Media Release - Disabled northern Ontario travellers settle human rights claim with ONTC

TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Limited travel options in Ontario's north were not even available to Bradley Bondar and Lisa Buck because no vehicles had accessible washrooms.  Yesterday Bondar and Buck settled joint human rights claims with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC), making sure northern Ontarians with disabilities will have more transportation options.

Englehart resident Lisa Buck joined her human rights claim with that of Timmins disability rights activist Bradley Bondar, who passed away before his claim was settled.  Bondar's brother Jason carried forward the claim on his behalf of his estate. Jason commented that "Bradley broke down a lot of barriers for people with disabilities in his lifetime and this resolution is part of his legacy."

As part of the settlement of the human rights claim, ONTC agreed to:

  • Order three motor coaches with wheelchair accessible washrooms
  • Make every effort to have these coaches available to passengers with disabilities upon request
  • Train drivers on human rights - drivers will have to complete training before operating any equipment

Jamie McGinnis, Buck's lawyer in the Human Rights Legal Support Centre's Thunder Bay office, commented "with so few travel options to begin with, it is absolutely vital that northern residents have accessible vehicles."

Julie D. Lefebvre, Bondar's paralegal in Timmins, said "a huge barrier was lifted in northern Ontario for passengers using wheelchairs.  I am very happy that the human rights process worked to effect change."

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre offers free legal services to people throughout Ontario who have experienced discrimination contrary to Ontario's Human Rights Code.

JDL Paralegal offers a wide range of professional legal services to the Timmins area.

SOURCE: Human Rights Legal Support Centre

For further information:

Jennifer Ramsay, Human Rights Legal Support Centre 416-597-4958 or mobile 416-522-5931

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