Calgary

Taxi driver guilty of not allowing guide dog in car

A provincial court judge will hand down a fine next week to a Calgary taxi driver who refused to take a guide dog in his car.

A provincial court judge will hand down a fine next week to a Calgary taxi driver who refused to take a guide dog in his car.

Glen Murphy, who is blind,arranged to be picked up at a medical appointment last February, butwhen the driver saw Murphy's guide dog he refused to let them in.

The driver has plead guilty under the Blind Persons' Rights Act. The act says any place the public is welcome, a guide dog cannot be refused.

Ellie Shuster, spokeswoman for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, hopes this court case will make people more aware of the rights of people who use guide dogs.

"The person that relies on a guide dog, they really rely on that dog to get from pointA to point B, and to be independent and carry on with their life," she said.

"I'm glad we have the ability to prosecute and I would hope over the course of time it will become less and less necessary."

Shuster said the only way to refuse a guide dog is if the driver has a medical letter stating he or she has allergies.

The judge will hand down his decision on Monday.

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