I agree with Mr. Klees that the OSPCA must not be allowed to investigate themselves and must be held accountable. With public donations a huge portion of the OSPCA income, the public must be made aware of where their donation dollars are being used.
June 1, 2010 (Queen’s Park) Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees tabled the following resolution in the Ontario Legislature that if adopted, will bring the OSPCA under provincial oversight.
“That, in the opinion of this House, the Ontario Legislature call on the Government of Ontario to review the powers and authority granted to the OSPCA under the OSPCA Act and to make the necessary legislative changes to bring those powers under the authority of the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to ensure that there is a clearly defined and effective provincial oversight of all animal shelter services in the province, and to separate the inspection and enforcement powers of the OSPCA from its functions as a charity providing animal shelter services.”
In addition to ensuring provincial oversight, the resolution also calls for the separation of the inspection and enforcement powers of the OSPCA from its functions as a charity providing animal shelter services.
"This resolution calls on the government to make the necessary legislative reforms to enact effective provincial oversight over the OSPCA and to make clear the separation of the inspection and enforcement powers of the OSPCA from its function as an animal shelter charity," said Klees.
Klees has also launched a “Petition for Provincial Oversight of the OSPCA”that can be found on his website.
McGuinty Gov’t Refuses MPP’s Call to Control OSPCA Investigation
May 17, 2010 (Queen’s Park) Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees today called on the government to take control of the investigation into the OSPCA's decision to euthanize the entire population of animals at its York Region shelter.
Dwight Duncan, the Acting Premier and MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh, refused, insisting the government has confidence in the OSPCA, and will allow the organization to oversee its own investigation.
"The Board admitted that the OSPCA staff and its so-called experts made serious mistakes that resulted in the unnecessary killing of a third of its shelter population before admitting that its euthanasia plan was unnecessary and wrong," said Klees. "Now the board is insisting that they should control the investigation into their own mismanagement. That's unacceptable and will only further erode public confidence in the organization.”
Klees wants the Minister of Public Safety to "take control of the file”, to appoint the investigator who will report back to the Minister, and to have that report tabled with the Legislature.
"Confidence can only be restored when the public is convinced that a truly independent investigation has taken place, is told the truth about what happened in York Region, and is assured that the necessary oversight is in place to ensure this can never happen again.”
ONTARIO HANSARD MAY 17, 2010
Mr. Frank Klees: To the Acting Premier: The events of this week have undermined the public’s confidence in the OSPCA. That confidence will only be restored if the public is convinced that a truly independent investigation has taken place, is told the truth about what happened in York region, and is assured that the necessary oversight is in place to ensure that it can never happen again. That public confidence will not be restored if the OSPCA is allowed to commission and oversee its own investigation.
I’m asking the Acting Premier: Will he agree with me that the only way to restore that public confidence is for the Minister of Community Safety to appoint an independent investigator who will have that report back to him and to this Legislature—
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Acting Premier?
Hon. Dwight Duncan: The members of this House, and indeed all Ontarians, were deeply troubled by the circumstances last week. I believe that the government has followed the legislation carefully. The OSPCA, as I understand it, is commissioning a review of this matter with independent veterinarians and advisers. That process will yield, I suspect, recommendations with respect to how to move forward to avoid these sorts of circumstances again.
We will continue to monitor what’s happening. The independent investigation that’s going on, I believe, is appropriate in the circumstances, to help satisfy the concerns that have been expressed by so many Ontarians.
The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary?
Mr. Frank Klees: I fail to see why the government continues to let the OSPCA twist in the wind. The board admitted that that organization and its board made serious mistakes. Now the government is allowing that same board to appoint an investigator to investigate itself. This does nothing to restore public confidence.
I’m going to ask the minister one more time: Will he and his government do the right thing and take control of this file, appoint the independent investigator, require that that report comes back to the minister, not the board, and to this Legislature so that we can find out what went wrong, who was responsible and ensure this never happens again?
Hon. Dwight Duncan: I remind the member opposite that the OSPCA is an independent organization, as established by legislation that was approved by this House. There have been, over time, a number of changes to the act. Governments have recognized that animal welfare is best left to veterinarians and animal care experts.
I believe the OSPCA has taken the appropriate steps in this case, and that their findings will, hopefully, help avoid the very unfortunate circumstances that all of us witnessed last week and lead to a stronger system of protection of animals in Ontario going forward.
Download the petition here.