Category Archives: Canada

MPP Randy Hillier introduces a new bill to repeal Ontario’s breed ban

The fight to repeal Ontario Canada’s long-standing “pit bull” ban continues.

Earlier this year, a bill to repeal the ban was making progress, until the Liberal party in Ontario created a party line stalemate that kept the bill from going for its third reading.

That bill, Bill 16, was a tri-party bill.  This means that 3 political parties had endorsed and supported the bill.  The bill was sponsored by Randy Hillier, Cheri DiNovo and Kim Craitor. Cheri DiNovo has been championing a repeal of the ban for some time, actively reaching out to garner support for a repeal and supporting groups with the same goal. Cheri DiNovo had previously entered 2 bills to repeal the ban before co-sponsoring Bill 16.  She is widely recognized as one of the first officials to stand up and fight against the ban.

Bill 16, also referred to as Hershey’s Bill, was progressing despite opposition.  This was until the hearings before the bill would have been sent to its third and final reading.  In a clear display of contempt, during the last committee hearing, the Liberal party leader and Premier went so far as to substitute out the members of the party who were supportive of the bill during the hearings and the vote on the various amendments.  There was a very literal divide across the table, with all of one side voting to bring the bill forward and all of the other against it.

It is within the power of the Premier to unilaterally decide to not move a bill to its third reading, regardless of the support it has by constituents and government officials.  This was the case with Bill 16.  The bill was never allowed to go to its third reading.

The Premier at the time, Dalton McGuinty, later stepped down, effectively killing all active bills at the moment.  The term for this is proroguing.  At the time of his resignation Bill 16 was prorogued.

On October 1st 2013, MPP Hillier introduced a new bill that would end the “pit bull” ban in Ontario. Video was posted on Hillier’s website of the introduction of the bill.

This new bill will have to go through the same steps as the old bill, beginning with the first reading. The new bill faces the same challenges as all the other attempts to repeal the ban.  There have been several different bills and each one has met with resistance.

One of the more frustrating aspects of this is that in each case, including when the ban was originally passed, almost every person and organization, who testified at the various hearings, testified against the ban.  In spite of this, certain elements within the government refuse to act against it. As with all places where parts of the Government seem to have a personal investment in the ban, the fight in Ontario is an up hill battle.

The new Premier, Kathleen Wynne, has a history of being supportive of the ban.  On the Liberal party’s “Common Ground” website, a site for residents of Ontario to voice their opinions on what issues they feel the government should address, repealing the pit bull ban has been the most popular suggestion.

Every single resident of Ontario is encouraged to step forward, contact their MPP and ask them to support the repeal of this outdated and ineffective law.  Click here to find your representative.

Residents of Ontario can also join the Ontario “Pit Bull” Co-Op for up to date details on events and legislative information. This would be the best way to become actively involved locally.  It is important to remember that breed discriminatory laws do not change without active participation by residents in the areas these laws cover.

Hillier also has a petition on his site for residents of Ontario to sign.

Thank you, Debbie Black, for your insight into the Ontario legislative system.

Burnaby Canada increases penalties to own restricted breeds

Last night the Burnaby City Council voted unanimously to increase the fines and penalties associated with their breed discriminatory law despite vocal opposition.

Citing an increase in dog bites in recent years, the Council decided to look at their animal control by laws to see what they can do about attacks.  A rather flawed report was put together citing pit bulls and German Shepherds as the primary culprits of attacks.  A local professor analyzed the numbers behind the report, which claimed that the two groups of dogs were attacking in disproportionate numbers.  Among the issues with the report was a question of the premise that attacks have been on the rise in Burnaby.  Also noted is the lack of investigation into a rise in population as a possible explanation for the claimed rise in bites.  This is not to say that rise in population has to equate a rise in dog related incidents as Calgary has proven year after year but if officials are trying to find the core of an issue, all sides must be evaluated in order to best come up with an ethical and responsible solution.

Another issue is breed identification.  Supposedly only 2% of registered dogs are pit bulls.  The population of targeted dogs would be underestimated because the reporting is based on the owners ID.  Because pit bulls are restricted, some owners may be labeling their dogs as other breeds or mixes, so they would not have to comply with the regulations.

