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Human rights complaint after taxis refuse blind man's seeing-eye dog

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Global News, a website under the auspices of the Canadian Press, has an item about a complaint filed with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission by a blind man who claims that he and his guide dog have been having trouble with a Saskatoon cab company.

Mike Simmonds says the problem started two months ago when a dispatcher for Comfort Cabs told him he would need a pet-friendly taxi.

He says he’s been told twice since then that drivers weren’t comfortable with his seeing-eye dog because of their religious beliefs.

He called the manager to complain and received an apology.

Simmonds says the manager suggested there must have been a misunderstanding.

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

‘It baffles me that in this century people have such problems with guide dogs,’ Simmonds said Friday.

‘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.

The article goes on for another 300 words or so but never once mentions the name of the religion, which leaves a curious reader wondering what religion is dopey enough to discriminate against man’s best friend. Could be Judaism, which has it in for the flesh of pigs and other beasts with cloven hooves and militates against eating the meat of shellfish. Or maybe it’s some obscure sect of Christianity.

Curious to know, we did a little digging. We happened upon a CTV News report on the topic, but neither the text nor the accompanying video mentioned the religion by name, and the video avoiding showing any of the drivers.

It sure would be interesting to know what religion that is and why the sources consulted were so lax in their journalistic standards that they neglected to mention it.

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