CANDIDATE: CHRIS BENTLEY (LIB), LONDON WEST

 

The Bentley Family with their Springer Spaniel

 

 

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your questions on this important topic.

 

On April 29, 1998, Courtney Trempe died when she was bitten on the neck by a bullmastiff while playing at a friend’s house in Stouffville.  Ontario’s Coroner held an inquest and the jury made 35 recommendations, in particular, that the reliance on municipal bylaws was inadequate to safeguard the public from dangerous dogs.

 

On October 26, 2003, an 11-year-old girl suffered serious injuries after she was attacked by two of her grandmother’s Dogue de Bordeaux dogs in Uxbridge.  The girl had over 150 puncture wounds, extensive nerve damage, and her leg had been chewed to the bone. 

 

On August 28, 2004, a 25-year-old Toronto man was seriously injured after he was mauled by pit bulls he was walking for a friend.  The man was rescued by the police, who shot the dogs.

 

These incidents, and others like them, convinced us that provincial action was necessary to protect the public from dangerous pit bulls.

 

The Public Safety Related to Dogs Statute Law Amendment Act (formerly Bill 132) is now law and the government has implemented the legislation. That legislation bans pit bulls and toughens penalties for the owners of any dog that poses a danger to the public.

 

We are committed to building safe, strong communities and to protecting Ontarians. We passed this legislation to respond to the concerns of Ontarians about their personal safety, and we stand behind this law. We heard loud and clear that Ontarians want to be protected from pit bulls. We have established strict regulations for existing pit bulls, making owners more responsible and helping make Ontario communities safer.

 

Not only did we protect Ontarians from vicious pit bulls, but we also protected them from irresponsible owners of any dangerous dogs. The legislation that we passed also increase fines up to a maximum of $10,000 and allow jail sentences up to six months for owners whose dogs are involved in an attack ($60,000 fines for corporations were also passed).

 

We believe this law will help protect not only Ontarians, but also many Ontario dogs that might otherwise themselves become the victims of pit bull attacks. We have set high standards for responsible dog ownership in the province of Ontario, and we are proud of our record.

 

Per your request, I have included a photo of my family and I with our dog, Clover.  I have attached the answers to your questions below.  Thank you again for the opportunity to respond.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Chris Bentley

Liberal Candidate – London West

 

 

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.

 

Yes, we would, but only in respect of pit bulls. We have no plans to expand the Dog Owner’s Liability Act to ban other dangerous breeds.

 

Vigorous regulation of irresponsible owners is an important part of protecting the public from dog bites. That is why the legislation that we passed increases fines up to a maximum of $10,000 and allows jail sentences up to six months for owners whose dogs are involved in an attack.

 

However, incidents like those described above pose an unacceptable level of risk to Ontarians. We heard loud and clear that Ontarians want to be protected from the menace of pit bulls.We passed a ban on pit bulls to respond to the concerns of Ontarians about their personal safety, and we proudly stand behind that law.

 

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.

 

Our legislation bans pit bulls and toughens penalties for the owners of any dog that poses a danger to the public.  It also requires that pit bulls be muzzled in public. These measures protect the public from bites from these dangerous dogs.

 

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?  Please briefly explain your response.

  

No. We passed a ban on pit bulls to respond to the concerns of Ontarians about their personal safety, and we proudly stand behind that law.

 

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')?

 

Very important. That is why the McGuinty government increased annual funding for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA) to $500,000 annually to support inspector and agent training and provided $100,000 in one-time funding for Ontario SPCA agents to work with the Ministry of Natural Resources to implement an interim zoo inspection plan.

A future Liberal government will modernize the Ontario Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals Act to regulate premises such as roadside zoos, make cruelty to animals a provincial offence and ensure there are serious consequences for people who abuse animals.

 

*

 

OK, I'm really trying to be professional and objective and everything when posting these surveys but I can't hold back any longer.

 

These people are just plain crazy.  There, I said it and I'm glad.

 

I might get around to commenting on this later, after my anti-sarcasm medication takes effect.

 

I'm sure your comments will be more entertaining and incisive than mine, so let 'er rip, Dick!

 

12 Comments

  1. Okay, just so I'm clear, a Bullmastiff and a Dogue de Bordeaux are involved in attacks, and this is used as fodder for banning “Pit Bulls?” I knew they were vague on their breeds, but this is ridiculous!
    As a professional dog trainer and owner of three Bullmastiffs, I'm very afraid. If I were more artistically inclined, I'd whip up a lovely poster of the two Michaels — Vick and Bryant — asking “Separated at Birth?” I mean, Vick killed what, 4, maybe 6 dogs that were completely innocent and had never attacked anybody? How many thousands did Bryant kill? Oh right, he just passed a law to get others to do his dirty work for him.
    Bryant is the snake in my riding, and it pains me to think we won't be able to oust him. I've been giving serious consideration to having sea-rescue orange bumper stickers made up with the words “Kills Puppies” on it, and slapping them on every Michael Bryant sign in the neighbourhood.
    The whole thing makes me sick. Thank you so much, DLCC, for all the work you're doing on behalf of innocent dogs and responsible owners here in Ontario and everywhere else. Keep up the fight!

