Monday, 19 August 2013

Tea with Tait - The Gretzky Tales - Part IV — "Thanks for all the fun times"


 (The series continues of my personal stories of Wayne Gretzky. I met Wayne in July 1979 — the same month I started writing for The Edmonton Journal.)
Wayne announcing he was leaving the Edmonton Oilers Aug. 9, 1988
When the Oilers won their fourth Stanley Cup in May of 1988, Oiler coach and GM Glen Sather told CBC Hockey Night in Canada the team would change 15 per cent over the summer. Never did I think Wayne would be included in that change. I was covering a story at the Youth Emergency Shelter — a safe haven for teenagers who find themselves without a home — when radio reports were saying Wayne was being traded to the Los Angeles Kings that afternoon, Aug. 8, 1988. I didn’t believe them. But when I watched the supper hour news that night, and saw the press conference, I was sad to see a friend leaving Edmonton.
Wayne’s first time back as a member of the Los Angeles Kings in Edmonton that October was a circus. I went to the morning skate and to the game and remember feeling sorry for him.  Not only did he have people wanting to see him but he was now on playing for the other guys, and was in an uncomfortable situation.
I was glad to be there. But didn’t like the circumstance.
A month later I was going through a personal heartache when the woman I was dating had met someone else. My childhood friend Barth Bradley and I had lunch and I told him how rotten I was feeling.
“Why don’t we go to Los Angeles for a weekend and go to a hockey game and say hello to Wayne?” Barth suggested over post-lunch coffee.
I was in. A change of scenery, a hockey game and good friends and a few laughs.
Barth and I went down to Los Angeles in February of 1989 and stayed in Manhattan Beach with my good friend Les Hayes. We went to the Kings’ morning skate and had a great visit with Wayne and Peter Millar, the long-time Oiler trainer who went to the Kings when his contract was up in Edmonton.
Retired L.A. King trainer Peter Millar
Wayne gave us the address of the store that sold the Kings’ merchandise and said we would be more than welcome. When we arrived, the clerk behind the desk recognized us. “You must be Wayne’s friends from Edmonton,” he said. “Wayne told me you were coming.”
Barth bought things for his kids, all in black and silver with the Kings logo on it. I did the same for my nieces and nephews. When we went to pay for everything we were shocked at how little the bill once.
“I think we paid about 10 cents on the dollar. And Wayne was the guy that made that happen,” Barth said.


WE WENT TO the game that night and, for Les was his first hockey game. It was very rewarding to see people in southern California learning the game and falling in love with hockey.
After the game Barth and I got into the Kings’ dressing room. They had beaten the Buffalo Sabers 5-3 and the dressing room turned into a party with some recognizable faces from the Los Angeles area. Wayne introduced us to actors Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, golfer Craig Stradler and syndicated radio host Rick Dees.
Wayne offered Barth and I a beer. We gratefully accepted, but didn’t have a straw. Wayne got up from his stall, walked away from the reporters waiting to interview him and went all over the Kings’ dressing room looking for a straw. He returned with two straws in his hand.
“I looked all over for these,” he said.
“I know. I am pretty thirsty by now,” I said.
Barth and I made a few more trips to Los Angeles in the winter to see Wayne and the Kings play. He always shared his time for us and made sure we had a few special treats during our stay.
We were at the morning skate the Kings had at the Great Western Forum one trip.
The book written by Jim Taylor and Wayne's
dad Walter
On his way out of the rink, Wayne and I had a short visit before I asked him to sign a book. It was a book written by legendary Vancouver sportswriter Jim Taylor and Wayne’s father Walter. Wayne took his time writing something on the first page of the book, and it’s something I will always treasure. He wrote: “To Cam. Thanks for all the fun times. Your friend, Wayne.”

THE LAST TIME I saw Wayne play for the Kings in L.A. Was in the spring of 1995.  I mentioned to Wayne I was trying my luck at live comedy before he went into the back of the dressing room.
“Give me a minute. Don’t go away,” he said.
He came back and said he called a friend of his at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood. I had five minutes to perform that night, if I wanted it. I did, and it was an experience I will never forget.


