Doug Millroy: Another sorry chapter in this city’s history

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Councillors Sandra Hollingsworth and Lou Turco were absent on Feb. 20 when council voted 6-4 on an amendment presented by Councillors Steve Butland and Susan Myers to grandfather Spruce Haven Nature Park into its new Animal Care and Control bylaw, which would ban zoos from within the city.

They were back in their seats Monday night when council voted on a motion by Councillors Butland and Myers to reconsider the amending motion because it had been revealed a wolf had escaped from the zoo.

I expected the reconsideration motion to pass as with Butland and Myers changing their vote, the count would come out 6-4 the other way before the votes of Hollingsworth and Turco were taken into account.

On my scorecard I put down Hollingsworth as voting in favour of the reconsideration motion, thinking as a woman she would show more compassion for the animals at the zoo, although that wasn’t the case with Myers when she was part of the grandfathering motion. I put down Turco as  voting against.

I was dead wrong on Hollingsworth.

The Ward 2 councillor threw in her lot with five councillors from the West End wards, Turco from Ward 4, Marchy Bruni and Frank Fata from Ward 5 and Joe Krmpotich and Ozzie Grandinetti from Ward 6, who were more  concerned with protecting a constituent than were with the welfare of the animals.

Conversely, Ward 4 Coun. Rick Niro parted ways with his West End colleagues to vote along with those from the East End, Butland and Paul Christian from Ward 1, Myers from Ward 2 and Judy Hupponen and Matthew Shoemaker from Ward 3.

Hollingsworth may have swallowed the line presented by zoo operator Ken Marshall that the animals would not survive a move, especially Ben the bear who was 31 years old. But his move would have been only for a fairly short distance,to  the Aspen Wildlife Centre in Muskoka where, Hupponen says, Zoocheck has offered to pay to have a large enclosure built for him so he can have more room to move in senior years.

The confined space in which the animals at Spruce Haven live, where they can only pace back and forth or in circles, is the major complaint about the zoo.

Lorna Rudolph, a former lawyer who is a volunteer organizer with the Sault Association of Ratepayers, told council the Marshall family has a licence from the Ministry of Natural Resources to keep wild animals and City Solicitor Nuala Kenny agreed provincial law trumped city bylaws.

But it wasn’t made clear whether the licence from the MNR specifically allows for the operation of a zoo, or does it just allow the holders ot the licence to have wild animals in their care.

After all, when the Marshalls’ operation got under way, it took in a lot of rescue and/or injured animals.

Although it appears to be moot now, considering the last vote,  I believe, despite Spruce Haven holding a licence from the MNR to keep animals from the wild, that the city still has the right to ban zoos.

But it was obvious Monday night a definitive answer in this regard would have to be found elsewhere.

The new Animal Care and Control Bylaw will have to come back before council for final passage.

Maybe Mayor Christian Provenzano will vote this time around. So far he has declared a pecuniary interest and stepped aside because one of the parities is a former client.

I think the term “former” should take away any thought of conflict. Think about it. How long would a client have to be former to no longer cause a conflict, two years, five years, 10 years?

Come on. Declaring a conflict because one of the parties was a former client is a copout.

Anyway, one way or the other, the next vote should bring to an end another sorry chapter in this city’s history.

This battle between animal lovers and the operators of the zoo went well beyond the borders of this city, bringing the kind of unwanted attention that was received with the passage of the infamous language resolution, the statues at the Rhodes Centre that were removed because the mayor thought pubic hair was evident, and Algoma Public Health hiring a convicted criminal to handle its finances.

Pity

34 COMMENTS

  1. I, for one, am sick of the argument made by L. Rudolph as well as many others that the animals should be thankful that they were saved from death in order to live in their tiny cages at spruce haven. This is akin to living in a small jail cell for your entire life. Yet, you say that they are better off living this way? I am sure many people would Rather die than live like that.

  2. Had a nice steak for supper last night, my grandma tells me old Unkie Adolph would have been upset seein he only ate veggies. He was a from what my mom says he was a self righteous do as I say not as I do kinda guy. Loved telling others how right he was.

  3. Ms Rudolph brings several points to light in her post.

    Yes indeed Sprucehaven holds an OMNRF licence and has OSPCA approval. However, it was identified last year by wildlife Expert Dr Martyn Obbard that there were violations of several sections of the OSPCA act and also compliance of Condition 1 of the OMNRF Licence was not present.

