Friday, June 9, 2006

Follow-up to my post about the NDP Dog-haters

The following comment was left on my previous post - "There really is no one to vote for now!" this morning:

Did you not see the correction in the Halifax Herald on Thursday (page A5)? Apparently Darrell Dexter's PR person made a mistake when submitting the questionnaire back to the Herald. You should really consider changing your picture. It's stuff like this that can destory a parties chances of making a real difference in Nova Scotia. For all of you who have been spreading the "don't vote NDP word," I hope you will do the right thing and go back to your neighbours and retract whatever comments you made.

I actually did see that article in the newspaper and was sent the retraction by Darrell Dexter's chief of staff Dan O'Connor who is the person who took full responsibility for making the mistake of answering those seemingly innocuous questions so hastily.

I'm leaving the photo and the original post on my blog - and I'm also going to include the email I sent to my NDP candidate when she replied back to my original email which was in the original post - so that you can maybe understand why - to give a fuller picture of my thoughts on the subject - so that you can draw your own conclusions - and make your own decision this coming Tuesday June 13th - election day:

this was her canned response to my email:

I just wanted to pass along the following message:

*Michele Raymond and the NDP has no policy or position on breed specific
legislation, and no plans to introduce such legislation.

Michele appreciates you sharing your concerns with her, and wishes you
the best.

Dan O'Connor then subsequently emailed me to say:

Dear Ms. Sinden:

Michele Raymond kindly forwarded your e-mails about breed specific legislation.

The answer from Darrell Dexter that appeared in yesterday's Chronicle-Herald was submitted in error. It does not reflect his actual position. I can assure you that the Nova Scotia NDP has no policy or position in favour of breed specific legislation. The NDP has no plans to introduce such legislation - and has never even discussed the possibility. The issue has not been raised with our Caucus, nor has any presentation on the issue been brought forward to the NDP MLAs.

Your views, and those of other dog lovers, are certainly appreciated. I have written others with a similar message, to speed replies and ensure consistency.

Yours sincerely,
Dan O'Connor
Chief of Staff to Darrell Dexter

My reply to that was:

Dear Ms. Raymond, with all due respect - not having a policy or position on breed specific legislation and no plans to introduce such legislation says absolutely nothing to me as a dog owner in your riding and frankly scares me to death.

And if you ask me why - it's because what would happen if your party came to power in Nova Scotia and there suddenly were 2 dogs of a "pit bull type" that had biting incidents that made the news in a high visibility way and a minority of the public started hollering that "something had to be done" about "those types of dogs" - that some sort of legislation had to be passed banning those dogs in this province?

What would the NDP party do? They "don't have a policy or position on breed specific legislation" BUT their party leader "is personally in favour of breed specific legislation".

Can you perhaps understand now why I cannot possibly support a party who's leader is "personally in favour of breed specific legislation" - when I - as a member of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada - and a fervent fighter against all breed specific legislation everywhere - must speak up whenever I see such small minded and archaic and genocidal things being said?

So - I hope you will understand that the dog owning population of the Halifax Regional Municipality (and Nova Scotia in general) is exploding. That means that the people who love dogs is also exploding - that also means that people who care about dog issues is expanding by the same amount - and the people who think of dogs as being members of their family and don't want them to die because of completely
ridiculous legislation brought on by hysteria and a government that is completely out of touch with it's constituents.

All you have to do is look to the province of Ontario and what the current liberal government has done to itself with their current "pit bull ban" and the consequences that they are suffering through to see what could potentially happen if you came to power and had a knee jerk reaction with your lack of a policy and your leader who is "personally in favour of breed specific legislation".

You may think this is an inconsequential issue - but there are a few thousand of this city's inhabitants - and many many thousands of Nova Scotian's who would heartily disagree with you!


Joan Sinden

So perhaps after reading the logic of my letter - you can understand how their "retraction" just doesn't sit right with me. It really scares me that their first answer was that they had no policy - which is the scariest thing of all! And then that it had never been discussed.

And then yesterday I got an email from a friend who had also emailed their NDP candidate - and Dan O'Connor had emailed him what I thought was almost a rude canned response:

Dear Mr. Le Blanc:
Your information is not correct. The best explanation is in today's Herald (pasted in below). I hope you share it with others, who may also have understandably heard the incorrect information.

NDP says Dexter has no plans for breed-specific bans on dogs
The New Democrats say they've made a faux paw.
Spokeswoman Barbara Emodi said Wednesday said she made a mistake when submitting leader Darrell Dexter's answer to a question about banning some dog breeds.

The questions were posed in The Chronicle Herald's Petpourri column, published Tuesday. She said Mr. Dexter does not support breed-specific legislation.

"I wrote it down wrong," she said.

I appreciate your concern on this issue. The NDP has never considered or favoured breed specific legislation. No proposal for breed specific legislation has been made to the NDP Caucus or to the legislature. Thanks for being in touch, and giving me this opportunity to provide an explanation.

Dan O'Connor
Chief of Staff to Darrell Dexter

If this doesn't sound like confusion and back-pedalling....I have a lot in Spryfield - 100 feet by 50 feet that LOOKS like it's all trees, rocks and garbage with no right of way access - but it's ACTUALLY a piece of gold waiting to blossom and I'll part with it for $100,000...

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