Francine Kopun of the Toronto Star reported on Dec. 3rd that the City of Toronto had cancelled their annual celebration event in honour of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, replacing it with a vague declaration of some kind by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford during a Human Rights Day Event to be held in Council Chambers on Dec. 8th.
Given the record of dismissal or in some cases of complete ignorance of issues relating to disabilities under Rob Ford’s Toronto City Council, one could say it was appalling, but not so much shocking. The cancellation of the event came as a surprise to City Councillor Adam Vaughn , Chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee who “…had no idea the event had been cancelled”. We’re not really surprised here after all, Rob Ford tried to shut down the Advisory committee in question, and only backed down after it was pointed out to him that it is a legal necessity to have an Accessibility committee under provincial law in Ontario.
Still, determined self-advoacates do what they often do when there are attempts to silence their voices. They gathered in Nathan Phillips Square on Sat. the 3rd to protest the cancellation. Small in numbers but big in determination, they braved the cold and spoke out for those whose words and contributions are often ignored.
The wind off of Lake Ontario is cold, but apparently not as cold as the hearts of some of the cities bureaucrats and elected officials.
Note to Rob Ford: People with disabilities vote, and you have just landed on this writers worse that Naughty List.