Terrific news from Victoria today regarding the proposed new Guide Dog and Service Dog Act! Click here to read a joint press release from PADS and BC & Alberta Guide Dogs.
March 12, 2015 – BC Ministry of Justice – Re: proposed Guide Dog and Service Dog Act
The proposed Guide Dog and Service Dog Act, which was introduced in the British Columbia Legislature this morning, reflects ongoing feedback the provincial government has received from stakeholders since 2012. If it is passed, it will replace the Guide Animal Act.
The proposed Act and accompanying regulations will safeguard access rights for individuals who rely on guide dogs or service dogs, while ensuring clarity and safety for businesses and other members of the public. In particular, they will:
- limit certification to dogs and no other animals,
- recognize both guide dogs for the visually impaired and service dogs for individuals with other disabilities,
- require a high training standard for certified dogs,
- provide an option for dogs to be tested by a designated third party if they were not trained at a facility that is accredited by either Assistance Dogs International or the International Guide Dog Federation,
- extend public access rights to certified dogs in training,
- extend tenancy rights to include strata properties and retired certified dogs that continue to reside with their handlers, and
- increase the existing penalties and create a new offence of falsely purporting to be a certified team.
For more information, please see the News Release.
If the proposed legislation is passed, regulations will be developed to implement the new program.