Inaccessible Amherst courthouse irks disability advocate

A Nova Scotia man who uses a motorized scooter is fighting to do his civic duty after getting called for jury duty, only to be excused because the courthouse isn't wheelchair accessible.

Jim Mitchell summoned for jury duty but couldn't get in courthouse

Jim Mitchell was called for jury duty but there's no way for him to get inside the Amherst courthouse on his own. (CBC)

A Nova Scotia man who uses a motorized scooter is fighting to do his civic duty after getting called for jury duty, only to be excused because the courthouse isn't wheelchair accessible.

Jim Mitchell decided to visit the Amherst courthouse after he received a jury summons in the mail and realized there's no way for him to get inside.

"I came down here and I could not believe. I was just dumbfounded that there was no wheelchair accessibility," he said.

Mitchell said he contacted his local justice centre who told him they were aware of the problem and he would be excused from jury duty immediately.

That didn't sit right with Mitchell, a long-time advocate for people with mobility issues.

"That moment just gave me another jolt to make me realize just how much farther we have to go. This is not right and it needs to change," he said.

Mitchell said all he wants is to be able to do his civic duty.

Officials with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice told CBC News they understand Mitchell's frustration. They said they're reviewing the use of the building and hope to meet with him to discuss a solution.

Mitchell said he wants a timeline for when the issue will be resolved. He has already contacted his MLA, Terry Farrell, to get things moving.

"I'd be happy to talk to them," he said. "The bottom line is we — this community — want to see this changed and fixed."

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