The City of Delta is looking at establishing a special advisory committee on disability issues.
Following discussion about a letter from resident Vincent Miele, council on Monday agreed to have staff report back on creating a new group to focus on challenges disabled residents face in Delta.
Miele wrote that while it’s fine that the Mayor's Task Force on Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism was recently created, nowhere in a recent report is there specific mention about the ongoing erosion of access and discrimination of persons with disabilities through abuse or ignoring the Building Code.
“This includes lack of full wheelchair access to newer public facilities, transportation, housing, proper parking for persons dependent on mobility devices, full serve gas etc. This too is a form of discrimination and should be addressed as we too have been included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms since 1982,” wrote Miele.
Noting the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal states in its 2019 Annual Report that complaints on the basis of disability make up 46 per cent of all cases alleged, Miele asked that the new diversity task force task force include a person with a disability with lived experience.
Saying he has a family member who is paraplegic, Mayor George Harvie agreed the city can be doing a better job addressing challenges the disabled face.
He said the special advisory committee on disability should also be an ongoing initiative, rather than being around for a limited time.
Coun. Bruce McDonald also agreed, saying his own health challenges forced him to become even more sensitive to challenges many in the community face.