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REPORTING · 7th December 2010
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat Health Advocacy Group had a special presentation by Mary Monteiro on the topic of ongoing accessibility concerns, for the elderly and the handicapped. She said spaces for parking are not signed nor are there enough.

“I’m having a bit of an issue here. Kitimat is supposed to be promoted as an aging community but we have very much not allowed Kitimat to be an aging community,” said Monteiro. “There are many things in our community which need to be assessed and unfortunately we have not brought these things forward.”

There was a committee to Measure Up Kitimat but it broke up because there was no money. Monteiro said she has approached Council for the last 10 years with concerns over acceptable signage for handicapped parking spaces as well as people who choose to park in these spaces without disability or concern for people who are supposed to use these spaces.

She cited Kitimat General Hospital as being the worst place in Kitimat for handicapped parking because design favours a drop off area and delivery area over spaces for the handicapped to park.

Similarly, at the post office, people park and wait in the handicapped parking space to allow the passenger time to do their business. Monteiro stated the spaces are not marked by signage other then painted marks on the parking lot and during the winter, they get covered by snow.

Corrine Scott said she was involved with the Retire in Kitimat Task Force and how she got involved in it. She said she wished to speak to Mary about this topic as people who have disabilities do not find some of the sidewalks safe or accessible.

Monteiro pointed out the size of the handicapped parking stalls were not the legal size and wanted to know who she needed to talk to. KHAG Chair Rob Goffinet suggested she go on camera at a Council Meeting and request a report on how they are making Kitimat more accessible.

Monteiro said she was meeting with the Advisory Recreation Board. A motion was made to endorse Monteiro. The motion was carried.