Tribunal dismisses blind man’s complaint against Victoria Taxi

A B.C. human rights tribunal has dismissed a complaint against Victoria Taxi over an incident in July 2014.

Graeme McCreath, a legally blind man who requires either a cane or a guide dog to help him with his mobility, filed the complaint after the driver who was dispatched to drive him refused to do so on the basis he was allergic to dogs.

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McCreath alleged discrimination in the provision of services customarily available to the public because of his physical disability. The taxi firm countered McCreath failed to advise the dispatcher he was accompanied by a guide animal, and the driver in question had filed an “exception” in accordance with a Victoria Taxi policy excusing him from transporting animals in the taxi.

In testimony, Victoria Taxi noted McCreath was provided with an alternate taxi ride within minutes of initially being denied a ride.

In the ruling, tribunal member Jacqueline Beltgens, noted Victoria Taxi “demonstrated a bona fide reasonable justification for its, albeit very brief, denial of service to Mr. McCreath.

“I found Mr. McCreath was accommodated in another taxi almost immediately and that, more generally, the exception policy strikes a reasonable balance.” — Times Colonist

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