Many people voiced opposition to the potential increase in fines and fees associated with ownership of targeted dogs.  Included in these were advocates, dog professionals, lawyers and regular members of the community whose professions are not related to the topic.

The changes raise licensing fees for targeted breeds to $150 per year, fines for unmuzzled targeted dogs was raised to $200 and impoundment fees to $400.

Targeted dogs are defined as: “a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, an American Pit Bull Terrier and any dog generally recognized as a pit bull or pit bull terrier and includes a dog of mixed breed with predominant pit bull or pit bull terrier characteristics.

Officials were cited data from pro-BDL lobbyists.  This data was all based in the United States, not Canada.  There was an agenda in the use of the source, seeking data to support their argument, rather than dealing with local data, which presented a weak case.

After the meeting advocate April Fahr was quoted in the news saying, “We also have to ask ourselves, well, six per cent of pit bull bites occurred in Burnaby over the last ten years — what are we doing about that other 94 per cent of bites? What happened here tonight that’s going to prevent those other 94 percent of bites?”

Certainly a question to ponder, and one which officials have roundly ignored.

Canadian legislator is trying to revive Bill 16, to overturn Ontario’s pit bull ban

People have been working hard trying to get Ontario’s pit bull ban overturned.  Bill 16, a bill to repeal the ban, had tri-party support and was moving forward towards its 3rd reading. Then a hitch occurred when Premier Dalton McGuinty effectively killed all bills at the time by stepping down.

MPP Randy Hillier is trying to regain support to bring Bill 16, or Hershey’s Bill, back to its status before this happened.

He has created a petition for citizens to sign to ask the new Premier to reinstate the bill.

Another way to help comes from Hershey Anti BSL Group Facebook page:

The Ontario Legislature is back to work! This is a link to a generic petition to repeal Ontario’s breed-specific legislation.

Want to help? Live in Ontario? Please 
1) print it out
2) sign it, maybe get your friends and family to sign it
3) Snail mail (or drop off) to: 

Cheri di Novo MPP
Room 115, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A5

NOTE: You do not need a full sheet to make the petition count. Do not wait to accumulate a big pile, it is best to send them in in dribs and drabs. Each time they are presented in the House, even if it is just one sheet, they are read into the record, so the more the better.

Petitions to be presented to the Legislature must contain original signatures and the name and full address of the person signing, who must be a resident of Ontario. There is no age limit – children may sign petitions as well as adults.”

A printable version of the petition can be found here.

Residents of Ontario: Take action now so Hershey’s Bill can move forward and Ontario’s ban can be lifted.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: City committee to discuss possible BSL repeal, March 19

UPDATE:

EDMONTON – An amendment has been passed at City Council which eliminates the contentious Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) from Edmonton’s Animal Control Bylaw. The BSL section outlined that certain dogs were labelled “restricted” solely based on their breed.

Read it on Global News: Global Edmonton | Council eliminates Edmonton’s restricted breed legislation

The Community Services Committee is set to discuss the possibility of BSL repeal on March 19 at 9:30 AM. View the agenda and supporting documents. The supporting documents are a particularly interesting read.

Please continue to send RESPECTFUL correspondence that highlights the many problems with BSL, offers effective breed-neutral alternatives, and requests the removal of the breed-discriminatory language in the current ordinance.

City of Edmonton, 3rd Floor, City Hall, 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5J 2R7
Phone: 780-442-5311
E-mail: 311@edmonton.ca
Mayor contact form: http://webproxy.edmonton.ca/forms/Contact311/default.aspx
City Councillors: Councillors@edmonton.ca

Sadly, the following news article is fairly inaccurate. Contrary to the article headline, the city report did not make a recommendation to either keep or repeal the city’s BSL. The article made several other inaccurate statements. The supporting documentation at the agenda link, provided above, is a much more informative and accurate primary source.

Change dog breed restrictions: city report

BY TANARA MCLEAN, EDMONTON SUN
FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2012 05:07 PM MDT

City dog breed restrictions could be pooched in the near future.

A city committee is set to hear the pros and cons of whether or not changes should be made to current animal control bylaws. [...]

As it stands only two breeds are restricted under city laws — the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier. [...]

