Increased Accessibility for All
Increasing accessibility for all benefits our entire community. Soon after the last election I met with John Higginbotham and toured Courtenay in a scooter from Air Park to North Island College. It was clear that many of the streets, intersections and public buildings were not designed for accessibility.
I helped link the city, as well as developers, to work with the Rick Hansen Foundation for certification of accessible projects which in turn can help fund them.
Below you can read a letter from Jim Gillis, whom I had the pleasure to spend some time with during my campaign launch event this past summer.
LETTER: Everyone should walk a mile in John Higginbotham’s trail
Please note: This letter was published in the Comox Valley Record on 23 January 2018.
Re: Widened walkway proposed on Ryan Road, (Jan. 16 Record)
John Higginbotham is a true hero of the Comox Valley. If we, the able bodied of the Valley had the issues which John has to begin and end his day with, we would have given up long ago. You can’t miss him; he is always out and about in his three-wheeled wheelchair, usually covered with a rain tarp and hoodie over his legs and head and always on the move. He lives in the south part of the city and he travels that wonderful path that skirts the airport and the Courtenay River into the city. He will be at the Sid, restaurants, malls, community events and especially at all the meetings of the CV Accessibility Committee fighting for accessibility for all.
When John says “accessibility for all” he means it. Because all of us at one time will need that extra bit of accessibility, wheeling babies, coping with an injury, or just getting old and needing better access. It is essential that the students, young mothers, walkers and wheelchair-bound working their way up and down a dangerous Ryan Road hill have the sidewalk and access to get to the school, the swimming pool or the hospital. If we make our public places accessible for all then everyone can access public facilities, not just the able-bodied or people with cars. Access for all, what a wonderful way to live.
Let’s all get behind John Higginbotham and make it happen. This sounds like just the project that will meet the needs of Justin Trudeau’s infrastructure goals. There is always a way to a goal, and John Higginbotham is leading us towards it. I salute him for his tenacity and community spirit.