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Petition to Repeal the Ontario Breed Ban

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Nov 20, 2008

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A lot of times what I "get" from the rulings is theyre not (and never were) meant to debate the merits of the law, per se. Rather, the judge(s) simply review how the law was passed, and determine if it was passed lawfully, and meets all the criteria for passing legislation. (i.e. no voting irregularities, forms filed properly, etc., etc.)
I suspect that a law making lawn chairs illegal would fair similarly, under these kinds of judicial reviews. For sure, its not what opponents are expecting or hoping for.

Ive always maintained that dogs are not the point - that what they are really doing is legislating discrimination and eroding the civil rights of everyone, using dogs as an excuse.
You may remember how we used to laugh at Etobicoke because of its silly bylaws. Grass could only grow so high, bath-water had to be a certain temperature, blah blah blah.
The difference is that they werent going to kidnap and kill a member of your family, subject you to warrantless entry and reverse onus or restrict your mobility because of infractions.
Even more importantly in my view, they werent only targeting people who grew Kentucky Bluegrass and letting fescue or rye grass growers carry on as they saw fit.
What irks me most about this is that since all dogs are basically the same regardless of breed or mix and are therefore all capable of being (very rarely) nasty in the wrong hands, to apply the law unequally because of old wives tales and media hackery insults one of the two founding principles of democracy - that every citizen is to be treated equally under the law.
If they think this law is so great, then it should be applied to all dog owners across the board.
Otherwise, it is doing nothing but treating animals inhumanely and creating a second-class citizenry in Ontario strictly because of the appearance of otherwise universally legal property.

"KoryNParker" posted his usual message of hate in the comments section. That would be, Im sure, hateful Kory Nelson a Denver city attorney who has taken it upon himself to advocate BSL in the most disgusting vicious ways. He and the moronic Glen Bui deserve each other.. BOTH have done more damage to our cause than about any 2 people I can think of.
I agree with Marjorie about how the courts view these cases, and it explains why the courts are NOT the venue for us. Its clear that they dont think theres a constitutional right to own a particular kind of dog and as long as there is some semblance of due process, localities can pass any law they choose. The more of these cases we lose, the harder it is for us to argue our cause before lawmakers.
How many times are we going to beat ourselves against a brick wall before the message gets through to us?

So, what do you suggest instead of suing, Emily?

The only answer: the hard slog of convincing legislators, and if they cant be convinced, electing some who can.
Democracy is not just about courts.. its about the lawmaking process and the electoral process .
Of course its less glamorous and much harder than "suing in Federal Court"

Trust me, suing is not easy and is not glamourous...its back-breaking work, financially draining, thankless and depressing.
The thing is, the legislators are being lobbied relentlessly by the anti-dog ownership crowd. Yes, its important to try to get the right people elected. We killed ourselves campaigning in 2007 to get McGuinty out. The problem is, too many people think this is about dogs and worse, pit bulls, so its tough to get the wide attention we need. Others cant see the forest for the trees, they are unable to generalize.
This needs to be fought through the courts and more importantly in the court of public opinion. People need to know what these laws actually mean, that they affect owners not dogs and that they open the door to almost unbridled power on the part of legislators - who are supposedly elected to represent all citizens and to uphold constitutional principles.
Its a multi-faceted issue and as you point out above, some of the people who think they are helping are not. I include a lot of rescue people who differentiate pit bulls from other dogs, believe they can identify pit bulls, attribute characteristics to garden-variety mutts that are improbable and all the rest.
The thing is, I have never owned a bully breed and likely never will. I got involved because there is a grave threat to all dogs and as that machine rolls on, things can only get worse.
People need to unite or theres no way we can win any of this. One group thinks show dogs suck, another group despises working dogs, mutt owners think purebred owners are snobs, purebred owners think mutt owners are beneath notice. Anti-BSL groups get hates on for other groups who want the same thing. Personality issues, faiure to come up with clear, common goals while discarding the trivial - its a mess.
The AR people, on the other hand, all read from the same playbook. They all spout the same unsubstantiated nonsense but Ill give them one thing - they are unified, their message is constant, their propaganda works - for reasons that are completely unclear to me, since most of it is easily debunked as nothing but personal belief based on specious reasoning, not fact..

I had a conversation with someone the other day and was really struck by one of his comments. His statement was that we should never go into a city council chambers with two different animal welfare groups proposing two different solutions to the problem. He said that if the city council has to choose between two different points of view on something -- it is way too difficult for them to determine which group is right and which one is wrong, or determine what is most effective based on each groups argument. That at the end of the day, they will make the decision based on what is easiest or what they feel will get them re-elected. Our problem for too long is that we have too many points of view (many not based in reality) and too many people looking out for their own best interests and not for the greater good. Its given the cities very little reason to believe any of us...which leads them down the road of what will be politically more popular. We have to all get on the same page...and get all of the rescues, breed groups, shelters, dog owners, etc on the same page in order to make progress...

