Veteran told his service dog not allowed.
Oh, Tim Horton’s, you’ve really gone and done it now. First it was the frozen donut fiasco. Then you switched coffee suppliers, much to the chagrin of millions of loyal Tim Horton’s coffee drinkers (and to McDonald’s benefit). And now, this unfortunate episode.
Last night Canadian army veteran Sgt. (ret.) Mike Rude entered the Tim Horton’s in Redcliff, Alberta, with his service dog Spark. He ordered two coffees, set them down, and went to the washroom. When he came out, the store supervisor informed him that dogs were not allowed in the store.
He informed her that Spark was his service dog, to no avail. After informing this person that he’d be calling police over the matter, she told him, “Fine, I’m going to tell my manager.” (Ooooooooooo, noooooo, not the manager.) By this point his coffee buddy had arrived and they decided to just leave the place.
I just don’t know where to begin here I’m so mad right now, so I’ll begin with the law. Now it’s possible that the person responsible for this is from another country, perhaps a temporary foreign worker, and they are ignorant of Canadian law. Perhaps they were born in this countrty and are just plain ignorant. Either way there is no excuse.
A qualified service dog team has their rights to access public spaces protected under the law. The right to public access means that a service dog team has the right to go anywhere the public may go, including:
pet-restricted apartments or condos
taxis and buses
places of worship
all other public areas
This does not apply to non-public areas such as food preparation areas, sterile hospital rooms or restricted access areas.Government of Alberta
This can be one of those “teachable moments” for Tim Horton’s and its employees. It should be up to the company to make sure that its employees are aware of Canadian law, especially if that person is a temporary foreign worker.
Businesses should keep the following information in mind:
The rights of all Albertans must be considered in a respectful and tolerant manner.
If your customers or employees have allergies, a fear of dogs or don’t want to be near dogs, they can make their fear known to you and ask that you make alternate arrangements for them.
You can’t designate a specific area for individuals with service dogs, such as an outside seating area.
A taxi driver unable to transport the person and the service dog, can order another taxi from the company, requesting that a priority response be provided.
Businesses that discriminate against qualified service dog teams can be fined.Government of Alberta
Sure hope you can afford the $3,000 fine.
Offense Fine (Max.)
Falsely claiming to be a disabled person to get protection under the Act $300
Refusing to return a service dog identification card when asked to do so $300
Discriminating against a person lawfully using a qualified service dog or refusing access to qualified service dog teams $3,000Government of Alberta
What really galls me here is the fact that this is the same company that opened a store in Afghanistan, for the troops, like Sgt. Rude. So, he was good enough to serve coffee to then, when he was carrying a weapon, but the man returns from that place with a debilitating brain injury caused by an anti-malarial drug called mefloquine, also known as Lariam. He needs Spark because of that injury.
Notice anything about these photos? Spark is almost ALWAYS at his side, no matter where he goes. He relies on her to calm hin down at times, like when he’s having panic attacks which are a result of the damage to his brain stem. What the hell is wrong withg you?
By now I’m sure you have received a number of complaints over this. That number is about to get much higher. There are a lot of veterans and their supporters in Canada that won’t take too kindly to the way Sgt. Rude was treated. You can therefore expect some blowback. How much will depend on you however.
I’m a little pissed off right now, as are a large and soon to be growing number of Canadians. We will express our displeasure in the form of formal complaints and a boycott of all Tim Horton’s locations until such time as Sgt. Rude has received an apology and is satisfied with your response. This is your opportunity to do the right thing.
If this has not happened within 24 hours, you can expect things to escalate. I will remind you DAILY, as will a number of other people I’m sure, that you screwed up and need to make amends to Sgt. Rude. I’m mad now, and if I become pissed off, like I will be tomorrow at this time if things arent made right, things will go nuclear VERY quickly.
You have until 3pm MDT tomorrow.
Update – August 3rd
Nationwide Boycott of Tim Horton’s Called
Previous incidences of discrimination at same location. Some disturbing allegations are emerging.