Taxi Driver Refuses to Pick Up Blind Man

By Larissa Cahute
,Ottawa Sun
First posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 9:37:18 EDT PM

David Labrecque says a Capital Taxi driver refused to give him a ride Tuesday because he’s blind. TONY CALDWELL/Ottawa Sun

David Labrecque began his errands on Tuesday, just like any other day.

He went to the bank and grocery store, but claims he was stranded when a Capital Taxi driver refused him service.

Labrecque, a computer technician from Orleans, has been blind for 12 years.

“I haven’t run into this once — except for now,” he said.

Tuesday afternoon, Labrecque, his wife and son were ready to return home, when Labrecque said the driver saw his cane and sunglasses and told him, “He doesn’t pick up disabled people.”

“I’m totally blind, yes I’m disabled,” said Labrecque.

“I just call and ask for a cab — it doesn’t matter if I’m blind, got one leg or whatever. I call a cab like you call a cab — so what if I’m blind?”

Labrecque said he doesn’t need special treatment from drivers.

“They’re not going to get out and walk me to a door, I had my wife and son with me.”

Although he doesn’t require it, drivers have helped him out in the past, bringing him to the hospital, even going as far as signing him in.

“I don’t want to hold it against Capital, they’re a pretty decent company — it’s just that one taxi driver,” said Labrecque. He said he got the number of
the cab.

“I’m quite upset about it, I really am,” he said. “That stuff shouldn’t happen.”

Labrecque placed a complaint to Capital and said it seemed others have complained about this driver.

According to Labrecque, the company said they would look into it, but weren’t sure if they would call him back. They haven’t so far.

Capital Taxi didn’t have anyone available to comment when contacted and declined to identify the driver.

“I don’t complain too much, but this one really got to me,” said Labrecque.

Reproduced from