A Windsor woman who is blind plans to file a human rights complaint after she says the owner of a local cab company denied her and her family a ride home.
The problem, she claims, is her guide dog Albert.
For people who are blind, a guide dog is a lifeline and according to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, refusing to help someone who has one, is a violation of their rights.
Chris Trudell Conklin claims she had quite a different experience trying to catch a cab.
“My blood is boiling,” says Conklin.“My dog is well behaved and clean. I follow the rules. He is a good dog, so shame on you for refusing us.”
Conklin and her husband, who is also blind, took their children out for dinner on Saturday night. Afterwards, they called Tecumseh Cab to get home, but Conklin alleges they were flat out denied a ride, because of Albert.
“We explained that the dog is working, it’s a guide dog,” she says. “He's breaking the law if he doesn't. (he said)‘I don’t care if I'm breaking the law. I'm not taking the dog. I'm not taking you or the dog.’"
CTV News spoke to a man today, who identified himself as the owner of Tecumseh Cab. He would not provide his name. He said he had no knowledge of the incident, and furthermore denied that one of his drivers would do that.
“Shame on him,” says Conklin. “In 2017. It shouldn't happen.”
If it did happen, the anadian national institute for the blind says it's an infringement on her rights.
The CNIB says the use of a guide dog to access accommodations, services or facilities, which would include a taxi, is protected by three levels of legislation, including the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Conklin, who was born blind, has used a guide dog for 27 years. She says she's been turned away from a cab about five or six times, but this is the first time it's happened with her children.
Conklin's three children are not visually impaired, she's upset they had to see this happen and she says this fight, is far from over.
“I'm standing up for everybody,” she says. “It sucks it happened to me, but there is no excuse.This should not be happening any more.”
Conklin has already filed a complaint with the OPP and she plans to file a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal.