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Council quick to give okay to county taxi bylaw

by David Meyer

MAPLETON TWP. - It took about two years for Wellington County to get its first taxi bylaw finally approved less than a year ago - but changes to it might be moving much faster.

The county sent an amended bylaw proposal to council here on Sept. 27 and council had very few questions about the new  proposals.

Mayor Bruce Whale explained that the bylaw is mainly an update on accessibility issues. Those are provincial law, and all municipalities must take accessibility into account for such things as new buildings, and even the language in which information is provided.

The changes to the accessibility bylaw included such things as:

- a change to the definition of an accessible taxicab;

- removal of the definition of a physically disabled person;

- definition of a service animal;

- a line was added to incorporate accessible formats;

- a section about service animals accompanying a passenger was added;

- a section that states taxi operators may not charge more for persons with a disability; and

- they may not charge a fee for storage of mobility aids or devices was added.

Mayor Bruce Whale did have a question about a clause that stated, “No person shall drive, or act as a driver of any accessible taxicab without first having completed a wheelchair and occupant restraint system training program with respect to the handling, safety restraint, transportation, care and safety of disabled passengers, written proof of which shall be provided prior to the issuance of any accessible taxicab licence.”

There was no answer at Mapleton council, but Whale brought up the issue two days later at county council, which is waiting for all lower tier municipalities to approve the changes before it can finally pass it.

Warden Chris White said that change came from the provincial government, which recently approved that part of the bill as part of its handicapped access legislation.

White explained that because the province wants that law, municipalities must obey it, so county officials included it in the changes being made to their original bylaw.

Clerk Patty Sinnamon said the bylaw came from the Police Services Board and county council is now waiting for the seven lower tier municipalities to give their assent.

County councillors heard that the bylaw changes had only been recently sent to the other municipalities, and none of them had yet notified county officials what they had done about the request.

Centre Wellington council has also given its approval to the changes.


October 7, 2011


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