Wheel-Trans, a fantastic service for handicapped people that operate with mini vans, small buses and taxis, is however becoming victim of rampant political correctness.
Last winter I was picked up at Cedarbrae Mall in a Wheel-Trans bus by a driver (operator) wearing a Moslem type beard when it was getting dark. He was the first person of that dress I had seen working for Wheel-Trans.
We were driving along Lawrence Avenue East, (seven minutes into the ride) by now totally dark when the operator said, "I have to use the facilities." I assumed it was to use the washroom so I said, "we have clean washrooms at Providence (Healthcare Centre where we were going, fifteen minutes away).", He said, "This is closer."
The operator made a left turn, then a left and a third left and then turned the lights off and went out. I saw many people dressed in Arabic costume entering the 'facility'. He was in there for twenty minutes while I was in the dark.
When he arrived finally I asked if he had gone in for a prayer, laughingly, he answered, "Yes.". He then stopped the bus and handed me his phone where there was religious type of script involving a saint "Myriam", which confused me. Finally we arrived at Providence, fifty minutes later in what should have been a twenty minute ride. The chap then pointed his finger at me and said, "remember Islam is the only true religion."
After being late taking my pills I went down and told the information desk people about my eventful ride still laughing and was berated for seeing the humour of it and they told me to make an official complaint. I then was seeing the gravity of the event when an Iraqi doctor pointed out that had I had a heart attack during that twenty minute stop the results would have been fatal.
I made a complaint and was told I would have to wait for two weeks. Two weeks later I finally heard from the second in charge person who apologized on behalf of Wheel-Trans and said they had spoken to the operator who agreed pretty much with my description and that they would use this as an example to other operators. I thought this was pretty much it and was ready to forget the event.
I ran into a supervisor and explained my event which he hadn't heard of and then asked him what would have happened if a Christian had done this kind of event, "he would have been fired," was the answer, adding, "its this kind of political correctness".
Adu Raudkivi, Toronto