Monday, May 10, 2010

Cheri DiNovo re-introduces a private members bill to repeal the ban

Big high five to Cheri DiNovo for re-introducing a private members bill to repeal the breed specific or breed discrimination amendment to DOLA (Dog Owner's Liability Act). The Act itself needs to remain intact. It has been on the law books since the late 1800's; therefore it will stay on the books to be used against irresponsible owners of any breed of dog. The problem with DOLA is that it was rarely used prior to the ban being placed as an amendment. Miraculously after the ban was put in place, many municipalities were activated to enforce launch a witch hunt looking for "pitbulls". "Pitbulls" don't actually exist, it is a slang term for a type of short haired mutt, and the purebreds are so rare (less than 1000 all three breeds combined in Ontario). 

In an excerpt from Hansard during a debate at Queen’s Park:
MPP Peter Kormos made a statement regarding municipal participation during one of the many House debates over the legislation.  This is an excerpt from Hansard:

"That provoked me to put questions to ministry staff about exactly what the Bill does: "Does the bill require municipalities to participate in this ill-conceived so-called pit bull ban?" "No; it merely enables them." Oh, I get it: "These are the tools in the toolbox."

While out trolling for "pitbulls" thousands of innocent short haired mutts have  been ripped from loving homes and killed simply because the McGuinty Liberals legislated it legal to use warrantless entry, warrantless seizure of any dog deemed a "pitbull" by the authorities, reverse onus (up to the owner to prove it isn't a "pitbull" which is impossible because it is a slang term and unprovable), and restrictions on mobility. 

Today, NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo has made another important step to ending this insanity and introduced Bill 60 to repeal breed discrimination in Ontario. 

Her last private members bill was squashed since McGuinty prorogued the House early this year. When Cheri DiNovo introduced her last Bill (222) it passed first reading and was met with applause from Liberal MPP's who were in attendance! McGuinty was "off" that day... It speaks loudly that Liberal MPP's applauded in agreement with a private members bill to squash the law that McGuinty clutches so tightly his knuckles have turned white. 

I will never figure out for the life of me why McGuinty choose to ignore 86 presentations out of 102 at committee hearings all speaking out against the ban. Of the 86 presentations that were from around the world; most were experts in their field. Of the 16 that spoke in favor of the ban, most were victims of dog attacks. Victims are justifiably traumatized and sometimes willing to stand behind any law that looks as though it may rectify the same thing happening to anyone else. Yet McGuinty maintains to this day, and stands before the citizens of Ontario and justifies his decision claiming they listened to the experts. Either his ears are blocked or his blocky head has a few screws loose. Hmm blocky head, short hair.. maybe he's a "pitbull"? 

Here is an article that was in the Sun today called NDP barking at pit bull law.

Ontario MPP Cheri DiNovo is offering a very faint hope clause for the province’s banned pit bulls.
The NDP MPP introduced a bill Monday that would overturn the portion of the Ontario Liberal government’s dog legislation that targets the breed.
While the bill won’t come up for second reading until next year and private member’s bills rarely get passed, DiNovo said the pressure is building in the province to follow the path of other jurisdictions that have eliminated breed specific bans.
“The Facebook site out there – the last time I checked there were 85,000 hits ... so there’s huge support,” DiNovo said. “ Of all the issues that we’ve dealt with this term, I’ve had more e-mails and so has every other MPP on this issue than any other.”
The government hasn’t show any interest to date in amending its legislation, DiNovo said.
But both opposition parties, the New Democrats and the Conservatives, are solidly opposed to the pit bull ban which means that the law could fall with anything other than a Liberal majority government in October 2011, she said.
“It’s the breed specific aspect – it’s not the entire legislation,” she said. “There’s nobody saying that we shouldn’t have dangerous dog legislation and that owners shouldn’t be liable.”
DiNovo said the Ontario experience has shown that the ban has made no difference to public safety but has resulted in the euthanizing of many healthy dogs.
Ontario outlawed pit bulls, while grand fathering existing dogs provided they were muzzled in public and neutered, following several high profile attacks.
The dogs’ many fans have argued that bad owners are to blame for such incidents, but then Attorney General Michael Bryant said when introducing the ban in 2004 that the canines are “ticking time bombs” and “inherently dangerous animals.”

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