Whitehorse unwelcoming to disabled visitors

Whitehorse unwelcoming to disabled visitors I have been listening to the debate on the wheelchair accessible cab issue and comment as follows: I have been travelling to Yukon for 24 years with my wife who has limited mobility and requires a wheelchair fo

I have been listening to the debate on the wheelchair accessible cab issue and comment as follows:

I have been travelling to Yukon for 24 years with my wife who has limited mobility and requires a wheelchair for travel. In April we arrived at Whitehorse airport on the last flight in at 11:35 p.m. and owing to a mix up with rental cars had to make our own way to the Klondike Inn.

None of the hotel shuttles are wheelchair accessible so I managed to track down a wheelchair accessible cab from Premier. It took over an hour to get it to us and we were then charged $45 to get to the Klondike Inn.

I am dismayed that the new bylaw on accessible cabs will not come into force until May 2017 and then the cab companies can share a vehicle. Presumably this could be the one accessible cab operated by Premier, so no improvement.

The attitude of the cab companies is disappointing, and it is disgraceful that Whitehorse is so unwelcoming to disabled visitors. If it wishes to promote itself as an international conference centre and tourist destination, it is essential that more is done to provide facilities found in most cities in the world.

Not only should this mean sufficient accessible taxis and shuttles, but also hotel rooms to full accessibility standards, which are sadly lacking in Whitehorse. The few rooms that claim to be accessible are generally well below what is needed by a wheelchair user.

The airlines serving Whitehorse are excellent in their treatment of disabled passengers but it ends at the airport.

This is a massive market as more disabled people wish to travel and facilities in other places have improved exponentially in recent years, particularly in the United States. Additionally, there must be many wheelchair users in Yukon who would be able to get into town for entertainment and shopping if accessible vehicles were available. The demand will follow the availability.

Peter Knowles

Haines Junction

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