British Columbia

B.C. guide dog legislation to take effect Monday

New legislation will start being enforced on Monday, Jan. 18 that aims to stop people in B.C. from passing off their pets as guide or service dogs, as well as protect those who have a guide or service dog from discrimination.

New rules includes larger fines for refusing service to people with guide dogs

New legislation regarding guide dogs in B.C. will take effect on Jan. 18. (CBC)

New legislation will start being enforced on Monday, Jan. 18 to crack down on people with fake guide or service dogs, and protect those with real ones. 

The Guide Dog and Service Dog Certification Act includes:

  • Training standards for guide and service dogs.
  • Identification cards.
  • Higher fines and violation tickets for those who refuse service or a place to live to someone with a guide or service dog.

Retiring guide dogs will also be able to get certification so handlers can continue living with them. 

"It's a very common sense act that's going to benefit not only our industry as it exists today but also it's going to benefit other members of the community, who before may not have [had] an opportunity to get a dog certified," said Bill Thornton with B.C. Guide Dogs.

Dogs not certified through an accredited institution can be tested for certification.

The legislation also means there will be harsher penalties for those who fraudulently use guide dog vests. The new maximum penalty has been increased to $2,000 from $200.