Disability advocate settles accessibility complaint against Pat Quinn’s Restaurant & Bar

VINCE Miele, who uses a wheelchair and has been a longtime advocate for people with disabilities, has settled his human rights accessibility complaint against Pat Quinn’s Restaurant & Bar in Tsawwassen. 

This complaint stems from an incident where Vince made a reservation for four, informing the restaurant that one in the party uses a wheelchair. However, when Vince arrived, he found his friends had been seated at a table in the main lower area of the restaurant, but that he was unable to independently join them due to three stairs. A server offered to assist him, but that was not feasible. 

Vince alleged the incident attracted undue attention and was an “incredibly embarrassing experience”. He alleged that the restaurant’s subsequent response and remedial actions were not satisfactory. The restaurant made an application to dismiss the complaint that was denied by the Tribunal. In its decision, Miele v. Pat Quinn’s Restaurant and Bar, 2019 BCHRT 13, the Tribunal, at paragraph 39, noted: 

“For many people with mobility-related disabilities, the physical environment is what excludes them from full and equitable participation in public life: Council of Canadians with Disabilities v. VIA Rail Canada Inc., 2007 SCC 15 (CanLII), [2007] 1 SCR 650 at para. 181. They are the one of very few groups of people protected by human rights legislation who could be excluded, by design, from a public space because of their protected characteristic. This is important context for understanding whether Mr. Miele has any prospect of proving the barrier itself creates an adverse impact on him, and in particular why a barrier that may seem benign to a person without disabilities is not experienced as such by a group which has long faced exclusion from public spaces.”

The parties agreed to the following joint statement pursuant to the settlement that was reached:

“We are pleased to announce that the complaint has been settled. The parties are delighted that a change to the configuration of the restaurant will result in permanent, independent access to every level of the restaurant.”

Vince was represented by the Community Legal Assistance Society’s BC Human Rights Clinic.

1 COMMENT

  1. To be very clear….the offer of free “consulting” by this group is @FordNation “solution” for #accessibility in @Ontario The Foundation, not for profit, received three million dollars from Ford Gov, to have amateur, inexperienced conduct “Built Environment Audits” and then certify them as #Accessible One of the places with this “certification” in BC was taken to BC Human Rights as despite this certification, it was found to not be accessible. A large Class 1 Office Tower in Mississauga was also “certified” as accessible by RHF in 2019. Our firm, Optimal Performance Consultants, comprised of Ergonomic/Human Factors Design experts with over 30 years of experience, and auditors who have a variety of #Disabilities , plus our Interior Designer and Architects, form the expert team which Audited this Office Tower. The result of the audit? They did not pass in 2015, 2018 and 2019. #InclusiveDesign is a serious business as the #BuiltEnvironment can exclude people and employees or include #PeopleOfAllAbilities #Age #Size #Gender #Culture #Language It is the difference between having equal access to a building or public space or being excluded from #Employment #Sport #Recreation #PlacestoEat pray, love, watch movies, shop etc etc. If Ontario wants to truly #BeOpenForBusiness then it needs to be open to the 22% of Ontarians with a #Disability and the 33% of aging Ontarians This approach sends a very clear message to 33 plus 22% of our population=55% of Ontarians as to whether they are invited to the economic table or not. JESleeth Founder and Sr Consultant Optimal Performance Consultants Since 1991

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