Full article retrieved 3/18/12 from http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/03/16/change-dog-breed-restrictions-city-report

All alerts for Edmonton: http://stopbsl.com/?s=edmonton

Maple Ridge, BC, Canada: BSL proposed

UPDATE:

Maple Wood is moving forward with legislation that would hold owners of pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers, or crosses of any of the breeds to higher regsitration and ownership standards.

While this is not a ban, the need to continue sending POLITE, RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE correspondence to Maple Wood officials is still at hand.

Contact info for Maple Ridge:
Mayor and Council, District of Maple Ridge, 11995 Haney Place, Maple Ridge, B.C. V2X 6A9
Tel: 604-463-5221
Fax: 604-467-7329
mayorandcouncil@mapleridge.ca
Council meeting dates and agendas: http://www.mapleridge.ca/EN/main/municipal/council/council_meetings.html
To speak at the next council meeting, read the info on this page: http://www.mapleridge.ca/EN/main/municipal/council/contact_council.html

______________________________________________________________

MEETING REMINDER:

Today a City Council Workshop focusing on proposed breed specific legislation will take place at City Hall in the Blaney Room, 9:00 a.m.

_______________________________________________________

UPDATE:

Owners protest breed-specific bylaw in Maple Ridge

By Robert Mangelsdorf – Maple Ridge News
Published: October 03, 2012 5:00 AM

More than 50 pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Dachshunds and even Shih Tzus took to the streets of downtown Maple Ridge with their owners Sunday afternoon to protest a proposed bylaw that would single out certain breeds as aggressive.

Two months ago, District of Maple Ridge staff recommended a bylaw that would single out pit bull breeds, such as Staffordshire terriers and American pit bull terriers, as “aggressive” and charge their owners a $200 licensing fee annually, four times that of other breeds. Pit bulls would also be required to be muzzled when off the owner’s property and would also be subject to higher impound fees.

[...]

Bylaws director Liz Holitzki said singling out pit bulls is designed to encourage responsible pet ownership. While both the district and SPCA receive complaints about problem dogs of all breeds, there is significant public concern about pit bulls, in particular.

[...]The bylaw comes back before Maple Ridge council for discussion at a workshop meeting on Oct. 15, and Munz hopes councillors will have a change of heart and steer clear of any breed-specific language.

http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/172370101.html

______________________________________________

Proposed Maple Ridge bylaw to single out pit bulls

By Robert Mangelsdorf – Maple Ridge News

Published: July 17, 2012 4:00 PM

District of Maple Ridge staff are recommending a new dog bylaw that singles out pit bulls as “aggressive” and would charge their owners a licensing fee four times that of other breeds.

The fee would apply to pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers, or a cross of any of the breeds.

Pit bull owners would be required to pay a $200 “aggressive dog” licensing fee annually, and require their dog to be muzzled when off the owner’s property. Pit bulls would also be subject to higher impound fees. [...]

Full article retrieved 7/17/12 from http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/162800096.html

Please send your RESPECTFUL correspondence to city council in opposition to a breed-specific bylaw. Please also include viable breed-neutral alternatives.

Contact info for Maple Ridge:
Mayor and Council, District of Maple Ridge, 11995 Haney Place, Maple Ridge, B.C. V2X 6A9
Tel: 604-463-5221
Fax: 604-467-7329
mayorandcouncil@mapleridge.ca
Council meeting dates and agendas: http://www.mapleridge.ca/EN/main/municipal/council/council_meetings.html
To speak at the next council meeting, read the info on this page: http://www.mapleridge.ca/EN/main/municipal/council/contact_council.html

Maple Ridge, BC, Canada: BSL proposed

MEETING REMINDER:

Today a City Council Workshop focusing on proposed breed specific legislation will take place at City Hall in the Blaney Room, 9:00 a.m.

UPDATE:

Owners protest breed-specific bylaw in Maple Ridge

By Robert Mangelsdorf – Maple Ridge News
Published: October 03, 2012 5:00 AM

More than 50 pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Dachshunds and even Shih Tzus took to the streets of downtown Maple Ridge with their owners Sunday afternoon to protest a proposed bylaw that would single out certain breeds as aggressive.

Two months ago, District of Maple Ridge staff recommended a bylaw that would single out pit bull breeds, such as Staffordshire terriers and American pit bull terriers, as “aggressive” and charge their owners a $200 licensing fee annually, four times that of other breeds. Pit bulls would also be required to be muzzled when off the owner’s property and would also be subject to higher impound fees.

