Thursday, October 14, 2004

What a pathetic society we live in

Imagine trying to make Mount Everest disability friendly. Where do you draw the line?

Ontario's plan to become fully accessible for the disabled within 20 years is being hailed as "wonderful news" by a London advocate for the physically challenged. "It's come not a minute too soon," said Cathy Vincent-Linderoos, who gets around by wheelchair. "I'm very happy."

Her enthusiasm yesterday was shared by Ontario Citizenship and Immigration Minister Marie Bountrogianni, who was in London to tout the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act tabled a day earlier in the legislature.

"It's the right thing to do, frankly," Bountrogianni told The Free Press after visiting Community Living London and pupils at St. Mary's Choir school.

"It's a human right."

But it is also a human right to reap the rewards of your labour and to dispose of your property as you wish. Too bad the fundamental human rights collide with these fictionalized human rights. Just as it is wrong to force establishments to ban smoking, so it is surely wrong to force private businesses to renovate their premises for the sake of a small minority that seeks special privileges.
Once the first standards are in place in three years, individual violators will face fines of $50,000 and companies $100,000 upon conviction.

Bountrogianni said change was needed because of continuing complaints about access problems and because baby boomers are aging and one in five Ontarians will be disabled to some extent in 20 years.

"The baby boomers will still want to travel and have fun," she said. "The baby boomers are never satisfied with the status quo. And they won't be. They still want to live."

Fuck you - I have a healthy body and enjoy the pleasures of movement, but you people make it difficult for me to "have fun" because all of my earnings are spoken for before they even reach me. I can't even imagine travel! Don't get me wrong - we all have a right to freedom of movement as long as we don't interfere with the rights of others.

And I don't think it's going to be very fun in this province 20 years from now if 20% of us are apparently predicted to be disabled -- time to leave!
Emphasis will be on education of children, she said, "so we will have a generation that won't think twice about accessibility. It will be part of their everyday thinking. They won't ever complain about the price of a ramp. In fact, they'll say: 'Can you imagine before 2004, people complained about the price of a ramp. What were they thinking?'

Please guardians of public safety - make the world accessible for all of us. Back off government!


Nathaniel said...

I agree with you, Lisa. Legislating disability is foolish, especially for the reasons this article gives.

If indeed 20 years from now, 20% of the province will be somewhat disabled or fully disabled because baby boomers will be older, then that means there's going to be an enormous economic power in 20 years will only shop, dine, and visit those accessible areas.

What most of these legislators forget about is pure economic forces and markets. The market itself will provide more disabled access. There's no need for legislation that will simply complicate things, make it all more expensive, and in fact mean that those 20% (and the rest of us for that matter) will be paying more for our products and services.

Legislators always seem to forget about that part of the equation. They have also forgotten that not all business competes on price, or wide availability of service; in fact there are a number of different ways business can compete.

I don't see anything wrong with business competing based on how accessible their premises are. And in doing so, may make their prices a little higher.. but why should someone who IS competing on price, be forced into this?

Makes no sense to me.

Lisa said...

Thank you for your comment Ian - your thoughts and reflections are much appreciated. I am in agreement with your comments and welcome their inclusion to this post - nicely said!