Fake service dogs, a potential president and other legal news

iStockphoto, Getty Images

B.C. targets dishonest dog owners

You’d hope that maybe common decency would negate the need to pass a law prohibiting certain sleazy behaviour. No such luck in British Columbia.

The province aims to pass a new law that will, in part, punish people buying fake service-dog vests so they can bring their canine pals into places from which they’d normally be barred.

Service dogs help the visually or hearing impaired, diabetics, and others with a variety of disabilities. Those dogs wear vests and sometimes dog tags identifying them as trained service dogs, meaning they can enter otherwise off-limits areas like restaurants or plane cabins.

Some pet owners, who apparently just can’t let their precious woogums sit outside the restaurant, are buying fake vests and tags online to dishonestly brand their dogs. B.C.’s Guide Dog and Service Dog Act would create a government registry for dogs and require official ID.

"It'll be a bit like a service dog driving licence if you like," Bill Thornton, the CEO of BC and Alberta Guide Dogs told the CBC.

Honest impaired driver faces ‘annoying’ media attention

Many of us had a bemused laugh, or at least raised an eyebrow at last week’s bizarre story of a 55-year-old Ontario man who called the cops on himself for drunk driving.

It made national headlines and raised plenty of questions.

Even police were taken aback.

“In all my years of policing, I’ve never heard of anybody doing this before,” Ontario Provincial Police Const. Kevin O’Neil told the Windsor Star. “I’ve been doing this job a long time and you always think you’ve heard or seen everything. But needless to say, some of us were a little bit surprised by what we heard about this.”

Now the suspect himself is speaking up. In this Q&A with the Toronto Star, Donald Drummer revealed that his call was essentially a self-intervention for his alcohol addiction. Driving drunk enroute to a welfare appointment at 10 a.m., Drummer realized he’d ”hit the bottom of the barrel" and chose to turn himself in. Also, he’s been baffled by all the unexpected and “annoying” media attention paid to his unusual case.

Canadian Commander-in-Chief?

Canadian-born U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is expected to officially declare he’s running for president in 2016.

So brace yourself for a new “birther” movement. Cruz has long been expected to throw his hat in the ring, and it’s created questions over whether this Calgary native is legally allowed to be the next U.S. President.

While Cruz is Canadian by birth, his mother is a legal U.S. citizen, making him a legitimate American.

The question over foreign-born presidents has dogged Barack Obama, candidate John McCain, and even reaches as far back as 19th century president Chester A. Arthur, another suspected Canadian (he wasn’t).

Vox.com is tackling this question today, explaining if and how Cruz is legally allowed to run.

Uber-confusing insurance

Ride-sharing company Uber is getting a rough ride in Canada. While it’s up and running in several cities, some municipal governments say the company violates local laws and are threatening harsh penalties against drivers.

Questions also swirl about the company’s nebulous insurance policies, especially for one Toronto driver who told the Toronto Star that dealing with the company left him with a lot of “what-ifs.”

Find a Lawyer