Accessibility activist calls for Chickenburger boycott
Published Wednesday, August 1, 2012 5:42PM ADT
The third location of an iconic Halifax restaurant has sparked some controversy after a man who describes himself as an accessibility activist started an online blog, asking people to boycott the popular burger joint.
Warren Reed says the new Chickenburger location on Queen Street is not accessible for wheelchair users and he believes the owner should be doing more to make the restaurant wheelchair-friendly.
“Maybe they should probably have accessibility for people in a wheelchair,” agrees one area resident. “It’s only fair, right?”
There are two eating areas at the Chickenburger – an interior dining room and an exterior takeout counter. Restaurant owner Mickey MacDonald says people in wheelchairs may not be able to access the dining room, but they can use the takeout counter.
He also says it’s a century-old building on a small lot and only so much can be done within a reasonable cost.
“People wanted to have a Chickenburger downtown, so we found a spot and we built one here,” says MacDonald. “In order to make the building wheelchair accessible, it’d be very expensive and it basically wouldn’t be worth building a Chickenburger here.”
City spokesperson Tiffany Chase says the Halifax Regional Municipality enforces Nova Scotia’s building code when it comes to making buildings barrier free.
“There are still some outstanding barrier-free requirements, including adding a mobility device ramp to the building, that the property owner has committed to putting in place,” says city spokesperson Tiffany Chase.
For now, the new Chickenburger operates under temporary permits and MacDonald says he is willing to work with the city to find a solution.
The original Chickenburger has operated in Bedford, N.S. since the late 1930s.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw