Nfld. & Labrador

Cabinet ministers no longer get closest parking spaces to Confederation Building entrance

An accessibility inspector had ordered government to be in compliance with regulations by Friday.

Complaint prompted new blue zone spaces

Work completed this week has designated new blue zone parking spaces. (Cal Tobin/CBC )

Changes to parking spaces at Confederation Building mean provincial cabinet ministers no longer get the spots closest to the entrance.

The nearest ones are now designated blue zones — reserved for people with disabilities and require a permit.

The change was prompted by a complaint from accessibility advocate Craig Reid.

Craig Reid of Mount Pearl filed a complaint with ServiceNL, saying that the parking spots for cabinet ministers should be designated as blue zone spaces instead. (CBC )

"This is a government service, and government services are supposed to be accessible. And the first point of contact is our parking lot. And if we can't get that right, well, there's something wrong with our government," Reid told CBC News earlier this month. 

An accessibility inspector found the Newfoundland and Labrador government was not following its own Buildings Accessibility Act and ordered compliance by Friday, Oct. 27.

Even the cabinet ministers who parked in the spaces weren't sure why they were permitted to do so in the first place.

The main doors to the west block of the Confederation Buildings in St. John's. Cabinet ministers had been parking directly across from the doors. (CBC)

"There's no special reason. I think it's by virtue of what's traditionally been done," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dale Kirby. "What we've done traditionally is not necessarily ... what works best for people with disabilities."

The work, which was completed this week, cost just shy of $7,000 according to government figures.

With files from Ramona Dearing