Letter to the editor: Sun Peaks Corporation missed the mark completely: Lack of Inclusive Washrooms

LGBTQ2S+ gender neutral inclusive bathroom
Signage for the bathroom Dr. Stevens found in the Lower Mainland. Photo submitted.

My family and I were at Sun Peaks in late November to get in some early season turns. We have been seasons pass holders for 15 years. One of our goals for the weekend was to explore the new renovations at The Annex (formerly Bento’s). With a new menu, interior design, and increased seating capacity, we could see that some thought had gone into improvements; yet,   we were most anxious to see the new washrooms.

My husband and I have a son who lives with a severe intellectual disability and autism. He has been an avid member of the Adapted Snow Sports Program (ASSP) at Sun Peaks for over ten years. The ASSP program is one of the most reputable adapted snow sports programs in the country and trains numerous volunteer instructors every year.

A sore point for the people enjoying ASSP has been the lack of accessible washrooms. The only washroom in a public building that is “sort of” accessible is in the downstairs of the Village Day Lodge. The second issue with that washroom is that a key is required to use it— another barrier to access.    

Last winter, a community consultation process occurred. My husband and I shared what we wanted to see in the “new Bentos.” We were very clear about the need for inclusive and accessible washrooms.  I explained that when my husband in not at the hill, it is awkward for me to have to take my teenage son into the women’s washroom, as my son is not able to go independently. Needless to say, we were very surprised and disappointed when we walked into The Annex to find wonderful new male and female washrooms, yet nothing that would work for our family. Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) totally missed the mark on this one.  

In the last issue of the Sun Peaks Independent News (November 24 – December 21), I read an article (Bring Pride to the Mountains) about how concerned citizens wish to implement an LGBTQ committee to address inclusion at Sun Peaks. My immediate thought: “Fabulous! Yet where will individuals who identify as genderfluid or non-binary go to the washroom?” Not in the Annex, that is for sure! SPR totally missed the mark on this one too.  

So SPR, it is time to step up and do a “re-do” on The Annex washrooms.  Please serve ALL of the patrons at Sun Peaks by building inclusive bathrooms.

I was in a new mall in the Lower Mainland last weekend. When taking my son to the washroom, there were signs for “washrooms,” “universal washrooms,” and “nursing room.” We went to the universal washroom where there was a children’s toilet (low to ground), an adult toilet (with hand bars for those who need them), a nursing chair, and a change table. Now that is a place for all.  

Westin’s mother,

Dr. Nan Stevens

Kamloops, B.C.

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