Wayne is extremely kind. We had not been in contact for a while and then, just before Christmas of 1998, he sent his new picture book special delivery to our home. “To Cam, Merry Christmas. In Friendship, Wayne.”
Before he officially retired as a New York Ranger in 1999, he was with the team when they played the Oilers in Edmonton. I was at the Ranger practice the day before the game and saw Wayne with extra sticks and jerseys he had packed with him. He took as much time as needed to sign them and  made sure they  got to the people he wanted to say thank you to.

COMING TUESDAY: An unforgettable phone call


The Monday Cam-burger: Thanks for your support; we've learned


Five hundred and fifty-one of 10,800 DATS users is 5.1 per cent. That’s how many people signed a petition to protest the new policy the Disabled Adult Transportation System policy set to begin Sept 1, asking for two-hours advance when cancelling a ride. Personally, I thought numbers would be much higher, turning this into an issue Edmonton City Council might review, and, potentially, change. But with 5.1 per cent? There isn’t even a hint of an issue here.

I think the numbers suggest only a small per centage of DATS users would be affected by the two-hour cancellation. By contrast, a much larger number, it seems, will not be affected. We have to respect that. We have to remember DATS is funded by Edmonton taxpayers and has to provide the best service they can for the biggest majority of users. That only makes sense, right?

And maybe we pushed the panic button too soon: we haven’t experienced the new policy and really don't know what it looks like. Perhaps we should re-visit this in a few months and then act accordingly if there are issues. All is not lost, though: we have a better understanding of who uses DATS. Indeed, a most valuable lesson. I am thinking on the top of my computer screen here, but maybe if there are complications with the new policy, we can suggest riders who, say, have more than 10 trips a week are exempted from the two-hour policy. To their credit, DATS isn’t enforcing the two-hour policy for morning trips.

I would personally like to thank everyone who signed the petition. You help create awareness. And thanks to Brenda Lewis and Heidi Janz for the tireless efforts.
The issue isn’t going to disappear. We will monitor it, and more importantly, learn.


KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING BY CLICKING HERE

Monday's Cam'n Eggs with Bruce Bowie

Good Morning!











630 CHED's Bruce Bowie is in Bulembu, Swaziland, Africa helping with an orphanage. Bruce has been sending back great blogs of his experiences. Please click here to read them.


(Got an idea for Cam 'n Eggs? Something short and uplifting for folks to begin their day? Send your story and pictures right here  CAM 'N EGGS ORDERING)



Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Tea with Tait: The Gretzky Tales — golfing, and missing a BIG story

(Part 3 of 3: My personal stories of Wayne Gretzky)

Jamie Farr and myself at the 1987 Wayne Grezky Golf Classic



The Wayne Gretzky Golf Classic was held at the Edmonton Country Club. With the great help from Country Club manager Leo Blindenbach I arranged to play the first hole from my wheelchair to raise funds for the charity the tournament was supporting. I got pledges per stroke on the first hole — a par five — so, really, the more strokes I took the more money I made. The exact opposite of the main objective of golf. But what the hell. Wayne hosted a reception the night before at the Country Club and made an announcement about me playing the first hole.
“Hey, Cammie I have an idea,” he  told the crowd, before looking at me just after 7:30 p.m. “Why don’t you start now? You might be finished by the time the rest of us tee-off tomorrow.” 
“Will do,” I hollered back. “By the way, I got my handicap all figured out.”
The crowd howled with laughter, and it was so good to know others were laughing with me — and not at me. It would have been  a little uncomfortable if Wayne would have got up and told everyone I was playing a hole, and I had cerebral palsy,  and wasn’t it a novel thing? But putting humour into it made it more personal … more fun. I still couldn’t golf, though: I shot a 27 on the par five, and — cover your eyes, golfers — five putted. At the banquet that night, Leo Blindenbach collected money and had a wod of $100 bills. We raised $3,100 that day.
I attended Wayne’s golf tournament in Edmonton for three more years, including the last one in 1987. Wayne always made sure I felt part of the tournament. Many well-known personalities from across North America attended the event. And thanks to Wayne, I had the pleasure of having cocktails with actors Jamie Farr and Alan Thicke, hockey broadcaster Danny Gallivan, music producer David Foster and Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe, who has flown into the parking lot one year by helicopter. Wayne’s personality brought so many people to Edmonton and he went out of his way to make sure his friends shared in their time.




