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Wheelchair user wants a more accessible Quebec City

10/03/2014 08:27 EDT | Updated 12/03/2014 05:59 EST
A Quebec City man wants to see public spaces more accessible to people with disabilities.

Michel Bédard has always relied on a wheelchair to get around — a task made exceptionally difficult by Quebec City's infrastructure.

Bédard said the public elevator that connects Quebec City's lower town to the upper town is not made for people with mobility problems.

To reach the elevator from his home, Bédard needs to roll his wheelchair up a steep hill and across a busy intersection.

"It takes two lights: The first 30 seconds to cross one half, and another 30 seconds to cross the other half," he said.

City officials said they are working to improve accessibility and are asking people to call them if they see a problem.

Bédard said cities like Toronto and New York City are far more wheelchair-friendly than Quebec City.

"There are automatic doors everywhere. Everywhere!" he said.

He said ramps, clear signs and automatic doors make a world of difference.

"We are considered like people in those cities. Here in Quebec, we're considered like handicapped. There's a big difference," Bédard said.

Olivier Collombd'Eyrames works to make public spaces more accessible to people with disabilities.

He said bureaucracy in Quebec makes it difficult to gain ground, and that it's important for people to complain to their cities, boroughs and especially to business owners when infrastructure isn't accessible to all who need it.

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