Blind woman alleges Montreal restaurant wouldn't let her service dog in

Diane Bergeron and Lucy

An Ottawa woman who is visually impaired says she is filing a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission after her guide dog was refused entry in a restaurant in the Villeray-St.Michel-Parc Ex borough.

"By law, they cannot refuse to have me come in with the dog," said Diane Bergeron, who contacted yourstory@cjad.com.

"The dog doesn't actually have a right to be in the restaurant. It's my right to be accompanied by my dog. The dog doesn't care if she's in the restaurant."

But Bergeron said staff at Restaurant Lyla still told her she could come in but her certified guide dog, Lucy had to stay inbetween the entrance doors.

So she and her dining companion left.

"The dog is my mobility aid and I'm not leaving my dog outside," said Bergeron, who is vice president of engagement and international affairs for the Canadian     National Institute for the Blind and was in Montreal Friday for a meeting.

"It was extremely embarassing to be standing there being told that I wasn't allowed to be in that restaurant because I have the need to use a service animal."

Cashier My Tam Phan told CJAD 800 News the dining room was full during lunch time and they didn't want to take chances with an allergic customer which has happened in the past, adding they have a waiter who is very scared of dogs. Phan said they would reconsider if it was a quieter time of the day.

Bergeron said similar incidents have happened to her many times.

"It's 2018. Laws have been in place for many, many years and this shouldn't be happening anymore," said Bergeron.
 

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