Barrier Free Access

In the late seventies I served as the Executive Director of the Edmonton Youth Hostel Association. In this position one of my duties was not grant applications. This in that we were totally self sufficient. One of my duties was however to apply for and administer fund raising efforts, the proceeds of which would go to capital projects as set out within the existing bylaws governing fundraising at that time.
My last fundraising Casino was at the “ABS Casino” on 112 street in Downtown Edmonton. We raised
over 50,000.00 in three days. Unheard of for the seventies.

With full board support, the funds were used almost in their entirety to insure that our Youth Hostel in Edmonton achieved full Barrier Free access. Edmonton Youth Hostel was one of the first Youth Hostels in Canada, and perhaps one of the first in the world to achieve full Barrier Free Access.
Including a drive in shower on the main floor and complete kitchen access we provided complete
wheelchair/barrier free access to visitors to Edmonton from around the world.

To suggest that I have always been an advocate for “all access” I think would be understated.


Don Iveson

Oct 6, 2014


“I’m a lawmaker. I make laws, not to be casually obeyed
as it suits you,”

In 2012 I came across a building in downtown Edmonton being restored and upgraded to include a
number of cafes, pubs and office amenities.
My curiosity and commitment to “all access” led me to call and inquire about access. I was informed by
the person answering the phone that “if I did have individuals in chairs for example they would
simply pull them up the loading dock at the rear of the building “. No Barrier free access was
available, well other than the loading dock and a couple of strong young folks to ” pull them up”.

I inquired further with both the city of Edmonton Planning, and Alberta Municipal Affairs who govern
Barrier Free Access in Alberta. This only to find that the building owner/builder/contractor had never so
much as applied for a building permit from the City of Edmonton. Municipal Affairs Alberta had never
heard of the place.

Including Mayor Iveson as a councilor, most of the current City Council were kept abreast of the
situation throughout my research. This beginning in August Of 2012 .
Keep in mind that the building was operating to include the service of alcohol and food in July of 2012.

The first thing to know is that the only way that Alberta Health Services will issue a license to sell food or
the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission to sell alcohol is following a complete inspection and proof
of final inspection from the City of Edmonton and a Current business license from the City of Edmonton.
One will not be issued without the other.

As the following documents explain with some clarity, the process had been muddled at best. This while
to this day not answering the question that begs an answer.

How if there had never been so much as a building permit issued to proceed with construction in the
first place, was there ever a business license issued in July of 2012 as the letter from the President of the
AGLC states?

I have blacked out the name of the Building itself out of absolute fear of “further retribution” from
Edmonton Planning and others within the City of Edmonton Administration. This knowing in fact that
the Mayor and most Council members will be able to provide that information.
This knowing in fact that the building is as of August 3rd, 2017, not yet in conformance with the City of
Edmonton nor Alberta Municipal Affairs barrier Free requirements.