“I’m Furious” Says Canada’s Chief Accessibility Officer As Airline Loses Her Wheelchair

Canada’s Chief Accessibility Officer, Stephanie Cadieux, expressed her fury when she discovered that her wheelchair had been left behind at Toronto airport after her flight to Vancouver. The incident occurred on October 20, when Cadieux flew from Toronto to Vancouver and found out upon arrival that her essential mobility equipment had not made the journey with her​.

Cadieux, who has relied on a wheelchair since she was 18, took to social media to voice her frustration. On X (formerly Twitter), she shared an image of herself sitting in a replacement wheelchair at what seems to be the baggage claim area of the airport, alongside an Air Canada service desk. In her post, Cadieux described the situation as “unacceptable,” expressing that her independence had been taken away due to the mishap​.

Speaking prior to the incident on AMI-tv’s Access Tech Live, she told Marc Aflalo and Steven Scott that this was not an uncommon experience for disabled people.

The incident sparked a conversation about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities during air travel and has brought attention to the importance of ensuring proper handling of mobility equipment by airlines. The reaction from the public has been one of support for Cadieux, coupled with criticism towards Air Canada for the oversight. This incident underscores the essential role that proper accessibility measures play in ensuring that individuals with disabilities can travel with dignity and independence.

Despite not speaking to media following the incident, Stephanie Cadieux did publish a statement online referring to the incident. Double Tap’s Laura Kirker read aloud the statement on air.

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