This was received by a reader who asked NDP Leader Howard Hampton for his stance on Ontario's dog breed ownership ban.
Thank you for your e-mail regarding the McGuinty government's Bill 132. NDP
Justice Critic, Peter Kormos, MPP fought for public hearings on this legislation to allow input from the public and animal welfare organizations with expertise in this area.
New Democrats listened and supported the experts who told the Committee that breed specific legislation would not make Ontario safer. Unfortunately, the McGuinty government refused to adopt any of the amendments we put forward.
I am enclosing a press release (see below) on this issue and a link to third reading Debate on Bill 132:
New Democrats voted against this flawed piece of legislation, and would work to re-draft dangerous dog legislation that focuses on dangerous dogs and is not breed-specific. I hope this is helpful.
Leader, Ontario New Democratic Party
Howard Hampton and the Ontario NDP – News Release
NDP AMENDMENTS GET TOUGH ON DOG ATTACKS
Feb 10, 2005
QUEEN'S PARK – NDP MPP Peter Kormos is introducing a series of amendments to toughen up Bill 132 and protect ordinary Ontarians from vicious dog attacks.
“New Democrats are deeply concerned about vicious dog attacks. We understand the pain and frustration experienced by dog attack victims and their families,” Kormos said.
“That's why we're introducing a series of amendments to Bill 132 that will
provide tough, effective, enforceable protection against vicious dog attacks
by all breeds.”
The NDP amendments would:
* Mandate dog owners to exercise reasonable precautions to prevent their dog from biting or attacking a person or another domestic animal;
* Open the door for stiff fines (up to $10,000 for individuals, $60,000 for
corporations) and prison sentences (up to six months) for irresponsible dog
owners whose pets bite or attack a person or another domestic animal;
* Order irresponsible dog owners to provide compensation and restitution to
dog attack victims when appropriate.
The amendments would also strike Bill 132's breed-specific provisions.
“Our dog protection plan will mean tough, enforceable legislation that
protects ordinary Ontarians from attacks by all breeds,” Kormos said.
Many experts and dog attack victims say the NDP's suggested changes are the kinds of changes that will provide the best protection. They include Atlanta's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Canada Safety Council, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Kennel Club and Donna Trempe, the Stouffville, Ont., mother whose eight-year-old daughter Courtney was killed in a 1998 vicious dog attack.