Murray Gaudreau, NDP candidate for Chatham-Kent-Essex, has kindly responded to our Ontario Votes survey. Here are his answers to our questions.
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.
The current legislation was a knee-jerk reaction to problem of irresponsible ownership and in some cases criminal activity. It made the animal guilty not owner.
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.
I know that there are young pit-bulls in this community owned by members of our community who don't respect any law. There have been cases where other types of dogs have bitten people so no it hasn't been effective.
3. Would you be willing, if elected, to WORK TO RESCIND ONTARIO'S AMENDED DOG OWNERS\' LIABILITY ACT (2005) and REPLACE IT 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?
I'm not familiar with the legislation however I would agree based on the above outline.
4. HOW IMPORTANT to you is the issue of AMENDING ONTARIO'S ANIMAL CRUELTY LEGISLATION, the Ontario SPCA Act, using a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is 'not at all important' and 10 is 'extremely important')?
5. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU\'D LIKE TO ADD?
I'm a dog owner and I feel that like most pet owners, I'm responsible and take excellent care of him.
The penalties for animal abuse need to strengthened immediately.
Thank you very much for your thoughtful response, Murray and good luck on October 10!