IT WAS CHRISTMAS EVE 1987 at Kevin Lowe’s annual gathering when I know Wayne had met the love of his life and future wife, Janet Jones. The ladies were upstairs and the men were downstairs.
“Well, guys I think I am in love. I was with Janet last night and we went to the ballet,” Wayne said. “I really don’t like the ballet but when you are with the right girl, who cares, right?” he asked.

Wayne and I kept seeing each other after Oiler games. But I perhaps fumbled a rather big story in Edmonton.
 Wayne was out with an injury in early 1988. It was announced he was going to be doing some charity work, so I arranged to interview Wayne between periods at an Oiler game. Wayne seemed a little more nervous than other times we had been together, but I didn’t think it was much of a big deal.  I thought I had a fairly decent story but when I got to   The Edmonton Journal newsroom the next morning, my desk mate Al Turner  met me with a frown on his face.
“I read that story you wrote on Gretzky this morning,” Al said with a tinge of distain in his voice. “Were you with him or did you do it on over the phone?”
I told Al I was with Wayne.
 “And he didn’t tell you?”
 “Tell me what?” I asked.
“CHED Radio ran with a story all morning Gretzky and Janet Jones got engaged last night at Earl’s. You were with the guy and there was nothing in your story about him getting engaged.”
I began feeling beads of sweat on my forehead. It was a huge story in Edmonton: Wayne was like a prodigal son, and maybe I blew it.
 “You didn’t ask him?” Al said.
No, I replied, because I didn’t hear anything to ask the question. Maybe Wayne wasn’t sure what Janet’s answer would be so he kept quiet. 

Coming shortly: Back to L.A.


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Tea with Tait: The Gretzky Tales Pt. II — The gathering after Wayne scored 50 goals in 39 games


(Part II of my personal stories with Wayne Gretzky. I met Wayne in 1979 as sport reporter with the Edmonton Journal. I have cerebral palsy and can be hard to understand, and he had difficulty understanding me)…

Wayne's 50th goal in 39 games: my own victory



But that all  changed in December, 30 1981 — the night Wayne scored 50 goals in 39 games in with a five-goal performance in Edmonton. During my visit to the Oiler dressing room after the game I overheard Wayne was celebrating the record at a downtown restaurant called Fingers.  Just as my cousin Cam Traub and I were pulling out of the parking lot I suggested we stop for a quick bite to eat at Fingers.
I didn’t tell Cam who might be dropping by. We were just finishing up when Wayne entered with about 10 friends.
Five minutes or so later two shot glasses of tequila were delivered to our table from Wayne, with two straws. (I use a straw when I drink) Cam and I drank them and thanked Wayne on our way out.
“Cammie, good to see you,” Wayne said. “Please join us. Why don’t you sit down.”
“I already am,” I said, re-adjusting my wheelchair.
Wayne howled with laughter.
"Wayne I know you have trouble understanding me," I said. "Do you know why I talk funny?"
He said no.
"I'm from Calgary."
He doubled over .. again. We joined the party, drank everything from beer to Dom Perignon.  More importantly, we were communicating — something, I think, that began with a laugh. Cam and I shared two hours with Wayne that night and got to know one another.


THE OILERS WENT on an eastern road swing after that night and returned to Edmonton 10 days later. I went to practice one morning shortly after the Oilers got back and was sitting halfway between the bench and the dressing room in the basement of Northlands Coliseum.
Wayne often left the ice a few minutes before practice ended. On this day, he came off the ice five minutes before the rest of the game and he saw me.
“Cammie, you jerk. How are you?” he asked. “I have to have a whirlpool right now and I feel like getting bored so why don’t you come talk to me?”
I was no longer the guy in the wheelchair he could not understand. I was one of the boys he could poke fun with.

