It was with both personal and professional pride that I participated in the recent Government announcement for funding to increase accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities in the province. Over $400 000 has been allocated to organizations across the province, including one in Colchester County.
As the MLA for Colchester North, it was great to provide assistance to rural communities where public transit is not always an option, and where accessible transportation is not always available. The Colchester Transportation Co-operative Limited was the local organization that received financial support to assist with a seven-passenger accessible van.
At the announcement I spoke of one of the pioneers in Colchester County who took on the work of increasing public awareness for persons with disabilities….Lewis Forbes. Lewis was known to this area as a young man who grew up in Truro, graduated from Dalhousie as a pharmacist and practiced his profession both in Windsor, and later in Truro.
At a very early age (mid 20’s) he was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis). It was his determination that gave him the drive to not only help himself, but to help others. One of his first challenges, as most would know, was accessibility in public buildings in this area. Through his efforts and the understanding of many levels of government and private business owners, that accessibility improved greatly.
His second challenge was with accessible transportation and again, he brought needed attention, fundraising dollars and corporate donations together to purchase an accessible van for the area. Lewis would be proud to know that his efforts have continued since his death, and to know that the recent announcement will make the lives of many residents in Colchester County more meaningful and their transportation safer and more affordable.
Lewis and I spent many happy times with our grandparents. Our mothers were sisters. His contribution to this community will be remembered.