Province provides legal protection to service dog users

B.C. government photo
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New amendments to the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act came onto effect on July 9, which established a voluntary certification process and provides legal protection to dog teams.

Under the act, it is illegal to interfere with a certified guide dog or service dog team when they are trying to access public places and services or deny tenancy.

The amendments also clarify the act does not take away from individual rights under the B.C. Human Rights Code, according to the province. 

It will also streamline the certification process for service and guide dog teams and allow internationally accredited training schools to get B.C. certification cards.

The province also said it is working to increase public awareness about the rights of individuals who use guide dogs or service dogs and to inform businesses and service providers of their responsibilities in relation to accessibility for guide dog and service dog teams.

This work has been done in collaboration with groups representing individuals with visual impairment, including the Canadian Federation of the Blind.

Public information, including guidance for business and service providers such as public transit, the taxi industry, and the housing sector, will be distributed this month, the province said.

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