Human Rights ruling was the right call

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Optometrists (NLAO) applauds the Human Rights Commission’s Feb. 16th ruling in favour of Anne Malone, who was denied service by a local taxi company in April 2013.

Our association believes that respecting the dignity and rights of blind and visually impaired individuals is vital to ensure equality with their fellow citizens. People who are legally blind or partially sighted have the right to equal access and should not have to depend on family and friends for access to transportation.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, there are almost 7,000 people who are blind or have vision loss. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in Canada. There are about 1.4 million Canadians living with AMD, many of whom have vision loss or are at risk. Every 12 minutes in Canada, someone develops blindness or vision loss. About 75 per cent of vision loss in Canada is avoidable through prevention and treatment.

Vision loss has the second highest direct health costs of any disease category in N.L. — higher than diabetes, all cancers or cardiovascular disease. There are many proven, cost-effective ways that the financial and human toll of vision loss can be reduced, through prevention, treatment, accommodation and rehabilitation. People with vision loss are at greater risk of social isolation and reduced community participation.

The NLAO is the professional association that represents doctors of optometry in Newfoundland and Labrador. We foster excellence in the delivery of vision and eye care services through information, programs and services that promote and enhance vision care in the province.

Dr. Mark Smith, president

Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Optometrists

St. John’s

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Association

Geographic location: Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Wondering
    February 25, 2016 - 16:24

    real calvin, you're arguments are only spins and meant to be antagonistic. Guess you have nothing better to do than take delight in your own self righteousness and troll the media links looking for places to pontificate, which seems just about everywhere.

  • Jorge Villanueva
    February 25, 2016 - 14:56

    It's something positive, a public exposure and something HRC needs as part of its mandate.

  • ()()
    February 25, 2016 - 14:18

    How about respiratory handicap vs visual handicap?

  • Wondering
    February 25, 2016 - 12:51

    Real calvin, please don't appear so ignorant and sarcastic. Allergies can be very serious, and dogs can leave a lot of dander and hairs on vehicle upholstery in a short time. There's also weather conditions. If there was snow or rain or mucky weather the dog would also smell of wet dog and dirt up the cab interior.

    • The real Calvin
      February 25, 2016 - 15:21

      Please explain to me the debilitating nature of your pet allergies Wondering. You teared up and had to sneeze?! Dear jeebus, alert the Human Rights committee. Haul out your puffer, take a wheeze, and get over it. This lady who can't see and relies on her dog to prevent her from walking into traffic or over a flight of stairs should do just that, WALK, because someone with allergies may or may not get into a cab after her dog was there. What if she offered to bring a blanket to lay down for the dog? Would her EYES be allowed in the cab then? Give me a break. Don't call me ignorant and sarcastic because you don't agree with what I have to say. You think someone who relies on a service dog to navigate their community picks a wet, rainy day to do their travelling? If this were someone walking their dog and it started to rain, I could understand your point of view. THIS ANIMAL SERVES AS THIS WOMAN'S EYES!!! What part of that don't you get?

    • steve
      February 26, 2016 - 05:34

      can,t fix stupid Calvin.

  • Jim
    February 25, 2016 - 11:45

    Sounds like "Dog Rights" not "Human Rights". I am allergic to dogs. if that stinking mutt was in a cab, then the cab took me as a fare, I would be in serious trouble. Don't I have human rights??? The cab cleaning is an expense too. This lady or her dog should not have had a victory here. There simply has to be another solution. Maybe it's time for a pet taxi in town, the owners can tag along. The owner should have to pay that OR put the dog in overalls. The world is getting stupider by the day. Everybody has to make their point those days. Sorry, but I put a human before a dog. Personally, I'd shoot every dog in the world if I had a chance.

    • Santa's Little Helper
      February 25, 2016 - 12:35

      The world is no more stupid than it has always been. Human perceptions are degrading? Community is improving. I have allergies as well.

    • steve
      February 25, 2016 - 13:15

      Shoot every dog in thec world if you had a chance? wow .I feel so sorry for you.

    • Kev
      February 25, 2016 - 16:44

      Chances are pretty good you've already ridden in a cab that was just ridden in by a dog. Your human rights are fine.

    • Chebucto
      February 25, 2016 - 22:22

      What a sickening comment.

  • Wondering
    February 25, 2016 - 10:21

    As far as I understand, the cab was concerned about the dog, not the lady passenger. I'm just speculating, but perhaps the driver was concerned about having the expense of cleaning the cab of dog hair and dander, and dog scent, and any other damage to his vehicle because of the dog. Smoking is no longer permitted in cabs, and what would be the case should the cabbie pick up a fare that has allergies to dogs before getting the vehicle cleaned? Those are some of the issues that I would like addressed by Dr Smith and perhaps the cab company.

    • The real Calvin
      February 25, 2016 - 11:42

      Yes, cause a dog in a vehicle for a 5-10 minute cab ride would cause all that damage. Nothing a good lint brush couldn't fix in like 30 seconds. Dog allergies do not affect someone's quality of life in the same manner as, ohhhh I don't know, BEING BLIND!!

    • steve
      February 25, 2016 - 13:20

      Regardless, human rights ruled her service dog cannot be denied.Wait till the driver is a Muslim whose religion does not permit them to be in contact with a dog.Then it will be a different story by The human rights tribunal. I am glad the presedent has been set but lets see when it becomes sticky like religion vs handicap.