from build­ing con­struc­tion to ed­u­ca­tion and pub­lic trans­porta­tion.

Re­cently a well-at­tended com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion took place. Ag­nieszka Hayes chairs the town’s ac­ces­si­bil­ity com­mit­tee.

Late last month, Nova Sco­tia an­nounced the next steps to reach its goal of mak­ing the prov­ince more ac­ces­si­ble for those with dis­abil­i­ties by 2030.

Jus­tice Min­is­ter Mark Furey re­leased an im­ple­men­ta­tion strat­egy for the prov­ince’s Ac­ces­si­bil­ity Act, which passed last April.

For Post, the process is al­most more im­por­tant than the leg­isla-

was ad­journed to Oct. 1 to al­low time for a pre-sen­tence re­port to be pre­pared and for sen­tenc­ing. Judge Ronda Van Der Hoek handed El­son a con­di­tional dis­charge with 12 months of pro­ba­tion and fined him $100 in vic­tim sur­charges.

El­son com­mit­ted the of­fence in New Mi­nas on June 28. Charges of us­ing a weapon – a piece of glass – in com­mit­ting an as­sault and ut­ter­ing a death threat were with­drawn on Oct. 1. tion and he points out trans­parency mat­ters.

The prov­ince is al­ready us­ing the ex­am­ple of de­tailed stan­dards al­ready de­vel­oped by the Rick Hansen Foun­da­tion. NSCC in­struc­tors have started teach­ing ac­ces­si­bil­ity cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for the built en­vi­ron­ment.

He noted the busi­ness com­mu­nity is equally as im­por­tant as govern­ment. Fi­nan­cial aid will be avail­able to do more than just in­stall ramps.

The govern­ment has ini­tially in­vested $1.8 mil­lion to in­crease pro­vin­cial ac­ces­si­bil­ity grants for com­mu­nity build­ings and to launch a grant pro­gram for small busi­nesses to be­come more ac­ces­si­ble.

Cu­ra­tive treat­ment dis­charge Gre­gory Cameron Light­foot, 28, of New Mi­nas, has been handed a cu­ra­tive treat­ment con­di­tional dis­charge for op­er­at­ing a mo­tor ve­hi­cle while his blood al­co­hol level ex­ceeded the le­gal limit.

Light­foot pleaded guilty to the charge in March and the Crown filed no­tice of in­creased penalty. The court im­posed a two-year driv­ing pro­hi­bi­tion against Light­foot, with el­i­gi­bil­ity for the ig­ni­tion

In­fra­struc­ture funds will help mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties with things like con­crete curb cuts and hir­ing a di­verse labour force.

Post calls the 12-mem­ber Ac­ces­si­bil­ity Direc­torate the apos­tles of ac­ces­si­bil­ity and says po­lit­i­cal sup­port is strong. Cyn­thia Bruce of Kentville is the Val­ley rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Nova Sco­tia was the third prov-

in­ter­lock de­vice pro­gram af­ter six months. The mat­ter was ad­journed to al­low time for a pre-sen­tence re­port to be pre­pared and for sen­tenc­ing.

On Oct. 1, with the Crown’s con­sent, Judge Ronda Van Der Hoek granted Light­foot a cu­ra­tive treat­ment con­di­tional dis­charge with 12 months of pro­ba­tion. Light­foot was fined $100 in vic­tim sur­charges.

Light­foot com­mit­ted the of­fence in New Mi­nas on Nov. 25, 2017. The le­gal blood al­co­hol limit is 80 mg of al­co­hol in 100 ml of blood. Light­foot gave breathal­yser read­ings of 180 and 170.

Breathal­yser of­fence

John David So­gorka, 28, of Gaspereau, has been fined for op­er­at­ing a mo­tor ve­hi­cle while his blood al­co­hol level ex­ceeded the le­gal limit.

So­gorka was not present in pro­vin­cial court on Oct. 4 but his de­fence lawyer, Philip Star, en­tered a guilty plea to the charge on So­gorka’s be­half. Judge Ronda Van Der Hoek fined So­gorka a to­tal of $1,560 and im­posed a one-year driv­ing pro­hi­bi­tion against him.

