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Legislation Pertaining to Guide Dog Access – Manitoba

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission is a Provincial agency which, amongst other issues, will adjudicate over acts of discrimination including denials of access for a guide dog user. They are a neutral party; They are not an advocacy agency. Their legislation, The Manitoba Human Rights Code, covers issues regarding differential treatment, reasonable accommodation and harassment based on an “applicable characteristics,” in the areas of employment, services, rental, contracts, purchase of real property, and signs. There is also a section regarding reprisal.
Applicable characteristics include, ancestry, nationality, ethnic background, religion, age, sex –including sex determined characteristics such as pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or family status, source of income, political belief, physical or mental disability, social disadvantage and criminal record.
The Manitoba Human Rights Commission does accept complaints of discrimination, harassment or lack of reasonable accommodation for special needs related to applicable characteristics under The Manitoba Human Rights Code. . Note that section 9(2) of The Code lists applicable characteristics including “physical or mental disability or related characteristics or circumstances, including reliance on a service animal, a wheelchair, or any other remedial appliance or device;”
There is a one year time frame from the date of the last contravention to file a complaint, beyond that the file would have to be submitted to the Executive Director for a request for extension. The Executive Director has the authority to reject or accept a complaint beyond the time frame. Contacting the Manitoba Human Rights Commission is only the first step in the complaint process and does not constitute the filing of a complaint.
If you believe that you were subjected to differential treatment, harassment or a failure to reasonably accommodate your special needs based on one of the Code’s applicable characteristics then you may pursue a complaint based on that. The onus would be on you to provide which applicable characteristic(s) you are alleging the differential treatment and to provide as much supporting evidence as you have.
Manitoba also has the Service Animals Protection Act,. Note that the Manitoba Human Rights Commission does not enforce or administer this act in any way. Remedies and restitution under this Act must be sought through law enforcement and other civil actions.
You may find the Commission’s publication on Guide Dogs and Service animals of interest.
Should you have further questions regarding Manitoba’s Human Rights Code and/or are considering filing a human rights complaint you may contact their office at (204) 945-3007 or toll free at (888) 884-8681 to speak to an Intake Officer. Or you may visit their office at:
Manitoba Human Rights Commission
7th Floor – 175 Hargrave Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 3R8

Direct Phone No. (204) 945-0785
Fax (204) 945-1292