    As Citizens of Sault Ste Marie, it is important that we bring attention to these shortfalls in our systems and laws that allow/overlook the abhorrent conditions these animals have been kept in for so many years, to continue.

    Also, apparently decisions were made by our Municipality in 1991, almost 30 years ago, that at the time may have been considered appropriate for that moment. Times and circumstances change. Moving forward, we need to look at the present situation, and demand any adjustments in our municipal laws that require updating or change.

    The scare tactics repeated by Ms Rudolph to keep these poor animals exactly where they are, are as old and tired as some of our Municipal bylaws. Saying that older animals will die, or that the Lions will have to be euthanized if required to move is just not true, and is typically one of the lines repeated by for-profit Zoos to hold onto their assets. Animals in much worse situations are rescued and moved successfully to sanctuaries that specialize in this very field.

    Also, no one is disputing that Sprucehaven has been of service in the past. However, if there is a better option for these animals to live out the rest of their lives, at no cost to them or our City, why is that offer automatically viewed upon with suspicion and fear? If these animals are indeed loved as much as they are claimed to be, would one not owe it to them to do some soul searching, and at least look into what is best for them?

  4. I’d also like to suggest to ALL OF YOU that think it is perfectly fine to keep a large wild animal captive for a lifetime in a 20 ft x 20 ft cage, to go spend the next 30 years of YOUR LIFE in isolation in a 20 ft x 20 ft cage, and we’ll throw your food in and tell you we love you and then you can come back to City Council and tell us how happy you are.

  5. A wise woman, Dr. Patricia Zehr, recently said something at an event on Woman’s Day in her address at the Bushplane Museum, that struck and stuck with me; “Ovaries do not guarantee compassion”, and sadly this was and is the case with Councillors Myers and Hollingsworth.

    The total lack of empathy and compassion for these wild animals languishing at Spruce Haven in deplorable, unfit cages, apparently does not exist for either of these women Councillors as it is also disturbingly absent within Councillors Fata, Butland, Krmpotich, Turco, Bruni and Grandinetti.

    • Ms Rudolf,
      I am very aware of the Section 14 of the Municipal Act. I am also aware that Provincial Statute is the higher law and council cannot pass by-laws that conflict with either Provincial or Federal jurisdiction. However, Bill 50 amendment to the OSPCA Act makes it clear that municipalities have jurisdiction, delegated to them by the province. The province itself has animal welfare jurisdiction by it’s long ‘occupation of the animal welfare field’ through present and past OSPCA Acts. Here’s the OSPCA Act provision: Conflict with municipal by-law: In the event of a conflict between a provision of this Act or of a regulation made under this Act and of a municipality pertaining to the welfare of or the prevention of cruelty to animals, the provision that affords the greater protection to animals shall prevail. This provision is a plain but implicit recognition in Ontario law, that the broad jurisdiction of municipalities to make by-laws re: animals includes policy goals respecting animal cruelty, welfare and protection. I have also contacted Kate McDonald, CEO of the OSPCA and she has confirmed to me in writing that the OSPCA Act does not address public safety. I’m not a lawyer Ms. Rudolf, so please correct me if I’m wrong on the above mentioned. The lions housed at the zoo are in non-compliance of the municipal by-law and have been over 20 years. The lions are not under any Provincial jurisdiction. The native species being held at the zoo are licensed under the MNR. However, I have brought this to the MNR’s attention that the zoo is not compliant with any of the regulations under their license. I think you have a copy of the license. What the city did in 1991 has no relevance here today. I can’t explain why past administrations did what they did, all I know is this is before this administration again and now, and I will
      do all I can to try to make sure these animals live out the remainder of their lives in more suitable accommodation and to be sure other roadside zoo will be allowed in our municipality. If the Marshall’s could prove that they are making improvements to the cages, that would be the most ideal situation. I know they love the animals, but they must try to understand that they need much more space than what they are presently living in. I have watched many wildlife programs and accept nature as it is. It is not natural to keep large carnivores in small cages.
      I have done my homework and have been in touch with veterinarians that have experience with moving older animals. If I believed the animals lives were at risk, I would not support such an endeavor.
      I will be meeting with the MNR in the near future to confirm that they are working with the Marshall’s to ensure they are abiding by the license. If I don’t get any satisfaction I will be taking the issue to a higher level.
      I did try to meet with the Marshall’s last June and they said they were not interested in meeting with me. That was very unfortunate.

