UPDATE: On Thursday, the CNE reversed its decision to end free admission for people with disabilities, according to Newstalk 1010.
The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) will no longer provide free admission to people with disabilities.
According to a statement on the Ex's website, the annual event decided to end this service to align their policy with other attractions and events in Toronto and the GTA.
"The individual with the disability will be charged an admission fee, while your attendant will continue to be admitted at no charge," the site states, adding it strives to respect the dignity and independence of all their guests, including those with disabilities.
The current price for general admission for the CNE is $18 and the price for people 65 and over is $15. After 5 p.m. from Monday to Thursday (except Labour Day weekend), general admission drops to $6 for all ages.
CNE spokesperson Zeenat Salimi told CityNews (via 680 News) that people with disabilities “deserve to be treated like everyone else.”
“We are delivering [a] service that respects all guests,” Salimi continued.
Toronto radio station KiSS 92.5's Roz & Mocha morning show spoke with Lauri Sue Robertson, president of the Disability Awareness Consultants, about the Ex's new policy.
"We wanted to be treated with dignity and respect and be treated like adults," she told the radio station. "That's part of being treated like a grown up... getting treated like everybody else and paying your way. I don't want to seen as somebody's pathetic charity case."
However, some don't agree with the changes.
Speaking to Newstalk 1010, one caller, identified as Susan, said the free admission made her "feel dignified," and last summer, she went to the Ex 11 times.
"I got to be around people, it was wonderful," she said. "It would spend hours there just enjoying myself, I had someplace to go and I felt included in everything."
Not being able to go on many of the rides, she said she still spent money on clothes and figurines. And with this fee change, she will not be attending the Ex this year.
What do you think? Should the fee be the same for all guests? Let us know in the comments below.
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