We don't have any reason to travel to Ontario anymore - they've proven that they're a province full of idiots, or at least their government and judicial system is. Today the Ontario Court of Appeal came out with their report on what they were going to say about the ban on pit bulls that was instituted in - 2005 - and they decided to not only uphold it, but to also bring back all the stuff that was lost when the court case was originally decided last year. So it's bad news all around - especially what the judges said about pit bulls.
Here's what the Canadian Press reported the Judges said:
Ont.'s highest court says pit bulls are 'unpredictable' dogs, upholds ban
TORONTO — Pit bulls are dangerous and unpredictable dogs that have the potential to attack without warning, the Ontario Court of Appeal said Friday in a decision upholding the province's ban on the animals.
The Ontario government enacted the Dog Owners' Liability Act in 2005 to ban the breeding, sale and ownership of pit bulls after several incidents in which the dogs attacked people.
The Appeal Court ruled Friday that the ban on the breed does not violate any constitutional rights, as lawyers had argued.
The law survived a constitutional challenge in March 2007, though some changes were ordered. Superior Court Justice Thea Herman said a ban on "pit bull terriers" was unconstitutionally vague because it didn't refer to a specific type or breed of dog.
But the Appeal Court disagreed, restoring the law to the form in which it was enacted.
"The total ban on pit bulls is not 'arbitrary' or 'grossly disproportionate' in light of the evidence that pit bulls have a tendency to be unpredictable and that even apparently docile pit bulls may attack without warning or provocation," the judges said in their decision Friday.
"This evidence of unpredictability provided the legislature with a sufficient basis to conclude that the protection of public safety required no less drastic measures than a total ban on pit bulls."
Lawyer Clayton Ruby, who challenged the law, called it a "sad day" in Ontario.
"Kind, loving, gentle dogs are being killed across this province for no reason," he said in a statement.
"The provincial government should focus their efforts and resources on identifying truly dangerous dogs rather than apprehending and killing dogs that pose no threat at all."
Ruby said he is considering an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Jean-anne Moors of Banned Aid, a coalition fighting the ban, said the group knew it was fighting an uphill battle against the government, but she is still "very disappointed."
"I have three so-called pit bull-type dogs who are all legal under the law," she said, meaning she owned the dogs before the law came into effect and they are muzzled when out in public.
Still, she said, "Everybody's looking at me as if I'm some kind of criminal when I walk down the streets with my dogs. They have no history of aggression."
Moors said the law sets a troubling precedent because it's not just a pit bull issue.
"If a government ... can make such an arbitrary decision that a dog is a bad and dangerous dog and seize it under certain circumstances and destroy it ... that's a matter of concern to anybody who has a dog - period."
Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley said he was pleased the court upheld the legislation.
"We brought in the legislation because it was important to keep people safe, and our province will do whatever it takes to keep the people of Ontario safe," he said.
What I say to that last paragraph is - Attorney General Chris Bentley has given himself and all Ontarians a very false sense of security.
There is also the case of Rambo - a pit bull type dog who was kept in a cage from December until a couple weeks ago - when he was set free so he could come to shangri-la, also known as Nova Scotia - read the article all the way to the bottom - and you'll find some very true sentences.
Death Row Dog Set Free
October 8, 2008 03:15 PM - In the end, Gabriela Nowakowska had to put the interests of her dog Rambo ahead of her own.
"It was very difficult losing my dog," the 21-year-old Mississaugan said, referring to the fact that Rambo was picked up last Christmas Day and has been held in a cage at the Mississauga animal control centre ever since. "But now, Rambo is going to have a life and he's going to be free."
The dog, who has been held at the City's animal control centre on Central Pkwy. for the past nine months, is headed for a farm in Nova Scotia run by Ador-A-Bull Dog Rescue after a deal was struck in a Mississauga courtroom early this afternoon.
Nowakowska pleaded guilty to possessing an illegal dog and received a suspended sentence.
Rambo, who was examined by a veterinarian yesterday and found fit, will be transferred by the rescue group to the East Coast, where he will be trained with a number of other dogs and then could be adopted to a loving home.
"As long as the dog goes free, that's what I want," Nowakowksa told The News a few minutes after the ruling. "The only thing that's important to me is that he's still alive."
Justice of the Peace Karen Jensen commended Nowakowska, who works two minimum-wage part-time jobs as a waitress and at a deli counter, for her efforts on behalf of Rambo. "You've suffered the loss of your dog but you have made some gains ... for which you are to be commended."
Those gains include the change in City policy that now permits dogs like Rambo accused of being pit bulls to be sent to another province rather than automatically being put down.
The City's application to execute Rambo will be withdrawn Oct. 20 if all goes well.
"By then, he should be in a whole new province and everyone's happy," the Justice of the Peace said.
Nowakowska's lawyer, Anik Morrow, told the court that as time passed his client realized that nothing could be gained by going forward. "Her concern is ultimately the dog," she said.
Rambo is now much bigger and it would be difficult for his owner to care properly for him in her apartment, the lawyer said.
"We are now seeing the impact of the long-term incarceration of the dog," Morrow said, noting the animal has begun to groom himself frequently, which is often a sign of stress.
The City agreed to waive the pound fees for Rambo, who has been kept for the longest-time ever at the shelter. Those fees were estimated at $3,000.
Elaine Buckstein, the City's director of bylaw enforcement, commented that, "whether you agree with it or not, we have to enforce the law. The shelter staff did an excellent job of housing Rambo for eight months."
Ward 6 Councillor Carolyn Parrish, who championed Rambo's cause, was "delighted" at the outcome.
"We've learned from this that this law is very difficult to enforce and it breaks people's hearts," the councillor said. "Saying that something looks like something else is a very poor basis for a law."
Nowakowska was convicted of owning a dog that was "substantially similar" to breeds of dogs generally known as pit bulls.