  6. With all due respect to Councillor Hupponen, I would ask her to re-read her Municipal Councillor’s Guide, Section 14 of the Municipal Act and her code of conduct. The Guide provides council should not pass by-laws that conflict with legislation of the provincial or federal government; Municipal Act provides that a by-law that is in conflict with provincial or federal legislation is of no effect; this includes an act, a regulation, a licence or an approval by the provincial government. Her Code of Conduct provides that she is to support provincial and federal legislation in both letter and spirit. She seems to wants to use the animal power granted to the city under the Municipal Act to ignore the provincial legislation passed to protect the wildlife.
    The City saw fit in 1991 to declare by by-law that Spruce Haven was a zoo under the Municipal Act. In 1997 the City transferred some animals from the Bellevue Park Zoo to Spruce Haven when they could no longer care for them because the city zoo was closing. Spruce Haven has been licenced and inspected by the MNR under the Wildlife in Captivity regulation under teh Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act for 20 years.
    I wonder if Councillor Hupponen has ever watched a wild life program. If she had she might have learned that male lions kill young lions who are not part of their pride. The to elderly declawed female lions would not have lived for 19 years without Spruce Haven.
    If young bears are not raised by their mothers, male bears feel free to destroy them; that is why female bears do not live with the male bear for about two years after the birth of their cubs.Ben’s choice at 8 months old was to be shot by the police or go to Spruce Haven. I can’t believe he would prefer to be shot.
    I wonder if she has phoned a vet to ask if the animals she wants to move can at their age be safely tranquilized for transport.
    Of course it is more acceptable if animals can live their life in their own environment; however, if the choice is death or living in an enclosure approved and inspected by the MNR, where they are fed and housed, and yes loved, I think I vote for the latter.

    • Perhaps Lorna Rudolph you should educate yourself in the difference between a roadside zoo profiting off the backs of unfortunate wild life warehoused in them and accredited wild life sanctuaries that exist because of the torment and distress wild life endures in zoos. Here is an accredited sanctuary website https://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/ where you can see the huge difference of what an acre of habitat to roam in looks like compared to a 20′ x 20′ cage. And by the way, they don’t throw the animals in with the others already there, not unless and until they have comfortably established relationships with each other.

      What may have been loosely acceptable 30 years ago with regards to the welfare of captive wildlife while a blind eye was turned, is certainly NOT ACCEPTABLE TODAY.

      If any of the councillors had been paying attention to the experts that presented previously at Council, who addressed the fact that it is more often than not, elderly animals being moved by wild life professionals from road side zoos where those animals go on to thrive in accredited sanctuaries, despite the years of neglect and inadequate confinement in zoos, it was lost at the last council meeting. Councillors disregarded or appeared to completely forget this information while in discussion at this last Council meeting. They also appeared to forget that when Ken Marshall was asked at that February 20th council meeting what they would do if they should pass themselves before the animals, that he talked in circles without a clear plan, to ultimately state that they would consider a sanctuary. Yet at 75 and 77 years of age, with an offer to move and rehome the animals in accredited sanctuaries at NO COST TO THEM OR THE CITY, so they can have substantively better lives for whatever remaining time they have left, these animals the Marshalls claim they love, they hire you to fight it.

      Ken Marshall talked of their new plan of guided nature tours for visitors to show and describe native trees and insects. Yet no ‘Councillor thought to ask Ken Marshall why they needed to keep animals captive for that.

      When the question was asked what they would do if they could not keep the lions, Ken Marshall stated he would kill them, rather than release them to accredited sanctuaries. That sure is not love, or care in my books.

  7. Animal Lover… I think you need to some research to find out just what Aspen Valley Sanctuary is all about.
    First of all they are NON-PROFIT. They get no government funding and rely on donations to operate. They also have many volunteers. They do not keep all of the animals that are brought to them. In fact they release up to 87% of the animals they take in. One of their main goals is to get the animals rehabilitated so that they can enjoy living out their lives in the wild. The only ones who stay are those animals who cannot be rehabilitated and who would perish if released. So why on earth would Aspen Valley help out the Marshalls financially? They are trying to help animals held in these small, inadequate zoos, not encourage them!

    I agree with you when you say animals should not be kept in captivity. But if they are injured sometimes that is the only choice. You said in your first comment that Ben and the other wild animals would be financially benefiting Aspen Valley. No they will not. If anything, it will cost them, but they do it anyway in hopes of giving Ben a better life.