[...]

Bylaws director Liz Holitzki said singling out pit bulls is designed to encourage responsible pet ownership. While both the district and SPCA receive complaints about problem dogs of all breeds, there is significant public concern about pit bulls, in particular.

[...]The bylaw comes back before Maple Ridge council for discussion at a workshop meeting on Oct. 15, and Munz hopes councillors will have a change of heart and steer clear of any breed-specific language.

http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/172370101.html

______________________________________________

Proposed Maple Ridge bylaw to single out pit bulls

By Robert Mangelsdorf – Maple Ridge News

Published: July 17, 2012 4:00 PM

District of Maple Ridge staff are recommending a new dog bylaw that singles out pit bulls as “aggressive” and would charge their owners a licensing fee four times that of other breeds.

The fee would apply to pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers, or a cross of any of the breeds.

Pit bull owners would be required to pay a $200 “aggressive dog” licensing fee annually, and require their dog to be muzzled when off the owner’s property. Pit bulls would also be subject to higher impound fees. [...]

Full article retrieved 7/17/12 from http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/162800096.html

Please send your RESPECTFUL correspondence to city council in opposition to a breed-specific bylaw. Please also include viable breed-neutral alternatives.

Contact info for Maple Ridge:
Mayor and Council, District of Maple Ridge, 11995 Haney Place, Maple Ridge, B.C. V2X 6A9
Tel: 604-463-5221
Fax: 604-467-7329
mayorandcouncil@mapleridge.ca
Council meeting dates and agendas: http://www.mapleridge.ca/EN/main/municipal/council/council_meetings.html
To speak at the next council meeting, read the info on this page: http://www.mapleridge.ca/EN/main/municipal/council/contact_council.html

Maple Ridge, BC, Canada: BSL proposed

UPDATE:

Owners protest breed-specific bylaw in Maple Ridge

By Robert Mangelsdorf – Maple Ridge News
Published: October 03, 2012 5:00 AM

More than 50 pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Dachshunds and even Shih Tzus took to the streets of downtown Maple Ridge with their owners Sunday afternoon to protest a proposed bylaw that would single out certain breeds as aggressive.

Two months ago, District of Maple Ridge staff recommended a bylaw that would single out pit bull breeds, such as Staffordshire terriers and American pit bull terriers, as “aggressive” and charge their owners a $200 licensing fee annually, four times that of other breeds. Pit bulls would also be required to be muzzled when off the owner’s property and would also be subject to higher impound fees.

[...]

Bylaws director Liz Holitzki said singling out pit bulls is designed to encourage responsible pet ownership. While both the district and SPCA receive complaints about problem dogs of all breeds, there is significant public concern about pit bulls, in particular.

[...]The bylaw comes back before Maple Ridge council for discussion at a workshop meeting on Oct. 15, and Munz hopes councillors will have a change of heart and steer clear of any breed-specific language.

http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/172370101.html

______________________________________________

Proposed Maple Ridge bylaw to single out pit bulls

By Robert Mangelsdorf – Maple Ridge News

Published: July 17, 2012 4:00 PM

District of Maple Ridge staff are recommending a new dog bylaw that singles out pit bulls as “aggressive” and would charge their owners a licensing fee four times that of other breeds.

The fee would apply to pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers, or a cross of any of the breeds.

Pit bull owners would be required to pay a $200 “aggressive dog” licensing fee annually, and require their dog to be muzzled when off the owner’s property. Pit bulls would also be subject to higher impound fees. [...]

Full article retrieved 7/17/12 from http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/162800096.html

Please send your RESPECTFUL correspondence to city council in opposition to a breed-specific bylaw. Please also include viable breed-neutral alternatives.

Contact info for Maple Ridge:
Mayor and Council, District of Maple Ridge, 11995 Haney Place, Maple Ridge, B.C. V2X 6A9
Tel: 604-463-5221
Fax: 604-467-7329
mayorandcouncil@mapleridge.ca
Council meeting dates and agendas: http://www.mapleridge.ca/EN/main/municipal/council/council_meetings.html
To speak at the next council meeting, read the info on this page: http://www.mapleridge.ca/EN/main/municipal/council/contact_council.html