  2. Another Liberal who did no research and didn't even read the debates on these dogs or else he would have “got it” that the problem is NOT one TYPE of dog. It is TYPES OF OWNERS. It was so easy to PICK on a dog that couldn't defend itself instead of bad owners. My question is WHAT have they done since? Where are the dog fighting laws and animal cruelty laws that would protect these dogs from bad owners? WHERE is it that IF you have been convicted of animal cruelty YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO OWN MORE ANIMALS? Kill the dogs rather than deal with the real issues of dangerous animals. Man I hope this guy gets voted OUT.

  3. This explains a lot. The Fibs don't know a thing about dogs, dog owners or the evil they have wrought.
    What's with the Springer people, by the way?
    I don't know if they are trying to tease and annoy or if they really believe this contradictory stuff they spew. All I know is that people have been bitten by 'pit bulls', killed by other types, mauled by other types since this law was enacted and their safety seems to mean sweet f**k all to the fascist Fiberals.

  4. SHAME ON YOU CHRIS BENTLEY!!!
    How dare you even bring up Donna Trempe and her daughter Courtney. Donna spoke very eloquently (which was heartwrenching for her) at the committee hearings. She proposed Courtney's law and yes there were 35 recommendations from the inquest into her death. NONE OF WHICH WERE IMPLEMENTED BY THE McGUINTY LIBERALS!!!!!
    What the hell? Do you think Bull Mastiff, Dogge de Bordeaux are “pit bulls”? You speak of these incidents and then say you saw fit in the face of public safety you banned a ficticious breed and 3 purebred breeds (OF WHICH THERE ARE LESS THAN 1000 OF ALL THREE BREEDS COMBINED IN THE PROVINCE)!
    If your government has NO plans to add breeds, why are you brining up Mastiff breeds???
    WHY HAVE THERE BEEN TWO MORE PEOPLE KILLED IN THIS PROVINCE, BY DOGS SINCE YOUR F**KING BAN HAS BEEN PUT IN PLACE?? THAT IS UP FROM THE NATIONAL AVERAGE! HOW SAFE IS THAT???
    While you were busy targeting a shape of dog and stripping the rights of responsible dog owners in this province, irresponsible owners of ALL breeds were going about business as usual!
    I hope the families of these victims sue your government for disregarding logic and IRRESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT!
    Your government has proven itself incompetent and I hope you all get the BOOT next wed! YOU HAD YOUR CHANCE TO MAKE IT RIGHT! YOU DIDN'T AND STILL CONTINUE TO STAND BEHIND YOUR PIECE OF CRAP LEGISLATION! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!!!

  5. Wow, it's amazing how over and over again the Liberals refuse to listen to the experts or do ANY RESEARCH! Notice also that public education about safety around dogs and responsible dog ownership is missing completely from the Liberals non solution to dog bite prevention.
    Education, and holding dog owners responsible REGARDLESS OF BREED is the way to prevent dog bites. After working with dogs for twelve years the worst bites I've seen have been from Boston Terrier, German Shepherd, Collie, Golden Retriever and Lhasa Apso. None of which would be included in the Pit bull designation. I've worked with lots of “Pit Bulls” and never been bitten by one. Bites aren't breed specific – they are owner specific.

  6. Oh, by the way – ever heard of spaniel rage? A genetic neurological disease in spaniels that causes some of them to unpredictably snap? Hmmm. Interesting breed choice on your part….

  7. Yes, that's why under the photo is a link to the syndrome. Mean, you bet.
    The Fibs fight dirty, so should we.
    btw You have named two of the lead biters in Canada in your comment, according to CHIRPP. And yes, one of them is the Golden.

  8. Leaving aside that there's no such thing as a “dangerous breed”, it sure doesn't look like they actually are trying to protect people when they say “We have no plans to expand the Dog Owner’s Liability Act to ban other dangerous breeds.” So just the one “dangerous breed”? I.e. You have “identified” other “dangers” to the general public, and yet aren't going to do anything about it?
    I'm certainly not recommending that they ban others (Rottie owner here) but if they aren't consistent, how can ANYONE (even the people whose fears they are apparently trying to assuage) think they are doing ANYTHING right?

  9. So….let me get this straight in my mind because I don't think like a Fiberal. You have 3 incidents involving bite attacks, 2 are by recognized breeds and 1 is from a non existent breed. (you are aware that “pit bulls” don't exist aren't you?) The then solution to public saftey is to ban the non existent breed. Am I correct? Perhaps someday you can be president of your own planet because I sure hope you get voted off ours! By the way, springer rage is not one of those urban myths that surround those “pit bulls”.

  10. Hold me because I am going to throw up. What an AHole to talk about Courtney Trempe like she is toilet paper (recycled). An English springer spaniel almost took my left arm off when I was five years old. I was bitten from shoulder to wrist. I am livid..livid right now. It took me the greater part of my life to get over that incident. He was told not to bend an inch with the dog thing. This man is the biggest loser I have ever come across. Our lives have been made into a mockery. This is PURE EVIL.

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