Posted on Nov 3, 2016

Member's Statement: Inclusive, Accessible Facilities in Sherwood Park

Ms McKitrick: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The United Nations proclaimed December 3 to be the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. As this date approaches, I am mindful of the ways we build cities, design buildings, and are inclusive in our communities and workplaces. I am fortunate to live in a municipality creating inclusive, accessible facilities where everyone can participate and feel a sense of belonging.

It was my pleasure to open the new Emerald Hills Leisure Centre, which is equipped with specialized change rooms, aquatic lifts and wheelchairs, and zero-entry pools thanks in part to provincial funding. The Glen Allan Fitness Centre recently reopened and now includes a wheelchair-accessible curling rink. I was able to see firsthand how the design allows wheelchair curlers to deliver a rock.

Community groups in the area are also committed to creating inclusive environments. Earlier I introduced representatives from the Westboro elementary school parent council. Recently this group celebrated the grand opening of a playground designed so that everyone can play. Ramps are wide and plentiful. There's lots of space around the pieces of equipment for wheelchairs. Kids of all ages and abilities can now enjoy the playground. The wider ramps are also handy for parents pushing strollers, grandparents using a walker, or even someone using crutches while their leg heals. The design is spectacular, as anyone who drives down Broadmoor Boulevard can attest to.

 At the opening I noted that it takes a village to raise a playground. In this case it took a committed parent council, a supportive municipality, provincial funding through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and donations from local businesses such as the Alberta manufacturers' recycling association. Thank you to the Westboro community and to all those involved in creating this playground. It is innovative projects such as this that encourage inclusion that I as an MLA want to support and inspire.

 Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Video: MLA McKitrick, Member's Statement November 3, 2016