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Former Toronto City Councillor Against Niagara Casinos

By Manny Wood.
Fact checked by Wilbur Thompson.

According to reports, Howard Moscoe, a former Toronto city councillor, has filed a human rights complaint against Niagara Casinos, claiming that the casinos are not fulfilling their legislative obligations to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Moscoe explained that during his visit to Fallsview Casino Resort with his wife, the casino did not meet the requirements of Ontario accessibility law or the casino’s commitment to accessibility. He stated that the casino only offers scooters to high rollers and not to other patrons.

Moscoe filed his complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, naming Niagara Casinos president Richard Taylor and OLG vice-president of legal and compliance, corporate secretary Tony Wong as respondents. Before filing the complaint, Moscoe reportedly asked Taylor to remove the restriction and expand the scooter program, but he received no response from the organization.

Moscoe claimed that the restriction imposed by the casino on scooter loans for patrons is the reason for his complaint. He added that the casino appears to reserve scooters for people with disabilities who they consider high rollers. He was informed that he was not eligible to pre-book a scooter because his ‘Momentum’ rewards program status was too low. Moscoe, who is disabled and needs a scooter, also claimed that his wife has Parkinson’s disease and cannot walk. He stated that he had previously used the program frequently by calling ahead of time to reserve two scooters before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to Moscoe’s complaint, Jennifer Ferguson, the Niagara Casinos’ senior director of marketing services, stated that the organization cannot comment on open or pending legal matters. However, she added that the organization takes all guests’ concerns seriously and works with them to meet their accessibility needs. Ferguson noted that Fallsview Casino has specific parameters under its scooter policies, but they still try to work with every guest to understand their mobility needs and attempt to accommodate them accordingly. She also mentioned that a program allows them to arrange additional electric mobility scooters to be delivered on-site to meet guest needs at their own cost.

Moscoe is seeking an apology and a $50,000 donation from Niagara Casinos to the Ontario March of Dimes as compensation. He expects the human rights case to take several years due to a backlog of cases before the tribunal. Moscoe also stated that the OLG has an accessibility policy aimed at creating an inclusive culture.