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Premier, Ministers fail to “step in” to guarantee service dog accommodations

September 12, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, September 9, 2017

 

Premier, Ministers fail to “step in” to guarantee service dog accommodations

 Queen’s Park — Ontarians seeking an end to discrimination against those with disabilities requiring service dogs will have to raise their voices through petition after the Premier and Ministers refused to answer Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris’ call to step in following the latest denial of accommodations for 9-year-old Kenner Fee and his autism service dog, Ivy.

“A year after I tabled the Ontario Service Dog Act, those with disabilities requiring service dogs still await the legislated accommodations they should already be guaranteed.” Harris reported in the House. “We will continue to fight for the accommodations that have been denied a 9-year-old Kitchener boy with autism – Kenner Fee… accommodations that should be guaranteed and yet denied by the Waterloo Catholic School Board and – now – the Human Rights Tribunal.

“Will the Premier join our fight for this vital access, and step in to ensure Kenner and other children with autism don’t have their required service dogs taken away from them when they get to school?”

As the Premier refused to answer, punting the question to the Minister of Children and Youth Services, Harris went back to the Liberal leader in his supplementary question.

“AODA regulations already mandate service dog accommodations….and the Ontario Human Rights Code speaks to the, duty to accommodate persons with disabilities…” Harris clarified. “Doctors, Teachers and International Training Schools have all testified to the importance of 9-year-old Kenner’s Service Dog, “Ivy”. Yet, Kenner is still denied his service dog at school.

“So while Ontarians raise their voices with my petition to “Open Access to registered service dogs and owners.” I’m asking the Premier to save us the signing, sending and tabling. If she believes in accommodations for service dog users, she could step in today Speaker.”

Again refusing to answer, the Premier had the Minister of Education respond with reference to “education standards” government is working on as per requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

See Michael’s question in the house here: https://youtu.be/DgG7MTKn0AI

Check out Michael’s petition here: Open Access to registered service dogs and owners

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 For further information contact: Rob Willett | 519-404-4052 | rob.willett@pc.ola.org |