This archived statute consolidation is current to October 1, 1998 and includes changes enacted and in force by that date. For the most current information, click here.


[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 177








Rights with a guide animal



Rights under section 2 not to be interfered with



Tenancy rights



White cane



Onus on defendant






Power to make regulations



Offence and penalty


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

if 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.

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 despite any enactment enacted before or after the enactment of this Act.

Rights under section 2 not to be interfered with

3 A person must not 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.

Tenancy rights

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

(2) A person must not

(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.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if 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.

White cane

5 A person who is not a blind person according to accepted medical standards must not carry or use a white cane.

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.


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 must issue a certificate under subsection (1) if 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 must surrender the certificate to the minister and the certificate is void if 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.

Power to make regulations

8 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

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

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

Offence and penalty

9 (1) A person who contravenes this Act commits an offence.

(2) A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $200.