Friday, October 19, 2007

Did anybody watch the cat bylaw debate at City Council this week

So did anybody watch our most esteemed Halifax City Councillors debate the proposed A300 Animal Bylaw during the Halifax Regional Council meeting this past Tuesday night?

What an action packed 4 hours that was, eh? How can a group of about 30 people talk for about 2 hours about something and never get around to actually debating the topic they're supposed to be debating about? I was ashamed to have been part of any electoral process that put them in those seats. And it wasn't because they were talking about animals that I was ashamed - they could have been talking about any matter of City busiess, because they've done the exact same thing about other agenda items I've noticed - but this City Council for some reason seems completely obvlivious to the fact that they are WAY more interested in talking about the PROCESS of the Council meetings than they are in talking about the ITEMS in the agenda.

The City Council spent 2 hours on Tuesday night talking about how Bylaw A300 itself wasn't mentioned in the original motion put forward by Dawn Sloane when she tried to have the cat bylaw section taken out - so therefore since no bylaw was mentioned her request for an amendment should be thrown out. TWO HOURS was spent on the logistics of that. Two hours COULD HAVE been spent debating the actual bylaw and moving it through City Council so that some movement could have been made on the bylaw itself - but NO - City Council wanted to verbally masturbate and just listen to itself talk about semantics. It was completely ludicrous.

And who is to blame for it? I put it squarely on the head of Peter Kelly - I don't think he knows how to run a meeting, obviously. How can you let a meeting get so far out of the realm of the imaginable that you're not talking about anything that has to do with the topic at hand?

And then when the Councillors are talking about the bylaw, or something that has anything to do with animals - they're just making fools of themselves. One Councillor spoke for a whole five minutes about how important it was to have a section about SPRAY and NEUTER. And I am not misspelling those 2 words. He actually said SPRAY and NEUTER no less than 10 times. David Hendsbee, when referring to feral cats - call them VIRAL cats.

As well - several members of City council oppose the yearly registering of dogs and cats - they call it a "tax grab". Well - how is the City going to run any of the Animal Services without this "tax grab"? One could compare it to yearly registration of your car - why do I have to get those little tags on my licence plates? The government knows I own my car - why do I have to keep getting those little stickers on it? Maybe to pay for the highways I drive my car on? And for the police to make those highways safe? Well I'm not a rocket scientist, but I think that yearly registration of my dog would pay for those kinds of services for my dog in a more perfect world than what the Halifax Regional City Council seems to be envisioning for me, it seems - because they don't seem to be able to see it. And by the way - it was David Hendsbee and Linda Mosher who couldn't see any use in yearly registration of dogs. They thought it would be much more appropriate to have a one time only registration of dogs so that they could just get a head count for Animal Control.

So now that Council meeting is over and still nothing is resolved with Bylaw A300 and the City Council still has to continue debating the Bylaw. And still nothing is resolved. One thing that DID come out at the meeting though is that one of the consultants they used to draft the bylaw was PIJAC. Can you imagine? The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council? The Lobbying group that is owned by the pet store industry? You can imagine how impartial they are to back yard breeders and puppy mills, and how good of advice they'd give about kennels and breeders - it's no wonder the section on kennels and breeders is so abysmal.

Okay, now I'm all worked up. Shit. I'm never going to get to sleep now. Shit.

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