Elderly man forced to end longtime cart habit
A 91-year-old man has been caught up in Ottawa’s crackdown on stray shopping carts.
For ten years, Diab Saikeley said he’s been using a cart to bring groceries back home and that he always returns it.
Last week, he said he was told he couldn’t take a cart home anymore.
“I don't drive, I take this to shop and put my order in it,” he said. “They gave me a very hard time, those people. They should help me. Never mind this.”
The owner of the store said lost grocery carts are a big problem that’s cutting into his bottom line, even after installing a magnetic fence to try and keep them.
“I did talk to him and told him it was the property of the store and we don't allow customers to remove shopping carts off our site,” said Tom Wilson.
“I understand that it would probably help him to have a shopping cart . . . I think there are probably alternatives from using a shopping cart from my store.”
The City of Ottawa is looking into a new shopping cart bylaw to try and keep potentially dangerous stray carts off roads and sidewalks.
“Making sure those carts aren't left on the city right of ways, that's our main intent in the bylaw we're looking to develop,” said Ottawa councillor Tim Tierney.
“But I tell him I bring it back, I'm not taking it to leave it on the road,” Saikaley said.
Saikaley’s family said he’s now getting rides with them to another store, but they’re worried he’s losing his independence.
“He likes to walk, it's exercise for him,” said Phillip Sleiman. “That's what keeps him alive.”
Wilson said he’s going to write an apology to Saikaley and might even buy him a wire wheel basket, but he still can’t offer him a cart.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s John Hua