National framework needed for emotional-service animals: Rempel
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel speaks following the tabling of the 2019 Spring Reports of the Auditor General in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
OTTAWA -- A Conservative MP says she would like to see national standards on the use of emotional service animals in public spaces after watching her husband encounter numerous barriers while travelling in Canada with his dog, Midas.
Michelle Rempel says her husband, a U.S. military veteran, needs his emotional-service dog for therapeutic reasons and has official documentation from medical specialists.
Despite this, he has been barred from taxis and restaurants, faced problems flying on certain airlines and been slapped with fees at hotels and other businesses when his service dog is in tow.
Emotional-service animals are not defined by legislation in Canada and are only offered legal protections in some jurisdictions.
Rempel, who has been a Calgary MP since 2011, says a national framework is needed to ensure those whose mental health is at risk are able to travel in public spaces with their therapy animals.
She hopes to encourage the House of Commons to study the issue and develop a set of national standards -- and also hopes this can happen quickly with unanimous support and avoid partisan divisions.