02/25/2015 10:49 EST | Updated 04/27/2015 05:59 EDT

Calgary Taxi Driver Fired For Refusing Ride To Service Dog

This Aug. 28, 2009 photo shows Tailor, a service dog and friend to Vietnam veteran Bill Callahan resting between assignments at his home in Baytown, Texas. Callahan, a paraplegic, is working to get service dogs like Tailor for other injured servicemen. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
CALGARY - A Calgary taxi driver has had his licence revoked for refusing to allow a service dog into his cab.

Ben Thorne says he filed a complaint this week after he called a Yellow Cab for a ride.

Thorne, who uses a wheelchair and has a companion dog named Kota, says the driver arrived and told him the dog could not get into the taxi, though he wouldn't say why.

Under Alberta legislation, businesses that refuse service to a person with a registered companion animal may be fined up to $3,000 per incident.

Kurt Enders of Yellow Cab says they regret the incident, adding the driver's actions were not in line with company policy.

Carissa Vescio of Calgary Bylaw Services confirms the unidentified driver is out of a job.

Thorne says it is crucial to his independence that he be able to take his dog with him.

"I need Kota to help me with various things," explains Thorne. "Item retrieval, pushing buttons on elevators, even getting my jacket on and off."


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