The spring of 1984 in Edmonton was electric with the Oilers winning their first Stanley Cup. I was in Jasper with friends watching the Oilers win the first one — funny thing, but I enjoyed watching the games more on television than being at the games live. A few days after the big championship I was invited to a celebration dinner downtown hosted by the City of Edmonton. I briefly ran into Wayne and he invited me for brunch that Sunday with his girlfriend Vicky Moss’ at a small restaurant overlooking the North Saskatchewan River called Vi’s. 
Wayne’s timing on and off the ice is implacable. Like that Sunday at Vi’s. Just as my cab driver got me in the door at Vi’s, the telephone behind the reception desk rang. The receptionist looked up at me and asked: “Is your name Cammie?

WAYNE CALLED TO say plans had changed. Vicki’s mother, Sophie, was cooking brunch and Wayne gave me the address on the south side of town. I quickly called the cabbie back, loaded up and headed to the Moss household. We had a wonderful time with the Moss family and a beautiful brunch. Wayne had just had minor surgery on his ankle right after the Cup final and excused himself for a little nap.
“See what you do to me, Cammie?” he asked. “You put  me to sleep.”
While Wayne had a little siesta, Vicky and Mrs. Moss and I had a great visit. Wayne woke up and offered to drive me home. He just won a new car for his play in the Stanley Cup Finals — a convertible Mercedes Benz, with a very small trunk.
After Wayne got me seated in the front seat, he struggled for five minutes getting my wheelchair in the trunk. We had to drive home with the trunk open so we could get my chair in.
Whenever we stopped at a red light, people recognized Wayne and started waving. Some even got out of their cars in the middle of the intersection to get a closer look. Wayne always smiled and waved.
Wayne drove into the driveway of my parents’ home where I was living. He wheeled me into the house and met the whole family. Even my 84-year-old Grandmother Murray, who always admitted she was never a big hockey fan, came to the front door to shake Wayne’s hand.



Coming Wednesday: Golfing with Gretz

Monday, 12 August 2013

Tea with Tait: The Gretzky Tales - Part I

(We celebrated 25 years of Wayne Gretzky leaving Edmonton for the Los Angeles Kings last week. This week I am sharing my personal memories of Wayne from my personal collection. Tonight: I couldn't believe he wanted to talk to me.)


Cam and Wayne in the Kings dressing room




February 4, 1989 — The L.A. Times, Philadelphia Enquirer, CBS Sports, NBC Sports and other media had gathered around the far corner stall of the Los Angeles Kings dressing room in a semi-circle looking for the first quote from  Wayne Gretzky.
The Kings had just played the Buffalo Sabres at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles and the media wanted answers on his four-point night: a hat-trick and an assist. Wayne saw me outside the semi-circle and stood up.
“Could the rest of you wait for a minute?” Wayne asked the other reporters.  “I need to talk to Cam from Edmonton.
“Cammie, get in here. Got your tape recorder working? Let’s do this.”
I kind of felt bad knowing other reporters were on deadline for the late night news in a few hours as well as the next day’s paper. But I jumped at the chance, as everyone did, to talk to Wayne.  He had a friend back in Edmonton who had leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. Earlier that day at the Kings’ morning skate, Wayne asked me if I could write a story in The Edmonton Journal where I was working as a reporter that might help the cause. I was in Los Angeles on a little holiday and didn’t have any reporting gear so I made a quick shopping trip to buy a small pocket recorder.
Great Western Forum in Los Angeles

