Alberta, Canada Muslim Cab Drivers Refuse Passage to Woman and Service Dog

Here we go again... If you can't do a job because of your religion get another job. I don't care if your religion says that...

Joy  |  Dec 7th 2007


Here we go again… If you can’t do a job because of your religion get another job. I don’t care if your religion says that you can’t touch dogs. Sorry, but tough. If the law of the your new land says that you have to carry service dogs then you have to follow the law. If you can’t for ANY reason then get another job. Work somewhere else that won’t offend your religion.

In the meantime, if your job is to serve the public then you MUST obey the law.

Now I don’t care what religion anyone holds but people and service dogs are protected by the law. So if these Muslim taxi drivers won’t live up to their requirements then PULL THEIR LICENSES!!!!

How about suing these cab companies that aid and abet unlawful cab drivers? A couple of large punitive suits against these firms will change their minds fairly quickly.

For more information on this issue, check out previous blog posts on this topic:

St. Paul-Minneapolis Muslim Taxi Cab Drivers Refuse Service to People with Service Dogs and Alcohol
Minnesota Airport Authority Cracks Down on Muslim Cab Drivers Refusing To Carry Dogs
Australian Taxis Refusing Service to Service Dogs
London Taxi Refuses To Carry Blind Woman and Service Dog Against His Beliefs

Thanks to the GlobeandMail.com for this article.

Taxis refuse blind woman accompanied by guide dog
CHUCK CHIANG
The Canadian Press
December 5, 2007

FORT McMURRAY, ALTA. — The co-ordinator of an Alberta council representing the disabled says she was left with a sour taste in her mouth after being refused a ride by a line of taxis in Fort McMurray because she was accompanied by her guide dog.

Diane Bergeron’s plane was already five hours late when she arrived just before midnight Sunday.

Tired, and with a 9 a.m. speaking appointment the next day, she tried to hail a cab to transport her to a hotel.

“There was a whole line of 10, 15 taxis waiting outside [the airport terminal],” said Ms. Bergeron, who is blind and is usually accompanied by her guide dog, Max. “Not one would take me because of my dog.”

A bystander at the airport eventually gave her a lift into town.

Despite provincial and municipal laws aimed at protecting the rights of people with guide dogs, Ms. Bergeron’s experience isn’t uncommon, said a spokeswoman with a national non-profit agency providing services to blind Canadians.

“It happens frequently, everywhere,” said Ellie Shuster, an Edmonton-based spokeswoman with the CNIB.

Ms. Shuster said provincial laws include the Blind Persons’ Rights Act, which says no one can be denied access because of a guide dog. A similar bylaw exists in the municipal codes of Wood Buffalo, the sprawling region which includes Fort McMurray.

“They’re not allowed to refuse,” said Jeanne Goudie, the region’s chief taxi inspector, adding that fines start at $100.

Fort McMurray is not alone in dealing with the issue. This summer, a taxi company agreed to pay a blind Vancouver man $2,500 after one of its drivers refused to pick him up because he was accompanied by his guide dog.

About a month earlier, a Calgary judge found a driver guilty of discrimination for the same reason and fined him $300 under the Blind Persons’ Rights Act.

Several Fort McMurray taxi companies said certain drivers will not carry dogs as passengers.

“We can’t make the drivers do it,” said Ron MacNeill, owner of Sun Taxi, who added some employees cite allergies or religious convictions as reasons for denying service.

Mr. MacNeill added that his company can accommodate guide dogs if notified in advance. Mustapha Hemeid, manager at Access Taxi, echoed Mr. MacNeill’s statements.

“Not every driver will do it,” Mr. Hemeid said about carrying the dogs. “But we do have optional drivers who can, and if you call ahead, we’ll do it.”

The policy at Fort McMurray Airport is to provide the service, said spokeswoman Sally Beaven.

“Their agreement [with the airport] is that they’ll not refuse any fares,” she said, adding that management has talked to cab companies about the issue. “This shouldn’t happen.”

Ms. Bergeron, the co-ordinator with the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, was in town to speak at a workshop on how hospitality and retail businesses can work with people with disabilities.

Follow this link to read the rest of the article.