Bill 217, Service Dogs for Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

Harris, Michael

Current Status: First Reading Carried

Viewing: Original (current version) pdf

Bill 217                                                       2016

An Act respecting the rights of persons with disabilities who use service dogs

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Definitions

   1.  (1)  In this Act,

“disability” has the same meaning as in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005; (“handicap”)

“service dog” means a dog trained as a guide for a person with a disability and having the qualifications prescribed by the regulations made under this Act; (“chien d’assistance”)

Application

   (2)  This Act applies despite any other Act or any regulation, by-law or rule made thereunder.

Act binds Crown

   (3)  This Act binds the Crown.

Service dogs permitted in places to which public admitted

   2.  (1)  No person, directly or indirectly, alone or with another, by himself, herself or itself or by the interposition of another, shall,

  (a)  deny to any person the accommodation, services or facilities available in a school or in any place to which the public is customarily admitted; or

  (b)  discriminate against any person with respect to the accommodation, services or facilities available in a school or in any place to which the public is customarily admitted, or the charges for the use of the accommodation, services or facilities,

for the reason that he or she is a person with a disability who is accompanied by a service dog, or requires the accompaniment of a support person or the use of an assistive device to assist them with their service dog.

Service dogs permitted in self-contained dwelling unit

   (2)  No person, directly or indirectly, alone or with another, by himself, herself or itself or by the interposition of another, shall,

  (a)  deny to any person occupancy of any self-contained dwelling unit; or

  (b)  discriminate against any person with respect to any term or condition of occupancy of any self-contained dwelling unit,

for the reason that he or she is a person with a disability who is keeping or is customarily accompanied by a service dog, or who requires the accompaniment of a support person or the use of an assistive device to assist them with their service dog.

Other facilities

   (3)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to entitle a person with a disability to require any service, facility or accommodation in respect of a service dog other than the right to be accompanied by the service dog and support person or to use the assistive device.

False representation

   3.  (1)  No person shall falsely represent himself or herself as being a person with a disability for the purpose of claiming the benefit of this Act.

Same

   (2)  No person shall falsely represent a dog as being a service dog for the purpose of claiming the benefit of this Act.

Same

   (3)  No person shall falsely represent a person as being a support person or a device as being an assistive device for the purpose of claiming the benefit of this Act.

Identification cards

   4.  (1)  The Attorney General or an officer of his or her Ministry designated by the Attorney General in writing may, upon application, issue to a person with a disability an identification card identifying the person and his or her service dog. 

Cards as proof of qualification

   (2)  An identification card issued under subsection (1) is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the person with a disability and the service dog identified on the card are qualified for the purposes of this Act. 

Surrender of cards

   (3)  Any person to whom an identification card is issued under subsection (1) shall, upon the request of the Attorney General or an officer designated under subsection (1), surrender the identification card for amendment or cancellation. 

Regulations

   5.  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing qualifications for service dogs.

Penalty

   6.  (1)  Every person who is in contravention of section 2 is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000.

Idem

   (2)  Every person who is in contravention of section 3 is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding $500. 

Commencement

   7.  This Act comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.

Short title

   8.  The short title of this Act is the Service Dogs for Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill enacts the Service Dogs for Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The Act prohibits denying accommodation, services or facilities to an individual or discriminating against an individual with respect to accommodation, services or facilities because the individual is a person with a disability who is accompanied by a service dog or who requires the accompaniment of a support person or the use of an assistive device to assist them with their service dog. A person who contravenes the prohibition is liable to a fine of up to $5,000.

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