    They are wiling to build an enclosure at least an acre in size for Ben. Do you not think this is better than a 20×20 foot cage? Again, this will be paid for by donations. Ben has nothing to do, and nowhere to explore. Think about how he has been living his life for the past 30 years. If the Marshalls truly wanted to help Ben, they could have built him a much larger enclosure years ago.

    The Marshalls have dog kennels, a petting zoo and are planning on having nature hikes to help them financially. As for giving the Marshalls something to do every day, I would think that these things would give them plenty to fill their days with.

    In your own words you say the Marshalls rely on these animals for income. The time has come to put an end to zoos who make money on the backs of innocent animals. Sanctuaries on the other hand are all about saving wild animals and trying to make them well again.

    We now know that being in small spaces and forcing animals to do things that are not natural for them drives them crazy. Elephants in circuses, whales held in small pools for the entertainment of society, and all other wild animals that are used to make money for human entertainment will hopefully be someday banned.

    If you truly believe the Marshalls are owed recognition for their keeping of wildlife in substandard conditions,, there is nothing stopping you from donating your money to the Marshalls. Or you could take it up with City Hall. That’s what our councilors are there for . Right?

  8. Remember, the Aspen Wildlife Centre would be looking at adopting dead animals if it weren’t for the Marshalls. These Spruce Haven zoo animals are still living because of the Marshalls. The Marshalls are heroes in that regard.

    Spruce Haven zoo originally got these wild animals because they could not survive in the wild on their own. They would have died if left to their own devices. They would be dead now if it weren’t for the Spruce Haven zoo. Dead.

    Yes, these animals can have a life where they will continue to live and roam around in a different human controlled/monitored environment that isn’t wild if they are given to the Aspen Wildlife Centre in Muskoka, but their lives will still be non-wild, and somebody else will be benefiting financially from their captivity.

    One significant point for me is that the Marshall family’s life will be worse without these animals because they depend on these animals for daily activity, community contact, and financial sustenance.

    Are the Marshalls owed nothing for saving the lives of these animals and caring for them during the past 30 years? The Marshalls are owed something for saving and caring for these animals IMHO.

    Personally, I think that keeping these animals where in their current home, and grandfathering the acquisition of animals for a legally operating Spruce Haven zoo in Sault Ste. Marie is appropriate compensation for the Marshalls’ life-sustaining activities with regard to these once-doomed wild animals.

    What do you think is appropriate compensation for the Marshall’s animal life-sustaining activities?

    • Yes, the Owners should definitely be rewarded and recognized for their service. Perhaps a plaque of recognition, or some other public acknowledgement.

      I don’t think the animals owe them the remainder of their lives to be lived in tiny, substandard cages. Perhaps the City owes them something, but not the quality of life of these animals!

      When we go to Emerg for treatment, we go there hoping that we won’t remain there for too long. When we are treated, we are very grateful for the care, but we do not want to spend the rest of our life in the treatment room.

      When we know better, we do better.

      Anyone who has looked at these Sanctuaries can see that this is a wonderful option for these animals, rather than remaining in what should have been a temporary, emergency situation.

      C’mon. It’s time.

      • Captivity is not better for a wild animal no matter how far they are allowed to roam April. Captivity for wild animals is not natural. Wild animals lives are contained and constrained and unalterably changed by captivity of any kind.

        Wild animals should not be held captive. It domesticates them. Makes them less than they are. Makes them dependent. Not fully alive.

        If the sanctuary wants to provide a better life for these animals then why don’t they compensate the Marshalls for the massive void that will be created by the loss of these animals? Why don’t the sanctuaries give the Marshalls something to do every day, give them an opportunity to interact with our community every day, provide financial support that they will not be getting once the animals leave?

        Don’t the Marshalls matter to these sanctuaries?

        I guess not.

        And I guess that’s why we have city councilors… to look after people, and make sure they are dealt fairly with.

        • If they can’t survive on their own in the wild than they shouldn’t be alive. We should not interfere any more than we already do in the lives of WILD animals.

