It seems as if I have been involved in some way shape or form with the Canadian complaints system for at least the last decade and from where I sit I will offer this piece of unsolicited advice. It is not for the faint at heart.
Granted, it could be said that this is probably the case with the majority of complaints systems but I am only going to focus on this particular system for now.
In summary: this system probably needs some very urgent surgery in order to make it more accessible to Canadians with disabilities. Especially those who are blind and partially sighted.
Canadians with disabilities have to endure very long waits before their complaints are even dealt with in an efficient manner. They experience tremendous difficulties when seeking the appropriate agencies to send their complaints to. Additionally, when they attempt to access the website where they feel they should be visiting in order to launch a complaint, these websites are often very challenging to navigate.
This sadly is just the tip of the iceberg. If you visit the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) to file a transportation related complaint such as one that deals with inadequate services that were provided to you at a Canadian airport, you are told that you need to lodge your complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) but guess what?
When you visit said Agency, you are made to wait for months on end before you can even start to see any sort of concrete movement on your complaint and then! You are not sure if there is going to be an end result because you know what?
If the CTA happens to deliver any sort of decision that is deemed to be in your favor and the respondent does not like said decision then they are free to take both you and the CTA to the Federal Court of Appeal.
This action does nothing but severely prolong the complaints process even longer leading to boundless frustration and at the end of the day complainants are left with nothing but themselves and their friends to rely on for help because the CTA tells you that they cannot support you; you’re on your own because they need to remain neutral.
There is more! There is no guarantee that mediation proceedings will even work out and even if you dare to darken the doors of mediation this process is definitely only for the most determined.
Respondents will come with their high priced lawyers and for Canadians with disabilities or even for most Canadians, we go in there with just our own meagre resources to rely on and at the end of the day the CTA mediators are unable to offer any sort of advice or protection to complainants.
I recently experienced the above and my sad story continues. I will not go into any further details but suffice it to say that as I sit here, I have no idea when my complaints will be resolved or if they will even be ever resolved one way or the other.
So there you have it; my view for today.