SO WHILE OTHER reporters in the room anxiously looked at their watch every 30 seconds with their looming deadlines, Wayne talked to me for a good 10 minutes about his friend, how he wanted to help and where people could donate.
It was a heartfelt story. And, more importantly, Wayne was answering my questions.
For years, he could not understand me because I have cerebral palsy.
I first met Wayne in the Crown Suite of the Westin Hotel in Edmonton in July of 1979. He was at a reception the night before a charity softball game and I went as a reporter with The Spokesman, a monthly newspaper in Edmonton about people with disabilities. I wasn’t using a tape recorder then and had my trusty notebook and pen.
I wheeled up to Wayne and introduced myself and asked if I could ask him a few questions. He had a confused look on his face and then, very gently, took my notepad and pen from me.
“I would be thrilled to give you my autograph,” he said in kindness. “Who do I make it to?”
I explained myself. This time, he even looked more confused.
Wayne turned to Herman Wierenga, a colleague from The Spokesman who was at the event with me. “What did he say?”
Herman repeated what I said, and Wayne agreed to answer my questions. He couldn’t understand me so Herman kindly acted as my interpreter.
I bet that’s the first interview Wayne did with both parties speaking English.


The crown suite is on the top floor of the Westin Edmonton

OVER THE NEXT  few years I would run into Wayne after Oiler games. And for those years we said hello but, not much else. In 1982, Wayne played in a floor hockey game with kids with  mental disabilities. I arranged to interview Wayne outside the Oiler dressing room after a recent home game.
My buddy Gerry Postma was with me and Wayne led us into a quiet corner under the stands where I asked my first question.
Wayne had that confused look on his face. Again. He then turned to Gerry and asked: “What did he say?”
And then it happened again: I interviewed Wayne with Gerry as my interrupter  — with all of us speaking the same language.
But that all changed in 1983. And I’ll tell you how Tuesday.



The Monday Camburger: Numbers can tell a story — even if we don't like it


Pure numbers alone say the petition against the Disabled Adult Transportation System to revoke the new two-hour cancellation policy is on life-support. In a Aug. 1 Edmonton Journal reporter Andrea Sands wrote there are about 10,800 DATS users in Edmonton. On Monday morning, 354 names were on the petition, representing three per cent of the DATS ridership; and all of those names are not people who take DATS. My experience as a newspaper reporter tells me this is not a story at all. And we can’t expect under media outlets to cover it with it with such numbers.


We had plans to deliver the petition to Edmonton City Hall next week and we were hoping for 1,000 names. But I am seriously re-thinking that position.  One thousand names makes a statement. Groups and causes need to carefully pick requesting time with polititians. Such numbers do not make a strong case and I would be uneasy asking to meet with the mayor or councillors.

But perhaps there’s a greater issue—one that I have seen for the past decade. People with disabilities in this province have not been very vocal. (I have cerebral palsy.) Only in the past few months have there been demonstrations at the Alberta legislature in Edmonton protesting provincial government cutbacks. It has been quite a long time since Edmonton city hall has seen a protest over services for Edmontonians with disabilities.

I am at a loss why this is. Clearly, I don’t know. There isn’t a movement for Edmontonians with disabilities. So, perhaps when an issue such as the new DATS policy needs to be challenged, people are shy. Or don’t know what to do. Or maybe even scared. And it takes time for that mindset to change.

I will re-access the position numbers Friday and will offer my thoughts. I know one thing for sure: public polls do not lie. But we can learn many things from it for a future protest.


YOU CAN SIGN THE PETITION HERE




COMING UP THIS EVENING ON TEA WITH TAIT: The first part of a series of my time with Wayne Gretzky, just before 9 p.m.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Monday's Cam 'n Eggs with baseball players Colton Girard, Davis Pratt, David Richards

David Richards and Davis Pratt of St. Albert along with Edmonton's Colton Girad at the airport 
last week leaving for the 2013 Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, Maryland. 
The three teenagers have been selected among 15 to play for Team Canada's U13 team














(Thanks to Steve Richards for sending an order into Cam 'n Eggs.  
If you have a short story and picture to start the day off right, please order up
Cam 'n Eggs by clicking right here.)  

ORDERING CAM 'N EGGS!



