Quebec Human Rights Commission office hard to access
Disabled woman says she had trouble getting into building to file complaint
A woman who recently filed a human rights complaint against a Couche-Tard convenience store has now filed a second complaint related to the building where the Quebec Human Rights Commission is located.
Effy Louridas, 60, filed a complaint against the Couche-Tard store last week after she was allegedly told not to come in with her motorized wheelchair.
Now, she alleges that she struggled to access a small elevator when she was going to the commission to file her complaint.
She claims she had a panic attack after trying to get in the lift and was treated rudely when she asked for help.
Louridas filed the new complaint with the help of disabled rights group RAPLIQ.
"There were other people there who had seen this, experienced it themselves and thought: 'Oh, this is way too much,'" said Louridas.
The group said the entrance has been a problem for years.
"We had people that were not able to come here because they have a mobility aid that doesn't fit in the really tiny elevator," said Laurence Parent, RAPLIQ's vice-president.
The building's elevator was used as a service elevator and has been in place since 1982. Its intercom is too high for people who use wheelchairs and its maximum capacity is 250 kilograms.
A motorized wheelchair weighs an average of 150 kilograms.
Parent said more than a third of people who complain to the commission have some kind of disability.
"In our mind, the Human Rights Commission is supposed to be the agency that will protect our rights, so it's hard to say this is not accessible and this is wrong. It's really discrimination," said Parent.
The commission agrees with the organization. It says it has been working with the co-owners of the building to fix the problem.
Louridas' complaint primarily targets the Société Immobilière du Québec and the Gestions Georges Coulombe — the two tenants and co-owners of the building.
Gaétan Cousineau, the president for the Quebec Human Rights Commission said "my wish would be that we can come up with a solution as soon as possible because I understand their frustration and challenges that they face."
The commission does not know how long it will take the fix the entrance.