Calgary

Calgary taxi driver who refused passenger with guide dog fired and fined

An inspector for the City of Calgary says a taxi driver has been fined $700 and fired for refusing to provide service to a passenger with a guide dog.

Cabbie, who had only been licensed for a year, also fined $700

There are an estimated 80 to 100 service dogs in Alberta. (CBC)

A taxi driver has been fined $700 and fired for refusing to provide service to a passenger with a guide dog, an inspector for the City of Calgary says.

Mario Henriques, Calgary's chief livery inspector, says there is no excuse for refusing a guide dog, explaining that municipal, provincial and federal legislation all requires it.

All taxis are equipped with CCTV cameras, so it was easy to review the video to get a full picture of what transpired.

The cabbie had only been licensed in Calgary for a little over a year.

Henriques says the issue is a key one that is covered in driver training classes, which the driver involved would have been required to take.

Dave Balfour, who is legally blind, says he filed the complaint after he and his service dog, McCoy, were denied entry to a cab last week.

Guide dog users are often denied service despite Alberta law, critics say, with people regularly being refused service in restaurants and stores, and not just taxis.

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