Thursday, March 10, 2011

Discriminating dog "breed" ban found unconstitutional in Oklahoma!

A two dew claws up for the Supreme Court in Oklahoma, for finding the ill conceived dog "breed" rather look/type or even name specific law unconstitutional. 

The dispute centered on a now defunct Midwest City ordinance that banned dogs with "pit" or "bull" in their names as a danger to the community. 
Think about that for a moment.. Equal to saying that any person with the last name with the word "son" in it, is deemed a dangerous person. WTH? That is an interesting way of describing it. 

Jerry Stuckley, who challenged the law owns a Bull Terrier.

To read more about it click here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dalton McGuinty sits at 16% popularity and ranks last in spending report card

This comes as no surprise. According to the Fraser Institute Dalton McGinty ranks dead last rather worst in Canada on a spending report card. 10 Premiers were ranked from across the country and evaluated on Government spending, taxes and debt/deficits. The rating system is a score of 1 to 10 with 10 being very poor and 1 being excellent. The best ranked Premier was Gordon Campbell from BC. 
Here is a link to the report.

Dalton McGuinty, Ontario

Period evaluated: 2004/05-2009/10

Overall rank: 10  
Government Spending: 7 
Taxes: 7 
Debt and Deficits: 9

Dalton McGuinty demonstrated a spendthrift approach to managing provincial finances. Average program spending growth (7.7%) was over three times 
greater than the average rate of economic growth (2.4%) and significantly greater than average population-and inflation growth (2.8%).

He broke a 2003 election campaign promise not to raise taxes. Shortly after entering office, he increased personal income taxes through introduction 
of the Ontario Health Premium, cancelled the planned elimination of the personal income surtax, and increased business taxes by raising the general corporate income tax rate from 12.5% to 14.0%. Fortunately, he realized the destructive impact of those tax policies and reversed his position on tax policy in his 2009 budget. A key budget announcement was a phased-in reduction to 
the corporate income tax rate from 14% in 2009 to 10% by 2013.

McGuinty resorted not only to tax hikes, but also budget deficits to finance large increases in government spending. This inevitably resulted in increased 
government debt. During his tenure, McGuinty ran an average budget deficit of 0.8% of GDP and increased Ontario’s net debt from 28.2% of GDP in 2003/04 to 34.1% in 2009/10.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Open letter to Winnipeg City Council

I originally sent this letter to Councilor Gord Steeves who was quoted in several news articles in the past week. 

Winnipeg is considering lifting the shape specific dog ban that has been in place since 1996. Mr. Steeves acknowledged receiving my letter without further comment. I truly hope all the councilors do the right thing.

Dear Mayor of Winnipeg and Winnipeg City Council;
I am writing to you regarding news articles I've read in the past couple days concerning the possibility of lifting the dog ban in Winnipeg.

First, I would like to say I want to give you the benefit of the doubt that you have been exposed to some facts. 
There is plenty of information debunking the age old myths surrounding support for breed bans. I am not going to waste my time or yours going into a long winded tirade.
The facts support that;
1. "pitbulls" do not exist. It is a slang term for a generic shape of dog. 
2. The purebreds American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Pit Bull Terrier are extremely rare in Canada. There are breed registry numbers to support this. There are less than 1000 dogs all three breeds combined in Ontario.
3. Breed bans do nothing to prevent dog attacks. This has been proven countless times which has resulted in repealing of breed bans in many countries, cities and jurisdictions globally.
Propaganda is the only support for breed bans. Dangerous dogs exist in all breeds and cross breeds of dogs. It is not a breed or dog issue it is an owner issue.
Calgary has had much success for 20+ years with its Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw. It targets irresponsible owners, has a 95% plus compliance of dog licensing and state of the art facility that hosts the Pound, Humane Society and Animal Control working simultaneously to protect the community. They reward responsible pet ownership and deal with those who are not. The program is revenue neutral and the best part is the citizens of Calgary are onside and support the bylaw because it allows pet owners and non pet owners to live peacefully. 
We have been living a nightmare of the dog ban here in Ontario for the past 6 yrs. Family pets have been taken from good homes based on how their dog looks. Innocent people have been stripped of their family pet and life savings trying to save their dog's life. The heartache is vast and the results are grim.
People continue to be bitten and sometimes severely injured by all breeds of dogs. Breed bans have nothing to do with behavior and everything to do with how a dog looks. Breed bans are a draconian, barbaric legislation that target innocent people and innocent dogs. Real criminals don't care one bit about whether they are breaking the law much less what breed they own. 
Are there dangerous dogs and irresponsible owners? Yes of course there are and there are ways to deal with owners who pose a threat to the community. Trying to define a cross bred dog or target 3 very rare breeds does nothing to deal with that threat. 95% of all dog bites occur at home with the family pet or an adjacent property. Most bites happen because of lack of training and socialization of the family pet.
Encouraging people to train/contain and socialize their dog goes a long way. Providing an environment that encourages people to be responsible works wonders.
It is possible you just haven't been exposed to the facts but somehow I doubt that. The facts are as easy to find as the myths. Do the right thing. Using common sense and fair and equal treatment under the law gets you many more brownie points as a politician than following the propaganda. Do the right thing for Winnipeg and invite Bill Bruce from Calgary to speak to your council. He speaks globally about the Calgary model and how to implement it in your city. 
Thanks for your consideration,