Chateauguay woman in electric scooter asked to leave local Tim Hortons
Published Monday, March 28, 2016 6:37PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 29, 2016 5:16PM EDT
Sharon Linehan goes to the Tim Hortons near her home in Chateauguay as often as she can. She has multiple sclerosis and says it's a welcome escape.
“We love to go over and sit there and have conversations with people that we know … and we have our coffee at the same time,” she said.
On Sunday evening, after moving from her electric scooter to a table, she says an employee approached her and told her she had to leave because she was a “fire hazard.”
She said she was told she takes up too much room in the restaurant and if there was a fire, no one would be able to get out. At the time, there weren’t many people there, she said.
“I can't walk into the store, I can't stand up for more than 10 seconds at a time. So how does he want me to walk in there?” she said.
Disability rights advocate Chris Kennedy says the request was “ridiculous,” and while he believes this was probably an isolated case, it should never have happened.
“There’s not a single company that wants to look like it is anti-people with disabilities,” he said.
A Tim Hortons spokesperson sent CTV a statement saying the incident was “unfortunate” and not part of company policy.
It went to say that the owner of the restaurant, at 262 St. Jean Baptiste Blvd., is working with his team to ensure this doesn't happen again.
"We welcome Guests with various accessibility requirements and our restaurant owners are required to provide training to Team Members. We’re sorry that this Guest had this unfortunate experience – the restaurant owner is working with his team to ensure that Guests are accommodated appropriately in the future," the statement read.
But for Linehan and her husband Normand Page, it's simply not enough. Page said being told to leave was unacceptable and that nothing short of an apology will do.
“I told them before we left, once I step out of here Tim Hortons is dead as far as I’m concerned. I won't step back in,” he said.
Tim Hortons told CTV they apologized to Linehan directly on Tuesday.