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Adrian Burns, NAC board chair, apologizes for parking in disabled spot

05/30/2015 03:56 EDT | Updated 05/30/2016 05:59 EDT
The chair of the board of trustees for the National Arts Centre has issued an apology after she was seen parking in a disabled spot for more than a week.

"I felt badly about the situation then, and I sincerely apologize. It won't happen again," Adrian Burns is quoted saying in a media release issued Saturday.

The apology comes after Ottawa resident Vanessa Desjardins told CBC News Friday that she saw Burns parking in a disabled spot in the NAC's underground parking garage.

"It was every day and it was her taking out her high heels and marching into the NAC with no problem at all, so finally I had to say something," said Desjardins, whose husband is paraplegic.

The NAC media release issued Saturday said Burns "remembers meeting Vanessa Desjardins in the NAC's parking lot," and that "she tried to explain that she was on her way into a last-minute meeting.

"Ms. Burns says she apologized at the time and moved her car into another parking space," the statement added.

The parking garage has several sets of disabled spots, some of which can be used by everyone during daytime hours and some of which are always for disabled people.

An NAC spokesperson said by phone Friday that there was confusion about the designation of the disabled parking spot, and that it had been sorted out and won't happen again.

Desjardins told the CBC's Ashley Burke on Friday she wasn't satisfied with that response.

She emailed the National Arts Centre's CEO to register an official complaint and make the point that the NAC's leadership should set a good example, she said.

The NAC refused CBC's request for an interview with Burns on Friday.

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