Friday, May 23, 2014

No bathrooms in Labrador airports, not just planes: passenger

Some people on the Labrador coast say problems with bathroom facilities aren't just limited to airplanes, saying there are frequently issues within the airports as well.

The complaints come on the heels of a story from CBC News about a man who urinated in a bag on a flight from Deer Lake to Happy Valley-Goose Bay because there was no bathroom on the airplane.

Rigolet resident Derrick Pottle said toilets at the smaller airports along the coast are frequently out of order, especially in the winter.

"There's lots of horror stories, right from people having to go to the bathroom on the planes in bags, to I saw a little boy pee in his pants one time because there was no washroom," said Pottle. "I overheard three ladies talking about there this winter how in Makkovik, one of them had to, for the first time in her life, she had to go out and pee in the snow bank at -40 C because there was no washroom."

"To the people who have to be placed in those situations, you imagine the embarrassment and the degrading [feeling] that those people must feel to have to do that."

Getting the runaround

According to Pottle, the bathroom conditions in these smaller airports is unacceptable, and he's made complaints to government but has yet to get any answers.

"I inquired through different levels of governments and you just get a runaround, somebody else is blaming somebody else, or somebody is passing the buck," he said.

"I don't think this would be accepted anywhere else … whether it's one person or a thousand people passing through it, it's unacceptable."

The Department of Transportation and Works said sometimes the bathroom facilities don't work in winter because it's too cold for antifreeze to be effective, but Pottle said that's an unacceptable excuse.

"You can't blame the frost. My God, in this day and age you should be able to provide the service," he said.

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