Dear Urban Diplomat: Are cabbies allowed refuse to drive me because I’m carrying my dog?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Are cabbies allowed refuse to drive me because I’m carrying my dog?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Unfair fare (Image: hj_west)
 

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I read in the Sun about a Muslim cabbie who rejected a passenger carrying a pet, and I thought it was a unique occurrence. Then it happened to me. I was getting into a cab at the Billy Bishop terminal when the cabbie spotted Isabel, my 10-year-old Yorkie, in her carrier. He suddenly said he was off-duty. I was appalled. Can they really do that?
—Unfair Fare, High Park

They can totally do that. Religious con­victions (many Muslims consider dogs impure), allergies, fear of freakishly tiny dogs that may spasm into yapping at any moment—these are all legal grounds on which to refuse your diminutive sidekick. Service dogs are another story, but something tells me Isabel is not a seeing-eye dog. If you fear this will become a regular thing, call ahead and request a dog-friendly driver. In this canine-obsessed city, there are bound to be plenty.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com