COMING UP ON TODAY'S CAMBURGER@NOON: The story within the story on the DATS petition










Thursday, 8 August 2013

Gone fishin' til Aug. 12

Thanks for stopping by the Cam Tait Blog!

We are taking a little break but will be back with an all new Cam 'n Eggs format to start your days off with a smile, the Camburger at 12 noon to sink your teeth into an issue, and a gentle way to end your day with Tea with Tait in the evening.


We'll be back Aug. 12 after a short vacation.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tea with Tait - Tuesday evening


Some great advice for what could be the most exciting day of your life: tomorrow.





(We're looking for 1,000 names on a petition against the Disabled Adult Transportation System implementing a new two-hour policy Sept. 1. We are questioning how the new change was communicated to users and the potential lack of independence. To sign the petition please click here.)

The Tuesday Camburger: Why I was a lucky man last weekend


I just enjoyed one of the best weekends I have had in years and there were many great things about my time in Meota, Sask. — 30 km north of North Battleford: the spectacular weather, sitting in the cabin’s deck right above the beach of Jackfish Lake, and then going for a two-hour cruise along the parameter of the lake; watching motorboats and waterskiers weaving back and forth; only looking at the clock once a day when I got up; looking at my computer bag for three days and not opening it once because, I assured myself, work could wait; and looking through an opening in the spruce trees, just to the left of the deck, for a spectacular Saskatchewan sunset.

Sharing the weekend with people added to its magic. My brother Brad and his son—my nephew, McLean Cameron—and cousin Terry and his wife Carolyn, a couple we have hung around since we were all in high school and their three kids: Dylan, Kayla and Meagan. My good friend Bob, who heard the stories about Meota, got a chance to experience it himself.

Just south of the cabin and a little east is the cemetery where our parents and grandparents along with many other relatives and friends are buried. I thought of them—my heritage—as the waves slowly rolled onto the beach and the sunlight gently danced on the water. It was one of the most soothing feelings I have had in a while. I was exactly where I wanted to be on the weekend. I  am, indeed, a lucky man.


(We're hoping for 1,000 names on a petition by Aug. 19 against a two-hour cancellation policy the Disabled Adult Transportation System is implementing. As on today at 12 noon we're sitting at 172 signatures. Click here to sign!)


Wednesday Cam'n Eggs with CRAIG SMIPSON














Congratulations to CRAIG SIMPSON of Hockey Night in Canada who is hosting the 25th anniversary of the Never Say Never Golf Tournament today at the Belvedere Golf Club, a fundraising event for spinal cord research.
Top of the mornin' to you, Craig.

(If you have a great community event to start the morning with, please send the details and a picture, if possible, to by clicking ORDERING CAM'N EGGS!)

Friday, 2 August 2013

Tea with Tait: Who is more inspiring: the coach or the player?

My friend:

This gave my shivers down my spine, and, reminds us ask ourselves: what is our very best?






I am part of a petition to the City of Edmonton to reverse a decision for a new two-hour cancellation policy the Disabled Adult Transportation System wants to implement Sept. 1. We are looking for 1,000 names by August 19 so we can deliver it to Edmonton City Council: so people with disabilities can have greater flexibility, so we, too, can continue to inspire ... and give our very best.
Please click here to sign the petition.


Challenge Insurance is the title sponsor of the blog. Please click here for an on-line quote.

The Friday Camburger: A sneaky move by DATS Administration


I smell somewhat of a rat with the Disabled Adult Transportation System and their new two-hour cancellation policy. Especially the timing of implementation: September 1. The civic election in Edmonton falls on Oct. 21 So I have to seriously wonder if they picked the Sept. 1 date so this wouldn’t become an election issue. And, from where I sit, it shows another form of disrespect and heavy handiness. Whoever made this decision should come forward and issue a public apology.

I sent mayoralty candidate Kerry Diotte an email Thursday to ask his stand on the new two-hour cancellation policy. Kerry took part of the Canadian Paraplegic Chair Leaders event and spent a day in a wheelchair. Here is Kerry’s response.