        • The primary focus of the Sanctuary will be to provide something as close as possible to a natural habitat, of course with attention to whatever special need the animal may have, so that the animal may recover from whatever conditions they may have endured. Whether it be some sort of abuse while in the hands of humans, or having spent a lifetime in a tiny, substandard cage while part of a roadside zoo attraction, the Sanctuary Staff specialize in helping animals recover from these very types of situations.
          As far as them providing the Owners with things to do do fill their time, while this is not the role of an accredited Animal Sanctuary, I believe the Marshalls themselves already have this covered. I loved their proposed plan for the future…guided tours through the property to learn about nature, plant life, insects, etc. A great idea with so many possibilities, all which can be accomplished without holding wild Carnivores in substandard cages, sad and unable to express their natural behaviours.
          The Roadside Zoo type of attraction is hopefully becoming a thing of the past as we become a more educated and enlightened society. No one wants to see a bear pacing in a small cage or have a cougar hiss at them from an inadequate enclosure….unless of course you are one of the uneducated and short-sighted City Councillors from Sault Ste Marie.

          • I know you are not going to hear what I am going to say April, but it’s important that I say it.

            Our city council created a by-law that will eliminate roadside zoos in Sault Ste. Marie going forward. Enlightened? Check. Good? Absolutely.

            In the case of the Marshall’s welfare vs. the Spruce Haven zoo animals’ welfare our city council decided that the Marshall’s social, emotional and financial well-being is more important than the modest improvements in comfort to the Spruce Haven zoo animals’ by closing down the zoo and moving the animals to a sanctuary. The zoo animals will continue to live in substandard quarters so that the Marshalls will not have pain and suffering inflicted upon them. A compromise in a difficult decision where only one side can win. Enlightened? IMHO yes. IYHO no.

            Our city councill feels the Marshalls have earned the opportunity to do right by these animals at their own pace by the love and care they have shown to these animals over the years which has benefited these animals greatly, but has unfortunately caused inadvertent harm to them as well. Just like all of us parents do to our kids.

            The onus is now on the Marshalls to do better by these animals. And they will. They love these animals more than you and I do.

        • It is BECAUSE of the inherent cruelty and suffering wild animals endure at the hands of uneducated captors with a desire to make money off the backs of animals that cannot speak for themselves, at road side zoos and circuses that accredited Sanctuaries exist in the first place.

          No humans do not and should not have the right to destroy the mental and physical welfare of wild animals suffering and going insane in small cages so greedy heartless humans that lack any kind of empathy and compassion can make a few bucks off of their broken backs.

          Just the same as a parent does not and should not have the right to abuse a child or sell a child for their own heartless personal gain.

    • ‘Animal Lover’ is an interesting choice for a handle from someone that thinks it is ok for these animals to continue to suffer in deplorable conditions in a substandard zoo.

      I’d like to remind everyone AGAIN that the Marshalls have had 30 years to make improvements for the lives of these animals and have not done ANYTHING to improve their pathetic cages, and state there is no educational value whatsoever at Spruce Haven other than a heartbreaking education in cruelty.

      When the owners themselves are elderly, well into their late seventies, its seems to me there may be other issues at play when they have no plan in place for retirement themselves and what will happen to these animals when they no longer can ‘care’ for the animals caged on their property. Is Ken Marshall’s plan to “euthanize them” all as he said at Council he would do with the lions? Are they selling them off to other substandard roadside zoos or circuses for a few bucks?

      Why would the Marshalls dig in their heels throwing limited funds at lawyers to keep these animals captive when a GIFT was offered to them to take the animals off their elderly hands AT NO COST TO THEM OR THE CITY so the animals could live out the remainder of their lives with an opportunity to live more like the wild animals they are, with room to roam in secure habitats designed for them, that would allow the Marshalls to retire gracefully or carry out their nature hikes into the woods showcasing native trees and insects?

      The offer was even put forth to cover the costs to fly the Marshalls to these accredited sanctuaries to visit their animals that everyone likes to claim they love!

      To turn down this offer, in my opinion, demonstrates a lack of critical thinking abilities as well as the obvious lack of love and concern for doing the right thing for the animals by putting the animals needs ahead of personal greed and a total lack of common sense by the Marshalls who are well into their own advanced ages.

      I also question you ‘Animal Lover’ as to why you hide your identity behind a handle that seems hypocritical at best?

    • So you an “animal lover” are putting the perceived emotional needs of 2 residents before the lives of dozens of animals?! It sounds like the Marshalls have tons of support from other people in the community…so maybe instead of trying to force the animals to remain as their emotional companions..you fellow residents should step up and take care of the Marshalls.