So­gorka com­mit­ted the of­fence in Wolfville on Feb. 16. The le­gal blood al­co­hol limit is 80 mg of al­co­hol in 100 ml of blood. So­gorka gave breathal­yser read­ings of 110 and 100.

Breathal­yser of­fence

Judy Ida Cromwell, 60, of Hal­i­fax, has been fined for op­er­at­ing a mo­tor ve­hi­cle while her blood al­co­hol level ex­ceeded the le­gal limit.

Cromwell was not present in pro­vin­cial court on Oct. 4 but her de­fence lawyer, Philip Star, en­tered a guilty plea to the charge on Cromwell’s be­half. Judge Alan Tufts fined Cromwell a to­tal of $1,495 and im­posed a one-year driv­ing pro­hi­bi­tion against her.

Cromwell com­mit­ted the of­fence in Wolfville on July 29. The le­gal blood al­co­hol limit is 80 mg of al- ince in Canada to pass ac­ces­si­bil­ity leg­is­la­tion. Post is keen to work with many stake­hold­ers to es­tab­lish the prov­ince as a leader in this im­por­tant area and he’s hear­ing in­ter­est from other prov­inces.

Pri­or­i­tiz­ing, he adds, means the easy fixes will hap­pen first and the work will con­tinue from there.

“There is a cost to be­ing a just so­ci­ety,” he said. co­hol in 100 ml of blood. Cromwell gave breathal­yser read­ings of 130 and 120.

Sus­pended sen­tence Bran­don Matthew Crewe, 36, of Can­ning, has been handed a sus­pended sen­tence with pro­ba­tion for com­mit­ting mis­chief by will­fully dam­ag­ing a door to a value not ex­ceed­ing $5,000; pos­sess­ing a weapon for a pur­pose danger­ous to the pub­lic peace and fail­ing to com­ply with his un­der­tak­ing.

Crewe changed his pleas to guilty to the charges on Dec. 21, 2017. The mat­ters were ad­journed to al­low time for a pre-sen­tence re­port to be pre­pared and for sen­tenc­ing. On Oct. 3, Judge Ronda Van Der Hoek handed Crewe a sus­pended sen­tence with 12 months of pro­ba­tion on the three charges.

Crewe com­mit­ted the of­fences in Can­ning on July 11 and 12, 2017. Charges of car­ry­ing a weapon in com­mit­ting an as­sault; two counts of ut­ter­ing a death threat and a charge of en­gag­ing in con­duct in­tended to pro­voke a state of fear in a jus­tice sys­tem par­tic­i­pant in order to im­pede the par­tic­i­pant in the per­for­mance of his du­ties were dis­missed on Oct. 3.

As­sault, un­der­tak­ing of­fence David Ge­orge Draginda, 36, of West Glen­mont, has been handed a con­di­tional sen­tence for com­mit­ting an as­sault and fail­ing to com­ply with his un­der­tak­ing.

Draginda pleaded guilty to the charges on Sept. 11 and the mat­ters were ad­journed to Oct. 3 for sen­tenc­ing.

Judge Ronda Van Der Hoek handed Draginda a three-month con­di­tional sen­tence on each of the charges, to be served con­cur­rently. This three-month con­di­tional sen­tence will be served con­sec­u­tively to one from New Brunswick that he is cur­rently serv­ing.

Draginda com­mit­ted the of­fences in West Glen­mont on April 16.

SUB­MIT­TED

Wolfville Coun. Oon­agh Proud­foot, who is a mem­ber of the ac­ces­si­bil­ity com­mit­tee, wheels over a cross­walk un­der the watch­ful eye of Bir­git Elss­ner.

SUB­MIT­TED

Half of the Com­mu­nity Roll-About par­tic­i­pants posed on the side­walk in Wolfville. They in­cluded Gerry Post, left, Carl Old­ham, Oon­agh Proud­foot, Bir­git Elss­ner, Ben Mars­den and Jeremy Banks.

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