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Canadian woman claims parking a human right

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OTTAWA — A Canadian woman has launched a human rights complaint against the city of Ottawa for refusing to let her to park in front of her home in a historic district, a court spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Pamela Howson has alleged discrimination in a case before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal on the grounds of “family circumstances,” said the spokeswoman.

Zoning regulations do not permit parking on the street in front of her home in the Canadian capital, which is located in a heritage preservation district.

Howson can park behind the house, but the lane is barely wide enough for her vehicle, which is larger than average to accommodate safety seats for her three young children.

The city said exceptions can be granted under certain circumstances, but that applications must be made to a minor variance committee — an avenue which the city says Howson declined to pursue.

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Howson told the tribunal that because of the parking problem, the family is considering selling the century-old house.

“This is a lived burden that is very real for us,” she said, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

A decision on the case is expected within a few weeks. In the meantime, Howson is said to be parking — illegally — on her front lawn.

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