1. If the amended Dog Owners' Liability Act (2005) came up today for a free rather than a whipped vote as happened in 2005, would you vote in favour of banning breeds as an effective way to protect people from dog bites? Please explain.
No, I would not vote in favour of banning breeds. I do not feel this is responsible legislation and I was pleased that the NDP actively opposed this legislation when it was originally proposed.
2. Please tell our readers why you think the 'pit bull' ban enacted by the McGuinty government has or has not been successful in protecting the public from dog bites.
Dogs of all breeds can bite if they are mistreated, threatened or under hostile circumstances. This legislation was simply a public relations exercise developed under the pressure of media sensationalism. The better way to protect the public is by dealing with cruel and negligent dog owners, not by targeting specific breeds.
3. Would you be willing, if elected, to work to rescind the breed-specific regulations in Ontario's amended Dog Owners' Liability Act (2005) and replace them with an existing, easily implemented Canadian system that has been effective in the control of negligent pet owners, that is supported by all responsible pet owners and that once established is fully funded by dog and cat owners rather than through general revenue taxation? Please briefly explain your response.
Yes. While I would not consider this an urgent priority, it is certainly something that I would be willing to support, provided it is self-funding and not onerously unfair to pet owners.
4. Is there anything you'd like to add?
I love animals and want to strengthen laws and especially their enforcement to protect domestic animals and pets from cruelty, abuse and neglect. My pet is an important part of our family and I am confident she is an NDP supporter. However, since animals can't vote, it's important for humans to show courage, compassion and leadership to stand up for animals.
I trust this fully answers your questions, but if you require any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch again.
London West provincial NDP candidate
Good Luck on October 6th!
Dog Legislation Council of Canada