  9. “The Ward 2 councillor threw in her lot with five councillors from the West End wards, Turco from Ward 4, Marchy Bruni and Frank Fata from Ward 5 and Joe Krmpotich and Ozzie Grandinetti from Ward 6, who were more concerned with protecting a constituent than were with the welfare of the animals.”
    This is so true. Council treated Ken Marshall with kid gloves and asked no hard questions. They blindly accepted his answers without any follow up. Who were the people that Marshall got his advice from regarding Ben the Bear saying a move would kill him?? No one asked. Why didn’t council call any sanctuary to get the facts? How could they honestly believe Ben paces because he can predict the weather? You can go on Youtube and see just how bears who are confined with no stimulation slowly go insane. I am so angry and disappointed in those councilors who simply took for granted that Ken Marshall was telling the truth, without doing any investigation. I wonder how many councilors have even been to the Spruce Haven zoo to take a hard look at how these poor animals are living. The fight to have these wild animals moved to a sanctuary is not over. Not by a long shot.

  10. Thank-you Doug for your comments. I, along with many other people that have empathy for animals appreciate you keeping the public informed. There were many things said at the council meeting that simply weren’t true. Sadly 50% of council think it’s OK to keep large dangerous carnivores captive in disgusting living accommodations even though the wolves can easily escape. Mr. Marshall said this was the first time a wolf escaped. That is not true according to neighbors in the area.

    • That’s because they don’t want to upset a few voters. It happens every time a vote is made on something like this. Councillors should be at-large, with no Wards, as this only furthers the helping of the few, not what’s best for the city as w hole.

  11. Council over reacted on this issue, they had no business in an issue which was managed by the MNR. Why did Butland get into this anyway, he is a Ward 1 Councillor, not elected city–wide. This was an overreach that deserved to end in a 6-6 tie.

    • Come on Andy, Councillors should do what is best for the whole city, not only their Ward. That’s far too often the problem here, Councillors looking out for a few who they know will give their vote to them next election. It’s past time to do away with Wards altogether.

      • John Duke: I have been passionate about this issue, and reached out to all of the Councillors numerous times to let them know my thoughts, and also to pass on relevant information to them. Very few even responded to me. I agree that things need to change.

        • That’s because the only way to ensure accountability for members of council are votes. And unfortunately too many cast votes because a Councillor has helped them with one particular small issue, so they’ll have their vote for as long as they run. And many of the other votes are based solely on name recognition, not voting record.

  12. Former client Conflict of interest.

    Let’s justv let that sink in.

    Would not then everyone in this city who have been up against him in frivolous lawsuits and criminal and also reasonable lawsuits, be a conflict of interest?

    Christian.
    I’m very disappointed in you.
    Not that my opinion matters now, cuz even the truth didn’t matter back in that room with another party.
    .
    .
    Conflicting interest is all i see now with any and all lawyers becoming our city leaders.
    .
    .
    .Pfffffft
    Oh.
    Please get those animals somewhere they can thrive, rather than barely survive., especially that bear. He deserves to have a larger space.

  13. Doug,
    Lorna is now retired. She is a volunteer organizer for the Sault Association of Ratepayers… Could you please make the correction. Interesting commentary.
    Our presentation to council was based on and reminded all by starting with the Municipal Councillors Guide… that there are things a council can do and there are things a council can not…. as outlined in the guide.
    It is wholly unfair to ask any of the elected members to break and go against the legislated laws up to and including the recently revised code of conduct.
    You are correct….Provincial legislation and ministry acts over rule or as you say trump municipal council as they are required to abide by the laws of the Ontario Legislature.
    Spruce Haven is simply outside of municipal jurisdiction by provincial license. Council did right…they did their legislated jobs.

    If anyone is thinking about making a run for a Council seat in the next municipal election and want to know what it takes to be a municipal Councillor in Ontario…. This link is to The Municipal Councillors Guide from Municipal Affairs and Housing…..Lays out what an elected Councillor can do and what they can not……..http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=4965

    • David, Please read a little further. Under the Municipal Act, municipalities have a broad jurisdiction to pass bylaws in spheres of jurisdiction, one of which is animals. It goes on to say that “municipal bylaws must NOT conflict with federal or provincial laws, however they can go beyond what those laws say if the municipal bylaw provides greater protection for animals and people.

  14. Excellent article. As a father to three strong women I do however disagree with the apparent gender bias in the comment “thinking as a woman.”

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