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"How you gonna get in the store now?" Air Force 1 Leather

Many local businesses are not accessible for the disabled

Nick McGrath, Minister of Service NL, told The Labradorian the 1981 building exemption exists because the building accessibility regulations came into effect that year. And it would have been impossible for the provincial government to force business owners and building operators to completely renovate properties that were built under an older code.

The store on Green Street isn't the only Mini Mart that has had problems with wheelchair accessibility. The Mini Mart on Markland Road has no ramp at all, for example. But Paul Snelgrove, the owner of all five Mini Marts in Goose Bay, doesn't defend the fact that the ramp at Green Street is inaccessible. It should be cleared," Snelgrove told The Labradorian.

Happy Valley Goose Bay Mayor Leo Abbass admits that the town isn't perfect when it comes to wheelchair accessibility. He believes that making Goose Bay more accessible for those with disabilities requires a community effort. Abbass even admits the Town Hall building is not perfect for wheelchair accessibility.

"Over the years I've had some requests from provincial government departments to have accessibility for different places," says Snelgrove. "But obviously it comes up to my own decision making because, again, back to that stipulation of what's required and what's not. They can bring it to my attention but the rules are the rules."

The snow has been allowed to pile up high Air Force Black And Gold on the ramp, even though the steps remain shoveled and salted. Green Street Mini Mart Supervisor Claudette Pardy says the ramp has been that way since it first snowed.

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McGrath also pointed out it takes more than a wheelchair ramp to make buildings accessible for those who are physically disabled. Many of the older buildings Nike Air Force 1 Green Snake

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"It just irritated me," says Simms. "If I wanted to bring my grandfather to the store, I couldn't."

Businesses and other public buildings are required to make their premises accessible to the physically disabled, but there are exceptions. Buildings that were granted a permit before Dec.24, 1981, are exempted from the provincial legislation. Paul Snelgrove believes that his stores fall under that category, due to the age of his buildings.

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have narrow doorways and cramped spaces, which makes it even more difficult to make them accessible.

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Snelgrove originally built the ramp on the Green Street store because of a customer request 12 years ago. He says the cost was more than $4,000. "But as far as I know if hasn't been used in a long time."

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"I guess there's nobody to clear it, I'm not clearing it," says Pardy. "I have not been instructed to. They do not send anybody around to do anything. I'll clean off the steps and that's it."

"There's no point in putting on a wheelchair ramp if, once you get into the building, it's not accessible anyway," says McGrath

that was built before that date (in 1981)," says McGrath.

asked another.

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"Shameful it is," said one facebook user.

Goose Bay resident Allen Simms noticed the state of the wheelchair ramp one evening and took a photo. He shared the photo on facebook, where many of his friends posted comments.

"They (disabled people) got the same rights as anybody else," says Simms. "This is an ongoing problem in Goose Bay."

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Simms is concerned about building accessibility in Goose Bay. He has a grandfather with a physical disability and strongly believes all buildings should have ramps for those who need to use them.

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Simms says he didn't post the photo to shame Labrador Mini Mart. He has noticed that the problem exists elsewhere in town, such as at a local daycare, among other places.

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"You just wouldn't be able to enforce, in a province our size, and the geography the way it is, with so much older buildings to enforce the rule on every building Nike Air Force Tan

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