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Human Rights Legislation in Saskatchewan and Service Dogs

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code (the “Code”) requires the accommodation of persons with disabilities, including persons who use service animals, in housing, employment, education, and access to public services and places.  Disability is a protected category under the Code.  It includes physical and mental disabilities.
 
The accompaniment of a pet is not protected by the Code.  Pets fall outside of this policy.  Emotional support animals or therapy animals, which provide therapeutic benefits, but do not have specialized training to provide services for a disabled person, fall outside of this policy. 
 
Landlords and condominium associations have a duty to accommodate service animals.  A “no pets” policy in rental housing or a condominium does not apply to service animals.
 
The Code provides examples of prohibited practices. Prohibited practices include, but are not limited to:
  • Refusing admission or services to a person with a service animal in the absence of an undue hardship;
  • Interfering with the provision of services by a service animal;
  • Requiring a person with a service animal to disclose details of a disability;
  • Charging higher fees, deposits or surcharges to a person with a service animal; and
  • Segregating service animals and handlers from other members of the public.

The Duty to Accommodate 

The duty to accommodate does not mean that every accommodation request must be granted.  In rare cases accommodating a service animal could represent an undue hardship.  An example of an undue hardship would include a situation where the attendance of a service animal presents an unreasonable risk to health or safety.  Minor irritation, limited financial costs, or unsupported fears of property damage, do not represent an undue hardship.  Unless an undue hardship can be established, the duty to accommodate a service animal applies in the areas of employment, education and access to public services and facilities.

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