A visually-impaired woman, who a week earlier competed in the Paralympics for Canada in Slovenia, was told to get her guide dog out of an Esso station in the city’s east end on Sunday.
Victoria Nolan, her husband and her dog, Vegas, were at the Esso station at Coxwell and O’Connor on Sunday to pay for gas and grab a coffee. But an employee told her that she and Vegas had to leave because animals weren’t allowed in the store.
“An employee started yelling at me that they don’t allow pets in the store and that I had to leave, and so I told him, ‘This not a pet. It’s a guide dog,’” Nolan said. “And he said he didn’t care. The sign on the door is very clear: no animals of any kind. And I said to him, ‘Are you sure you understand. It’s a guide dog.’ And he cut me off and yelled, ‘I don’t care. Get out. Get out.’”
CityNews reporter Galit Solomon went to the gas station on Thursday, and was told the attendant only worked there Sunday. A spokeswoman for Imperial Oil, which owns the Esso stations, said an investigation was continuing and that, “We will be indicating our regret for this very unfortunate incident.”
The Nolans said they haven’t received an apology yet and have retained a lawyer. They are considering filing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.