Re. Tim Lyons letter Blind pair not supported (Castanet, June 27)
In British Columbia (orderly society, or not), it is against the law to discriminate against people with disabilities.
Sadly, the E-Bus folks did just that. They violated the law that protects our human rights and discriminated against Dr. Gabias when they asked if his guide dog is registered and prevented him from riding the bus.
In B.C., service providers have a duty to accommodate people with disabilities. Those folks who rely on a guide or service dog have the right to access and use all public spaces, facilities, and services.
If a disability is obvious, as is the case with Dr. Gabias, the service provider need not request proof of registration of the service animal—the request itself may be considered discriminatory.
Further, if they do ask and the dog is not certified under the B.C. Guide Dog and Service Dog Act (GDSDA), they are still responsible for that duty to accommodate.
Certification of guide dogs is voluntary (as in not required) under B.C.’s GDSDA. Furthermore, the Human Rights Code prevails over the GDSDA and discrimination is illegal, whereas not registering your guide dog is not.
Clearly, Dr. Gabias is not in the wrong here and a compassionate person would do their homework before passing judgment.
For that, I say shame on you, sir.