On the phone with stay-at-home dad Shaun Clark, District 9 | City | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

On the phone with stay-at-home dad Shaun Clark, District 9

He’d like to see a more accessible city for disabled people.

On the phone with stay-at-home dad Shaun Clark, District 9
Shaun Clark
Shaun Clark is vying to be councillor for District 9 (Halifax West Armdale) because he wants a better life for his children. “I want them to have places that they can live in, in the city, when they’re old enough,” he says.

Clark, who quit his job as a staffing clerk at the IWK Health Centre to look after his kids, says children need more places where they can be physically active. “I like to make sure that children have activities to do, so that they don’t get bored and drive me crazy,” he says, something his years of being a stay-at-home dad taught him.

When he was 17, he had a head injury that left his left arm and leg paralyzed. “You got to keep doing things,” he says. “You don’t stop just because you get knocked down.”

As someone living with a disability, Clark would like to see more affordable and accessible housing for disabled people in Halifax. “I just spent all day walking up and down between Herring Cove Road and Purcells Cove Road. And those hills, if someone in those houses became disabled all of a sudden and needed accessible housing, they’d have to move right away.”

Clark thinks many of the times he tried for a job but didn’t get it, were because of discrimination against his disability. “It usually took a lot of work for me to prove to people that I can do just as well as anyone else.” Because of this, he would like to implement a city policy for blind hiring: “You just make sure that all names, all references to any kind of ability, disability, ethnicity—anything like that—was removed, and people are judged solely on merit.”

He says people with disabilities need regular activities, too. “If we have something to strive for, a goal, something to work towards, we tend to work harder at being more able.”

When Clark learned how much councillors are paid, he was surprised. “People shouldn’t run for office to make money. People should run for office to try to do good for the community.”

He’s thought of ways the money he’d earn as a councillor could be used to better the community. “I want to start up a little fund for people who are low income to, like, be able to do things with their family.”

Clark has tried volunteering with organizations like the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada, and was a member of the Nova Scotia Disabled Persons Commission, but none of it helped his home district the way he wants. “I feel like change needs to happen, and I haven’t seen it done,” he says. “I’ve tried everything else and that’s why I’m running.”
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