In a trade deal last week, Mark Buehrle was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays. Several months back Mark and Jamie spoke out in Miami against the draconian ban on "pit bulls" there. Who knew at that time they would be facing a move to Ontario.
In Miami, the ban covers the area of the city of Miami-Dade. The Buehrle's were able to live outside the city limits and live safely with all their family members. Not so easy in Toronto since the ban is province wide. The Ontario ban is the largest geographic ban in the world. Safe living arrangements would need to be either in Quebec or New York state. That would make for a hell of a commute!
Not that we needed another example of the ridiculousness of banning certain breeds, shapes or appearances of dogs, (the horn of plenty is overflowing with examples) but this is another prime example of the irrational thinking behind such narrow minded laws.
Slater, the Buehrle's "pit bull" is in training to become a certified therapy dog. Not even that will make Slater welcome in Ontario. Many certified therapy dogs were forced to give up their important jobs when the ban took effect in 2005. The Bill(s) that have made their way through the legislature in Ontario have been given the name "Hersey's Bill", named after a rescued "pit bull" named Hershey, forced to give up her job because of her appearance.
We are hoping we get the ban repealed in time for Slater and other dogs with a similar plight, to be welcomed back into the province.
When McGuinty stepped down as Premier of Ontario, he also prorogued the legislature. We had a third version of Hershey's Bill ready to be called for 3rd reading and final vote! When the House was closed down, all Bills died on the floor and ours was one of them. That was our 3rd private members Bill. What made this one special was it was tri party supported. It was brought forward by PC MPP Randy Hillier and co-signed by NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo and Liberal MPP Kim Craitor. Three Liberals voted in favour of the Bill at second reading. We had more than enough support to allow passage into law, but was all for naught with the prorogation of parliament.
If it is any consultation, we the dog owners and sports fans of Ontario, welcome you with open arms Mark, Jamie and the rest of your family, INCLUDING Slater! We support you and continue in our fight for our right to be judged on behaviour not appearance. Fair and equal treatment under the law is our aim and we will not rest until we have established this.
Hopefully our fair Province of Ontario will have common sense restored sooner than later...