Accessible Committee members met with council

Reduced budget and insight on refreshed message campaign presented for Quesnel

On Dec. 5, Accessible Committee members Alison Duddy and Lynn Dunkley appeared before the City of Quesnel council in their wheelchairs and presented their 2018 budget and provide an update on the Accessible Parking Awareness Program.

Taking turns speaking, the women thanked council for its support during the six years of the program, which aims to educate and increase the general public’s awareness about having strategically placed accessible parking stalls throughout the city for people who need them.

They thanked councillors for placing very visible signage at the parking stalls and noted that raising the fines for parking violations in those stalls has helped because it makes people think twice before illegally parking in an accessible stall.

Noting that when council refused to increase the committee’s budget for more posters, brochures and sandwich boards, the women said they decided they have to refresh their message through other media forms.

Duddy and Dunkley noted that in 2018, they are going to embark on more education and awareness presentations for people who may not have heard them.

They are going to meet with the doctors, who sign the permits for the handicap placards, and ask them to give the message about use and misuse of the placards.

The women said they were going to meet with the Quesnel Seniors Advocacy Service and ask their people to also give their clients the same use and abuse message, and they were also planning to make presentations to senior citizen groups.

They said they had reduced their budget request to fewer brochures, 200 poster with 100 of them laminated and five sandwich boards.

Mayor Bob Simpson said council’s finance committee would make the decision on the budget and suggested the Accessible Committee look at presenting a three-year budget so they don’t have to renew it every year.

Councillors thanked Duddy and Dunkley for their work over the years and some told a story about abled-body people abusing the accessible parking stalls.

Coun. Laurey-Anne Roodenburg invited the women to set up a meeting with her to discuss partnerships other groups that would likely support them.

Simpson concluded the conversation, saying partnerships would be good because “there are some concerns about spending public money on private programs.”

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