Blind man says cabbies refuse to give him rides because of guide dog

everybody knows why



A Saskatoon man who is blind and uses a service animal has launched a complaint to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, alleging a local taxi company is not providing service because of his guide dog.

Mike Simmonds claims he’s been denied taxi service more than once because of his dog.

“I think it is common,” Simmonds told CBC News Friday. “If you don’t have the dog you’re not going to hear much about it. Someone like me, I feel strongly about my rights. I feel strongly about my dog helping me out. I want to speak out.”

Simmonds said he has been told that some cab drivers have refused to pick him up with his dog because of their religious beliefs.

The company, Comfort Cabs, told CBC News most of their cabs are able to accommodate a guide dog. An official from the company added they are aware of the complaint and were working on a resolution, hopefully by next week.

“This is just an opportunity to raise maybe more awareness of guide dogs and what they do,” Simmonds said about the reason behind his complaint. “We can’t just leave our dogs at home. They’re there because there’s a purpose.”

The cities of Saskatoon and Regina are working on revising their taxi bylaws to mandate that people with service dogs must be provided service.