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Screenshot of the cover of Nova Scotia's Blind Persons’ Rights Act, which reads as “Blind Persons’ Rights Act, Chapter 40 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, as amended by 2016, c. 4, s. 20”.

Access Tales: Fines imposed under Blind Persons' Rights Act

By Victoria Nolan, Head, Stakeholder Relations & Community Engagement

A municipal transit service was recently fined nearly $1,000 under Nova Scotia's Blind Persons' Rights Act for denying services to a man because he was travelling with his guide dog.

Due to a lack of awareness by guide dog handlers and the police, the Act is rarely enforced.

Unfortunately, this legislation hasn't been enacted everywhere, but it does exist in the following provinces – sometimes under a slightly different name:

In all of these Acts, it is an offence to deny someone access to services and facilities because s/he is blind and travels with a guide dog. Police can investigate complaints under these Acts and – upon summary conviction – the service provider can face a fine of up to $5,000.

Denying access is illegal in all provinces and territories under the provincial/territorial Human Rights Code, however this legislation is enforced by the Human Rights Tribunal, not police. The five provinces listed above have additional legislation which allows for a much swifter response than filing a complaint through the Human Rights Tribunal.

For more information about the laws that protect the rights of guide dog handlers in each province, visit the legislation section of or email