PRLog (Press Release) – Sep 17, 2009 –
The Canada Games 2009 Host Committee reported their happiness with the Games success in the Charlottetown Guardian.
“Why does a national sporting event funded with taxpayers money feel it has
the right to infringe our freedom of speech and trample disability rights?” said Stephen Pate, director of PEI Disability Alert. “We don’t believe taxpayer money should fund organizations that didn’t appreciate the values
in a liberal democracy.”
“Why did Canada Games tolerate the disability discrimination at the UPEI Canada Games site?”
“On August 19th when we discovered the disabled parking was not installed at
the UPEI site we reported the story on NJN Network. “No disabled parking at
Canada Games site UPEI”
When Canada Games host committee asked for a building permit for the site,
they promised the City of Charlottetown that 12 disabled parking spots would
Accessible parking is part of the National Building Code that the City of
Charlottetown has adopted it.
Not only the law, it is common courtesy to those who have a walking
disability to give them better access. The disabled are supposed to have
equal access under the law according to the Canadian Charter of Rights and
“Despite numerous emails and telephone conversations about the problem, the
disabled parking was not installed according to the building permit,” says
“We sent an email that day to Canada Games officials.
“Instead of trying to solve the parking problem, Canada Games marketing
people censored our comments on Facebook and then banned us. They told us
that we were the only ones who could not comment on their site.”
“This seemed like a surprisingly heavy handed response to a story about
“We enlisted the aid of other disability groups and our MLAs. The Canada
Games committee promised to install the parking but did not complete the task.”
“The paternalism and discrimination we endured at the hands of Canada Games
officials was surprising.” We don’t believe you have to discriminate against the disabled to stage a sporting or any event. That seems like an idea from the past.”
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PEI Disability Alert is a not-for-profit organization which carries out
public advocacy on disability issues.