How Will You Remember Our Heros and What Will You Do to Combat Human Rights Abuses in Canada by Tim Hortons?
Whitby, Ontario, November 11, 2009:
Ask a soldier what he would be willing to fight for and probably a cup of Timmies would rank top ten on a dark cold night in Afghanistan. It is too bad that same soldier cannot be honoured or even respected back home by Tim Hortons; our government’s laws and their human rights agreements. These required Tim Hortons to provide accessibility for people with disabilities over eighteen years ago.
It is now 2009, and Tim Hortons is still boycotting veterans and people with disabilities by refusing to provide safe access by not obeying the law as well as the Ontario Human Rights Code agreements. The Law forbids opening and operating new facilities that are not accessible and compliant with the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Planning Act, the Highway Traffic Act, and the 2005 OHRC “Dining Out” agreements.
Gerald Parker, a human rights and well known accessibility expert that has been professionally engaged in accessibility solutions internationally for over twenty years states: “ the scary part is the Premier, Dalton McGuinty and the President of Tim Hortons, Don Schroeder has known and allowed this to openly continue for years now”
Over the last couple of weeks, Parker has twice passed the funeral processions of our soldier’s on our 401 Highway of Heroes en-route from Trenton. He has just buried his Father, a Veteran and this Remembrance Day is coming upon his family more poignant than ever. “This a Remembrance Day like no other and we could remember it by making Tim Hortons and the Province of Ontario honour this by finally after years of untold attempts and untold wounded soldiers and veterans being refused their human rights” states Parker.
As a Canadian who loves his country and our collective national compassion Parker is willing to fight the good fight for human rights and make the ultimate sacrifice for the dispossessed disenfranchised and dehumanized peoples, even in distant lands.
Just like our soldiers and veterans.
Parker further states “our children understand why soldiers return home wounded and dead for these important “Canadian” causes. Lest we forget at this most important time and how so very important Remembrance Day is this year in particular”.
So when returning from Trenton Parker stopped at the Canadian icon Tim Horton’s for a beverage again. Why not -don’t all Canadians want to enjoy some Timmies? Unfortunately, there was still no lawful and safe accessible parking even at this Canadian Forces town.
Parker states- “the reality is our wounded soldiers, our maturing parents and people with disabilities cannot safely and lawfully access over eighty percent of even newly built Tim Hortons locations that we have professionally evaluated across Ontario. How can a company that spends millions on public relations and media campaigns with our Canadian Forces refuse to uphold Canadian Human Rights Law?
Well, it is true Tim Hortons or TDL Group has refused to comply with the Ontario Human Rights Commission agreements and directives for many years now. Not one store, but again corporately, in eighty percent of all sampled newly built stores across Ontario”-Parker states.
Many people have said “how can this be true“. This is Tim Hortons after all. This is a place that our Prime Minister and Ministers routinely use as a media back drop.
Well, it is true as day just read the Ontario Human Rights Commissions “Dining Out” Report of 2003 and the ministerial announcements of 2006. In these reports and announcements every major restaurant company was evaluated by the Ontario Human Rights Commission for accessibility and compliance with the minimum requirements of the respective laws. All failed. Every store in every municipality evaluated across Ontario. Also read Regulation 581 of the Highway Traffic Act (1991), the Planning Act that governs the obligations of the municipalities and companies like Tim Hortons to ensure that the over 2 million people with disabilities including our soldiers have safe and lawful accessible parking to get our Timmies.
Parker states “no one should have to play frogger with a snow plough, commercial vehicles or that person in the insurance commercial in fear of their personal safety. No one should have to argue with an operator or patron who refuses to oblige the law. No one should have to do the work of professional architects, municipal planning and building departments or the work of the human rights commission, or Ombudsman. This is not lawful, safe or dignified. That is a discriminatory impact that endangers and marginalizes over 2 million decent people with disabilities all over Ontario and the more than five hundred and sixty thousand lawful holders of provincial Accessible Parking Permits”.
These endangerments have been repeatedly identified to Tim Hortons, the Premiers Office and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. How can this national embarrassment be resolved?
“The question is better posed- how can Tim Hortons be allowed to operate in absolute defiance while riding the public relations band wagon on our boys backs? This is truly taking advantage of our brave soldiers and veterans and all that they stand, fight and die for. “This is why I am acting where they refuse”-states Parker.
“Tim Hortons and our Premier should be proverbially tarred and feathered. The chain of command is broken on this one and there is no accountability”.
“Our government has placed our most precious people in harms way in distant lands to fight for human rights principles. Principles and laws that our injured soldiers, our parents and people with disabilities do not enjoy at home, in Trenton or across the rest of Canada. Shame on Tim Hortons for boycotting our Canadian human rights, the rule of law and our Veterans. Lest we forget.
Let’s boycott Tim Hortons and take them inefficiently back before the Ontario Human Rights Commission again. Case by case if we have to. Let us honour and respect those who make the ultimate sacrifices and not allow others like Tim Hortons and our very own Premier to knowingly endanger and discriminate against their patrons and citizens rights any longer”-Parker states.
A digital video version of this press release and location imagery is available on You Tube.
Contact Information: Gerald Parker -905-493-0272