Expand AODA Service Animal Protection
This petition was inspired by many different individual cases of constituents calling my office because of their experiences of indignity related to their service animals. There were cases where their doctor’s notes weren’t regarded, or that the specific function of the animal didn’t meet the guidelines of the current definitions within the AODA. In any case, while the AODA represents a good first step, we need to go further. Please sign and share this petition, and help ensure that all people who use service animals and dogs live a life of dignity.
To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:
Whereas the expansion of coverage for guide and service animals under the AODA represents a huge step in the inclusion and dignity of all people, there are still gaps in the protection provided by current legislation and policy, and;
Whereas many people struggle to have the AODA enforced, often leaving them in a vulnerable position, and;
Whereas AODA legislation fails to consider the protection and accommodation of service dogs and animals who are trained with special skills related to medical conditions, such as seizure alert dogs
Whereas, The Blind Persons’ Rights Act, 1990 empowers the Attorney General to provide ID cards at no cost for guide dogs, which outline the current legal protection, and;
Whereas, The AODA requires service animals to be accompanied by a physician’s letter, and;
Whereas, Physicians’ letters are inconsistent in content and style, resulting in their being denied, adding further confusion and indignity to the person presenting them.
We the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to introduce legislation expanding the AODA’s definition of a protected service animal, and to establish practices which better enforce AODA legislation, and to empower the office of the Attorney General to provide upon request ID cards for all protected guide and service animals/dogs to accompany their physician’s letters.