This archived statute consolidation is current to November 25, 1993 and includes changes enacted and in force by that date.

Guide Animal Act

[SBC 1990] CHAPTER 49

Assented to July 27, 1990

  1.  Interpretation
  2.  Rights with a guide animal
  3.  Rights under section 2 shall not be interfered with
  4.  Tenancy rights
  5.  White cane
  6.  Onus on defendant
  7.  Certificate
  8.  Regulations
  9.  Offence and penalty
  10.  Spent
  11.  Commencement


1.  In this Act

"guide animal" means a guide animal

(a) prescribed under section 8, or

(b) for which a certificate has been issued under section 7

where that animal is used by a person with a disability to avoid hazards or to otherwise compensate for a disability;

"minister" includes a person designated by the minister for the purposes of this Act;

"person with a disability" means a person who is apparently blind or otherwise disabled and is dependent on a guide animal or white cane;

"white cane" means a cane or walking stick at least the upper 2/3 of which is white.

Historical Note(s): 1990-49-1.

Rights with a guide animal

2.  (1) A person with a disability accompanied by a guide animal has the same rights, privileges and obligations as a person not accompanied by an animal.

(2) In particular, a person with a disability accompanied by a guide animal may, in the same manner as would a person not accompanied by an animal, enter and use an accommodation, conveyance, eating place, lodging place or any other place to which the public is invited or has access so long as the guide animal is

(a) prevented from occupying a seat in a public conveyance or eating place, and

(b) held by a leash or harness.

(3) This section applies notwithstanding any enactment enacted before or after the enactment of this Act.

Historical Note(s): 1990-49-2.

Rights under section 2 shall not be interfered with

3.  No person shall interfere with the exercise of a right or privilege under section 2 or charge a fee for a guide animal accompanying a person with a disability.

Historical Note(s): 1990-49-3.

Tenancy rights

4.  (1) No person shall

(a) deny to a person with a disability a residential premises advertised or otherwise represented as available for occupancy by a tenant, or

(b) impose a term or condition on a person with a disability for the tenancy of a residential premises if that term or condition discriminates

because of the disability or because the person with the disability intends to keep a guide animal in the residential premises.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply where the advertisement or representation specifies occupancy of the residential premises may entail sharing sleeping, bathroom or cooking facilities in the space with a person from another family.

(3) In this section "residential premises" means residential premises as defined in section 1 of the Residential Tenancy Act.

Historical Note(s): 1990-49-4.

White cane

5.  No person who is not a blind person according to accepted medical standards shall carry or use a white cane.

Historical Note(s): 1990-49-5.

Onus on defendant

6.  In a prosecution for contravention of section 5, the onus is on the defendant to prove that he or she is blind according to accepted medical standards.

Historical Note(s): 1990-49-6.


7.  (1) A person with a disability may apply to the minister for a certificate to use as evidence that section 2 applies.

(2) The minister shall issue a certificate under subsection (1) where the minister is satisfied that the animal to be used is a guide animal.

(3) A person to whom a certificate under this section is issued shall surrender the certificate to the minister and the certificate is void where the minister is satisfied that the guide animal for which the certificate was issued has died, become permanently disabled, ceased to render the services to which the certificate relates or is not qualified as a guide animal.

Historical Note(s): 1990-49-7.


8.  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations including regulations

(a) specifying those animals or classes of animal that are guide animals, or

(b) specifying the conditions that must be met by an animal to become or to continue to be a guide animal.

Historical Note(s): 1990-49-8.

Offence and penalty

9.  A person who contravenes this Act commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $200.

Historical Note(s): 1990-49-9.


10.  [Repeal. Spent. 1990-49-10.]


11.  This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Historical Note(s): 1990-49-11.

[Editorial Note(s): Act effective August 31, 1990 (B.C. Reg. 294/90).]