Heritage Committee members & Municipal staff & Others:
Our house has been slated as part of the Heritage Conservation District Study (HCDS)
. As per the HA, HCDS, the goals are to turn back the clock and to bring back the
good old days and preserve properties that are deemed of interest for that period
After reviewing the Heritage Act (HA), the HCDS, have not taken into consideration
the needs for proper accommodations for disabled individuals. I have noticed that
there is no provision made for disability. I have found a vague note from the municipality:
The Municipality of Central Elgin Council:
• Seeks to ensure that any potential conflict amongst the community and individual
interests is at best avoided or minimized at every opportunity.
The Ontarians with Disabilities Act mission is to improve the identification,
removal and prevention of barriers faced by persons with disabilities and to make
related amendments to other Acts, and to identify the barriers which impede persons
with disabilities from full participation, and to design reasonable plans consistent
with their resources to remove these barriers and to prevent new ones from being
Invalids were then confined to their wheelchairs, shut in and remained in there
homes until their death. Today, we have laws in place to prevent situations like
this from happeing and also to allow disabled persons to continue their daily life
without being segregated from the general population, activities, and social interactions
of the community.
I am a disabled individual who suffers from an incurable disorder, a spinal cord
injury that engulfs my body in intractable pain. There is no cure for this debilitating,
rare condition, called Arachnoiditis. I was confined to a wheelchair for few years,
until two years and half ago. I have been receiving an intravenous treatment which
is administered to me on a monthly basis at a clinic in Toronto. I am able to walk
today because of this treatment. Due to its nature and unpredictability, no one
can determine how long the treatment will continue to alleviate this debilitating
chronic pain. It is fair to say that eventually the benefit of this intravenous
infusion will come to an end, as my body accustoms itself to the medication. There
is nothing else in the medical field that will replace the infusion, therefore the
future is not very promising.
When the time comes for me to be confined to a wheelchair, I will not accept the
limitations of being restricted physically. I will have a ramp built in the front
of our property to allow the use of my wheelchair, or to allow the use of my cane.
Nor will I have this ramp built in the back of the property, for the simple reason
that it is not conducive for a disabled person because of its restriction.
Furthermore, according to your criteria, I will not be permitted to build this ramp:
The introduction of new parking areas, new accesses, berms, screen walls and other
non-residential screening mechanisms shall be avoided. (subsection 2)
I will not be forced to pay extra amount of dollars in order to satisfy the criteria
established by Committee members and the municipality; to be at the mercy of whims
of whoever is in charge or elected individuals who might not be cognizant of rights
for disabled individuals, for the sole purpose of returning houses back to the past.
One in 7 people are disabled, according to the Ministry of Economic Development,
Trade and Employment (MEDTE). Over the next 20 years the population will be aging;
thus telling us that expecting senior citizens to be able to physically renovate,
keep up with the landscape, all according to criteria already established, is an
You mention that taxes will be used from the county in order to help with costs
of renovations and upkeep. First, I am wondering how that will play out with other
communities in Central Elgin (CE) when they discover that money for grants are actually
levied from their taxes in order to improve Port Stanley houses?
Second, small interest loans will be available to whoever meet the criteria for
renovations. Absolutely unrealistic. We are senior citizens, retired with
fixed incomes and do not wish to get into debts in order to please a certain
layer of population who is not in touch with reality.
It is impossible to stop progress. Let Port Stanley develop on its own terms. Do
not constraint residents to abide to such a dictatorial and self-serving project.
Therefore, we reject this project in its entirety, and if passed, we will refuse
to participate. It is absolutely self-serving, unrealistic and unwelcome.
Louise Carbonneau Vermeiren
Port Stanley, ON