Mike Simmonds Claims Cab Company’s Drivers Say They Aren’t Comfortable With His Service Dog Because Of Religious Beliefs

| by

A legally blind man in Canada has filed a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission after continually having a problem with a cab company over issues apparently related to his guide dog.

Global News reports that Mike Simmonds said the problem started a few months back when a dispatcher for Comfort Cabs told him he would need a pet-friendly taxi. Simmonds said he’s been told twice since then that drivers weren’t comfortable with his seeing-eye dog because of their religious beliefs.

“It baffles me that in this century people have such problems with guide dogs,” Simmonds said. “If you’re driving a taxi in this country, you have got to know that you’re open to service dogs.”

Cliff Kowbel, operations manager at Comfort Cabs, said that the company continually informs its drivers that working dogs are not pets. He said the company has a policy that the dogs are not to be refused.

Simmonds said he spoke with the company’s manager about the issue, but the problem still persisted, according to CTV News.

“He was assuring me there would not be a problem, but next time I would contact a cab there was the problem again,” Simmonds said.

The last straw for Simmonds apparently came when he tried to get a cab to pick he and his dog, Graham, up at a bus stop. When the cab didn’t arrive, he called the dispatcher again. Simmonds said she told him she was having a hard time finding a cab for him because of the drivers’ religious beliefs. He had to wait another 20 minutes outside for a taxi to come from across the city.

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination against people with service animals.

Sources: Global News, CTV News