When it’s brought to your attention that your office is somewhat less than accessible, particularly when you happen to be the member of parliament in charge of things to do with people with disabilities, the appropriate response would be to:
A: Appologise and work towards fixing it where possible, such as possibly looking for a more accessible location to have your riding office moved to.
B: Propose alternative locations to meet with people who have difficulty actually getting to the offending riding office.
C: Issue a fluff press release about how much your government’s doing for people with disabilities, then move on.
D: Blame the liberals.
Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, decided to pick option D.
“Bob Speller is simply trying to distract from the dismal Liberal record on helping person with disabilities,” said a statement from Finley’s office. “In fact, Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals are constantly voting against support for persons with disabilities such as when they voted against the creation of the historic Registered Disabilities Saving Plan and the Enabling Accessibility Fund.”
That’s cold comfort to her constituents who must make an appointment with Finley and meet her off-site, perhaps at Tim Horton’s.
I’m not sure what to be more irritated with. The fact this chick’s got a visual impairment and should therefore know better than to make a statement like that, or that statements like that are the norm when folks get called out for crap like this–at just about all levels of government. Or both, in equal proportions.
Small note to Minister Finley. You’re in charge of things to do with people finding employment. You’re also in charge of things to do with people with disabilities. You are, therefore, in charge of things to do with people with disabilities finding employment. Please stop being a tool and actually try removing a barrier that keeps certain individuals in your constituency away from you. And please, for God’s sake, stop with the making it all about the liberals. I’m sure they didn’t put you in an inaccessible office. Nor, I’m sure, are they making it difficult for you to move, should you decide to do so.
Note to Stephen Harper. I think you need a new minister.