Well...in that sense...I dont know what to think.
Sure, the implications of these kinds of laws are just as you said (can be used to set precedent). On the other hand, I dont attribute most legislators with the degree of intelligence and forsight needed to pull something like this off. Perhaps they just "fell into it"?
But in reference specifically to many of the rulings Ive read, it seems clear that while the opponents are hoping the merits of the legislation will be questioned (and hopefully end in repealing the law or portions of it, since these laws are without merit), many of the judges seem to see their role as merely ensuring ordinances are passed lawfully.
Thats a huge dichotomy in intent. Indeed, you dont need to have a court case to determine that. Any ol judge could just look at the legislative process involved, and determine if it meets the basic standards. Sure, if theres evidence or accusations of vote tampering, bribes, improperly filed documents, then that may add vital details in making a determination about the legalities of it all. But clearly what is going on is, groups are spending huge sums of money attempting to have the merits of laws challenged, and in too many cases, the ruling body is unwilling to address those arguments in any meaningful way. It seems to be a rarity to find a judge, these days, willing to call a spade a spade, and state these kinds of laws have no factual merit. Time and again we get the judges, themselves, admitting things like, "the law does not have to be wise," ...pretty clearly announcing that theyre not judging the legal challenge on the factual merits, but rather theyre looking at it beaurocratically. Are all the is dotted and the ts crossed? Yes? Then the laws valid.
I think thats why I find these kinds of rulings so especially disheartening. "We" go to court fully armed with all the facts and figures that prove these kinds of laws are as bogus as could be imagined, and the judges may even "hear" the evidence...making "us" think theyre actually considering the facts. But then they rule that the law was passed according to legal standards, and its not the place of the court to decide if its "wise". (The courts typically deem that the democratic process means the law was either wanted or needed, and was passed lawfully. Theres no consideration for propaganda campaigns and whipped votes that would allow ANY law to be passed, even if egregiously "unwise".)

Exactly right Selma, the animal welfare groups are to splintered as you point out. I even find them confusing they all say different things.
Whereas the AR folks are united and getting stronger, until the good guys get under one banner we are never going to get to first base.
Jayne

Sigh.........I wont denigrate anyone in particular....but if what I saw in that courtroom is any indication of how a COURT decides "rational" basis for a dangerous dog ordinance, in my opinion (and I do know a lot about the subject) I believe its nearly impossible to win. So I dont intend to spend further time, energy or money on it. I will go where most ARs are going, they are trying to end dog breeding and selling of dogs. I will fight that. It would probably be easier, although perhaps less noble. I dont have $ to be able to work for free on a cause that apparently is not to be won in that fashion after so many cases have screwed it up after 20 years. And after seeing what I saw as an insider, I wont be missing the fight any more.

I hear you. Our problem here in Ontario is that we cant let this stand as case law at the Appeal level but we are so in the hole financially at this point I dont know if we can afford to go ahead to the Supreme Court of Canada. On the other hand, I dont see how we can afford not to.
Its hard to know what to do in view of these baffling judicial decisions.
It seems so obvious to me that this kind of law is horribly wrong.
I start to wonder if Im wrong, but that cant be.

As I have said before, I no longer have faith in the courts to protect us from unreasonable government.

oh by the way, for those of you who think that AR is only a "liberal/Democratic" folly?
Heres a conservative/Republican county in New Mexico (http://67.192.207.121/county22.htm) that has gotten sucked into this horrific violation of privacy and property rights:
http://www.nopitbullbans.com/?p=791

For everyone and anyone that knows we need MEDIA splash; Petdefense has had it with all this nonsense and will now start on producing MEDIA driven items--depending on how long it takes us, I would like it to address the subject of dangerous dogs, how they get like that, and why. Will use expert opinion (canine) and smash the myths. This is getting to be too much for me so will enlist our strategist from dog Politics (who better) and check w/Petpac for raising $$. I am at the end of my rope, havent killed anyone yet and havent saved enough dogs. I spoke with 2 vets on aggression, and experts. The dangerous dog myth needs to be exposed. I know a minimum is probably $20k for actual production but with ITEX trade dollars (barter exchange) I might be able to procure part exchange. I will contact Dog Fancy mag bec they had the guts to finally say HSUS et al is causing problems. If anyone has suggestions on fundraising I will gladly listen, please send to petdefense@yahoo.com Am setting up a trust fund for this. I am very serious about this. Also would like to know if anyone has received good results from U Tube. I dont watch it normally. Everyone out there with any type of connections that might help, please advise. Lawsuits are really pissing me off now and I am done with them. Its time to copy the AR method because it works, and I want to do what works. Thank you.

Its dangerous to go to the Supremes unless you know you can win. NRA went there on gun control but that was an excellent chance. My honest opinion (with courts being so political) is they may not hear it, if your court can refuse to do so. Once the case goes the wrong way, you cant undo it. At elast not for a long, long time.

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