"I believe we must make DATS the best it can be and if there are issues, I,as a mayoral candidate, want to understand them and make sure we have a DATS system that truly works for the clients. I'd be eager to hear concerns and I want to see them addressed.
"Let anyone who takes DATS let me know how we can make this service better."

Contact Kerry through is website kerrydiotte.com

We will be asking other candidates for their responses in the upcoming weeks. For now, we’re at 153 names as of 11:30 a.m. Think we could reach 200 by the end of the day. Because, unlike DATS administration, we are not trying to fly under the radar.


Cam 'n Eggs


Thursday, 1 August 2013

Tea with Tait - Thursday evening



The Thursday Camburger: "Survey said ..."




On Sunday we petition  against the Disabled Adult Transportation System and the new two-hour cancellation policy be introduced Sept. 1. As of 11:30 a.m Thursday we have 130 supporters. Folks have also shared their thoughts on why the signed the petition. Here are some examples …

Sandra from Calmar:

“My mother in law has short term memory loss and changing this policy is going to confuse her again.
  
Shauna-Lee from Edmonton:
“I work in a day program for people with severe developmental disabilities. This will almost eliminate our ability to access the community. I am thoroughly disgusted with the lack of consideration and the lack of dialogue. Have any of the powers that be even considered what this really does to the individual who use the service? I'm sure it looks great on paper but how about talking with the users to figure out the reality of the situation.”


  

Vickie from Spring Lake, Alberta
“I have many friends who use DATS, I stand in solidarity with them.”

Moyra, from Edmonton:

“Services for persons with disabilities must undertake consultation with the people they service - if transportation services for persons without disabilities underwent changes without consultation the public would be outraged, and rightly so. Public policies and public services MUST be developed through consultations and cater to those with the most needs. I have witnessed mistreat of people with disabilities for far too long. Politicians must support services for those with disabilities and speak out against discriminating practices. DATS has a responsibility to educate themselves and realign their services for those they intend to serve! Edmonton politicians we are depending on YOU!”


Cindy from Edmonton:

“For 30 years I have watch the disabled community make leaps and bounds in their efforts to live their lives in the community as we all do. In the past 5 years I have been watching all this hard work be abolished by government agencies and other who make changes without consulting the people it directly affects. DATS needs to understand that their clients have serious health issues and cannot plan their lives 24 hour ahead of time. Unfortunately medical issues arise unexpectedly and cannot be planned 2 hours ahead of time; this is a fact that cannot be changed no matter how much DATS tried to punish people for canceling 30 minutes prior to their pick up. DATS needs to speak to their clients and deal with issues on a one to one basis.”


Teresa from Edmonton:

“The new policy infantilizes people with disabilities. They need to be able to accomodate their work and personal transportation needs just like any other citizen - with access to reliable public transit that is as similar as possible to that provided to the general public.”


Ken from Edmonton:
“It is very disheartening to watch all the hard work done for persons with disabilities over the past 40 years be discarded and ignored by those who are not directly impacted. DATS is a wonderful service and needs to remain caring, compassionate and understanding that their clients deal with daily struggles relating to their health and cannot plan like most individuals can. It is unfortunate but they need more time to cancel as last minute health issue arise on a daily basis and are unavoidable. DATS, as with all government agencies and providers need to educate themselves before trying to change policies and procedures.”

Nicola from Edmonton:

“People need to be able to get around. Sometimes plans change within less than 2h, and scolding disabled adults like they are naughty children over it doesn't solve the issue and is just disrespectful and compromises the dignity of these people.”
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Top of Form

Rosalina from Edmonton:
“As a caregiver, I am responsible for making and cancelling trips for my clients. I cannot determine when they are going to be sick or have a need to be toileted and cleaned up 2 hours in advance. Would DATS prefer that we send the clients on the bus sick &/or smelly?”


Jamie from Edmonton:

“The worst form of imprisonment doesn't come from committing a crime. It happens when our government(s) and our society fail those who are living with disabilities.”