Reader Comment: People with MCS denied public access
To the Editor:
Persons suffering debilitating effects of MCS while accessing public buildings and spaces are not being considered or offered reasonable accommodation under the provisions of law protecting the rights and freedoms of persons with disabilities under current building code accessibility law and standards and human rights.
The National Building Code of Canada defines Barrier free as "means that a building and its facilities can be approached, entered, and used by persons with physical AND SENSORY disabilities." The Building Access Act, Statues of N.S. defines "physically handicapped person - means a person who is subject to a physiological defect or deficiency regardless of its cause, nature or extent and includes all such persons whether ambulatory or confined to a wheelchair."
The N.S. Provincial Building Code Regulations Section 3.8 Barrier Free Design states:
“(1) This section applies to the design and construction requirements of buildings and occupancies to make them accessible to and usable by, disabled persons.” It further explains the classifications of buildings to which accessibility must be provided by law.
I have presented this situation to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission as a complaint of discrimination against people with debilitating effects of MCS.
The NSHRC has stated: "The N.S. government like other public service providers have a duty to accommodate clients with disabilities " and "The N.S. government is required to provide you with all the services which are available to the rest of the general public."
Through issuance of any occupancy permit to occupy a building or portion thereof the government is assuring the entire public that no unsafe condition exists within that space that could cause undo harm or injury to any person with medical impairments causing debilitating health effects while upon the premises.
So long as there are no regulations or legislation defining and administering scent, fragrance, and biocide free practices within public buildings or spaces the government is practicing ongoing discrimination against MCS.
I urge you to contact your MLA to register a complaint and file a complaint with the NSHRC expressing your concerns.
Nelson LantzChester Basin, NS