Questions Asked of Candidates
1. How have disability issues affected you and your family?
2. What do you see as being the greatest accessibility challenges within your constituency and what will you do to address these challenges?
Manitoba Liberal Party Candidate - Piero Scaramuzzi
Answer 1: I have a very close relative who has a child who suffers from Autism. I have been able to witness the difficulty and courage that is required to raise a child, and then look after him as an adult who requires special needs.
Answer 2: There are a number of facilities that are still difficult for people with disabilities to access. I will be more then willing to work with disability advocates, and the facility owners and managers to ensure that facilities that require upgrading are upgraded in a timely manner.
New Democratic Party Candidate - Jody Gillis
Answer 1. I work with students living with disabilities daily and see firsthand the challenges they face. I know that we need to continue to work with the community to allow people of all abilities to be successful in education, and allow them to participate in the workforce.
Answer 2. Our schools in River East require support with capital projects to make accessibility improvements. I also understand the importance of attracting and retaining quality employees who work to support people with disabilities.
Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba Candidate - Cathy Cox
Answer 1: I am very familiar with disability issues and know firsthand the challenges experienced by people with disabilities. My father and two aunts were blind as a result of glaucoma and macular degeneration. They were impacted everyday by their disability, not only in their homes but also in their community. My Dad worked hard to remain independent in his home which he shared with my Mom, but still relied on her for assistance with most day to day activities. My Dad was an avid reader and enjoyed writing however with his diminished vision he was often frustrated by his inability to read text or write legibly. We visited the CNIB for tools to assist him however he was not comfortable using their suggested technology and managed with the use of his magnifying glass, cane and assistance from his family. Mobility was another issue that affected my Dad. He loved to walk however found it challenging maneuvering the sidewalks, curbs and intersections in our community. As my parents aged, we all pitched in to help with lawn work, yard clean up, snow shoveling and daily household chores. We knew the importance of remaining independent and supported my parent's decision to remain in their own home as long as possible. Unfortunately, there are not enough supports available for people with disabilities or the elderly, and we need to do more to enable them to remain independent. People with disabilities deserve the same considerations as those without disabilities.
Answer 2: I believe one of the greatest accessibility challenges are the deep ditches that run parallel along Henderson Hwy from Fortier Avenue, north to the City limit. These ditches cause challenges for many transit users as passengers are required to enter or disembark the bus on small concrete pads barely wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. With ditches on both sides of the pad there is little room maneuver. Our winter season brings snow and ice, which further increases these transit challenges and makes accessibility on Henderson Hwy even more treacherous. This is a huge accessibility issue in our community.
I've also noticed that some of the sidewalks that intersect with our local streets do not have curb ramps and do not meet wheelchair accessibility standards.
We also need to ensure our main controlled intersections are accessible by equipping them with accessible pedestrian signals and in some areas, lengthening the cross time at pedestrian crosswalks to allow pedestrians time to safely cross the street.
If I am fortunate enough to be elected, I will work hard to ensure better accessibility in River East. I have already discussed these issues with our Councillor, Jeff Browaty and we will work together to improve accessibility in our community.