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Toronto councillor suggests crackdown on misuse of disabled parking permits

Toronto city council is looking into a new accessibility permit application process to work along side the current provincial system.
Toronto city council is looking into a new accessibility permit application process to work along side the current provincial system. Don Mitchell / AM640 / Global News

Toronto City Councillor Joe Mihevc says he will push to find a more stringent vetting system when it comes to the issuing of disabled parking permits.

Last week, Council voted in favour of a city staff study on how to implement a new verification process which works in tandem with current provincial rules.

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“We have all seen that resident who is fully able bodied take that spot and just walk away,” Mihevc told AM 640’s Tasha Kheiriddin Show. “It happens so many times that we regularly get complaints all they time especially in areas where parking is a premium.”

At present, obtaining an accessible parking permit is done through Service Ontario and requires an applicant to simply get a note from a registered healthcare practitioner, and proof of identity.

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“Right now it’s fairly easy, it’s the province that administers those stickers you put in your windshield,” said Mihevc. “The city of Toronto does not verify their authenticity, we just basically accept them.”

The current chair of The Board of Health and a TTC commissioner, Mihevc suggest that a New York City model could be the one to alleviate the problem by requiring handicapped individuals to obtain two permits, one from the state and one from the city.

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“In New York, you have to go to a third party,” said Mihevc. “Much like a wheel trans registrant in Toronto now, we make sure you are actually physically disabled enough to use wheel trans.”

An appeal process, a special decal, and a picture of the recipient are ideas being thrown around at council according to Mihevc that might be instituted in a new verification process.

No timeline was given for the completion of a study, but the city has confirmed they will bring some disabled individuals into the conversation prior to making any change.