Human rights commission rules insufficient complaints against STM, disability rights groups disappointed

WATCH: Disabled rights group RAPLIQ argues the Quebec Human Rights Commission has not been taking complaints against the STM seriously. Global's Tim Sargeant reports.

Groups fighting for the rights of people with disabilities are disappointed after the Quebec Human Rights Commission ruled that complaints against the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) are insufficient.

Seventeen people filed complaints against the STM in 2011, but the commission argued the public transit agency has been making efforts for those with reduced mobility.

RAPLIQ, an organization that advocates for people with disabilities, said Tuesday the ruling is a major setback for those who rely on mass transit to get around.

Representatives insist the lack of access to Montreal’s public transit system is a form of discrimination.

“I think it’s an absolutely horrible ruling, but not only it’s a horrible ruling, it’s a ruling against the charter itself,” said Didier Chelin, a McGill law student.

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“It’s a ruling that violates all the procedures that the commission was supposed to follow.”

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RAPLIQ said it is looking to appeal the commission’s decision.

“They looked at the side of the STM and not the side of the people who filed the complaints,” said Steven Lapierriere, vice-president of RAPLIQ.

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“So, they really took only the advice of one side, not the other side.”

A class-action lawsuit has been filed and the Quebec Superior Court is expected to hear the case April 20 and 21.