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Letter to the editor: Prince George is hard for the disabled

"P.G. is a horrible place to be with a disability," a local letter writer says.
Prince George is a tough place for the disabled, a letter writer says.

It seems as though every new month brings yet another scandal to Prince George. Budgetary overruns on everything from parkades to swimming pools, discrimination and harrassment within the City, the RCMP, and the school district, and now, even the relative safety of the public library, is in question.
Prince George is a far cry from what it was in the late eighties and early nineties, and while we may have been ‘blessed’ with a number of box-stores, we have lost a great deal. Theatres, boutiques, pubs, restaurants, lounges, sports shops, clothing shops, the list goes on. 
There was a time when the downtown was vibrant, and had everything from comic shops to cafes, but now is almost a no-go zone, a no-man’s land of crime, addiction, and shuttered buildings. Progression doesn’t seem to be in our city’s dictionary or in its vision.
I lost my leg last year, and was faced with a new reality, and that is that P.G. is a horrible place to be with a disability. Accessibility, something which should be a priority, is non-existent, and the money needed to be invested by the public and private sectors, just isn’t there.
People over the age of 18 and having one or more disabilities make up 22 per cent of the Canadian population.
Despite disabled people being the minority majority, P.G. transit cancelled the direct routes to UNBC claiming ridership issues when students make up 63 per cent of total ridership. Those same busses skirt the subdivisions with penetration that pales to that of the 1980’s. The city makes no effort to clear snow on public walkways, refuses to maintain sidewalks, and after snow clearing, does not clear the berms between bus stops and buses. Last but certainly not least, there isn’t a single law office that deals with civil disability discrimination suits and an internet search points you towards Vancouver.
One in four people in this city have a disability according to Stats Canada, and we are the single, biggest marginalized group. Despite this, there are very few options and assistance. Try finding work, catching a bus or negotiating a sidewalk.
All this, and the city’s concern is branding.
Mike Maslen, 
Prince George