Developmental Services Sector: Election 2018 Panel Discussion

This discussion is centred around the issues facing people with developmental disabilities and their families in Waterloo Region.  It will provide an opportunity for members and organizations involved in the developmental services sector to hear learn about the policies offered by local politicians and their parties over the next four years.

Care has been taken to ensure this is not a debate.  The panel of participants represent the four major parties in the 5 Waterloo Region constituencies with no candidate running against each other in the upcoming election.

CATHERINE FIFE, MPP Candidate 
Ontario New Democratic Party ~ Waterloo
KATHRYN MCGARRY, MPP Candidate 
Ontario Liberal Party ~ Cambridge
DAIENE VERNILE, MPP Candidate 
Ontario Liberal Party ~ Kitchener Centre
BOB JONKMAN, Candidate 
Green Party of Ontario ~ Kitchener—Conestoga
AMY FEE, Candidate 
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario ~ Kitchener South—Hespeler

The audience will be individuals with an interest in the Developmental Sector, primarily family, self-advocates and persons supported by the Sector and people volunteering or working in the Sector or related Sectors. The purpose of the evening is for candidates to outline their Parties Platform related to the Developmental Sector and to speak to the issues related to the Sector.

This event is being jointly hosted by:

If possible, the organizers would appreciate an RSVP indicating the number of people who will attend:
by email info@wrfn.info, or
by phone 519-886-9150;ext=1

Thu, 26 April 2018, 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Holiday Inn Kitchener Waterloo
30 Fairway Rd S, Kitchener
ON N2A 2N2, Canada (map)

Come out to support Bob Jonkman, Kitchener–Conestoga’s 2018 GPO candidate in this pre-election Panel Discussion.

Responsibility & Snow Clearance

It seems that there are a differing opinions when it comes to snow clearance in Waterloo Region, particularly Kitchener. From an article in The Record to an article in the Kitchener Post, citizens have quite varied views as to where responsibility for snow clearance lies. Being a person with a physical disability or difference that influences my ability to navigate built environments as well as natural environments, I have felt a need to take a stand on the issue.

Each time I see posts regarding this topic lately on social media, a question comes to mind that I haven’t noticed anyone else discussing in their comments. I ponder what role a province that has legislation in place that suggests it will reach full accessibility in just 7 or 8 years time has in making it possible for a person with mobility issues to be able to go and get their groceries or to meet a friend for a warm beverage. The individual who has mobility issues may not be physically able to clear the snow properly and therefore should not be expected to do so themselves. They may not have the financial resources to hire someone to clear the snow for them either.

If they are using a service such as Mobility Plus for transportation which offers accessible door to accessible door service, one could argue that the fire department needs to be called if snow is not cleared well enough for a driver to safely assist an individual in reaching the entrance of their building that should be cleared by the owner of the property if not the municipality. The driver cannot lift the individual and their wheelchair out of the vehicle, nor should they be expected to do so. Providing accessibility services does not make one superhuman.

We do not have universal rules across the province for snow clearance. We have corporations that own some properties, home owners that have their own properties, and we have other situations such as co-operatives and businesses which are each unique. If there were universal snow clearance rules that allowed barrier free access to all in a fair and equal manner, all parties of ownership would be able to operate the same in each jurisdiction.

snow