A military veteran says he hopes his human-rights complaint against a Manitoba police force, which has recently been settled, will raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder and other invisible disabilities.
Master Cpl. Bill Nachuk filed the complaint after officers with the Brandon Police Service removed him from a lounge in April 2011.
Nachuk said he had a service dog with him to help him with his PTSD — and had the certification papers to prove it — but the officers refused to listen to him.
"I was very embarrassed. I was very angry," Nachuk told CBC News.
He said his service dog, Gambler, has been a lifeline for him, and the incident with police set his treatment back.
Earlier this year, the police service offered a settlement of $5,500 but an independent adjudicator turned it down.
The commission says a new offer was put forward and agreed to it, but it is confidential.
"I wasn't going to back down and go lightly when I knew I was in the right," Nachuk said.
Another veteran was turned away from a restaurant in Prince Albert, Sask., in March because he had a service dog for PTSD.
In a statement, the Brandon Police Service said it settled Nachuk's case for "practical" reasons and insisted that his complaint has no merit.
But Nachuk views the outcome differently, calling it a huge victory.
"We do have rights to go and carry on with 'a normal life,'" he said, adding that his complaint was never about money, but about principles.