Thursday, September 19, 2013

Questionnaire to the Political Parties in 2009

This questionnaire was sent out in 2009 - the last time we went to the polls - but I'm sure the answers would still be the same if we sent out the same questions today - I found this in my emails tonight, so I thought I'd post it here for whatever it's worth - there's not really time at this point to send another questionnaire out to the parties at this point - so here's some food for thought - (isn't it interesting though that every question we asked in 2009 we still have exactly the same problems in 2013?  TNR, funding for the SPCA, anti-cruelty laws, municipal bsl laws, etc. - and Lloyd Hines running for office!)

ARPO – Advocates for Responsible Pet Ownership is an organization that is working towards creating a companion animal friendly Nova Scotia where pet owners and non-pet owners can live together harmoniously. We educate the public about responsible pet ownership and advocate for strengthened anti-cruelty laws. We supply educational materials at pet events on responsible pet ownership. We support the efforts of provincially funded shelters as well as independent rescue organizations.

We respectfully request that you answer the following questions so that ARPO members can make an informed voting decision in the upcoming election.

1. Will your party strengthen the anti–cruelty laws of Nova Scotia by working with the Judicial Department to increase fines and sentences for those persons that are found guilty of animal cruelty and/or neglect?

Liberals said: they fought hard to strengthen the Animal Protection Act in 2008 – citing that Diana Whalen proposed changes including strengthening the definition of distress, outlining a standard of care and the ability to impose harsher fines.

PC’s – it is amazing the torture some people will put an animal through. Just last year the PC Gov’t introduced and passed a modernized Animal Protection Act. It is set to be proclaimed in the coming months. A number of changes and improvements have been made to the act to ensure the welfare of animals in the province. This updated law was in response to an incidence where dozens of dogs and cats were found living in squalor in CB.


The Green Party supports the anti-cruelty laws currently in place, but believes they are insufficiently enforced. The Green Party will work with the department of Justice to ensure that those found guilty of cruelty and/or neglect to animals are properly punished and that fines and sentences reflect the seriousness of these cruelties .

2. Will your party work with the NS SPCA to build legislation that protects the quality of life of all companion animals in Nova Scotia - including those that are used for breeding and livestock purposes?

Liberal Party are open to meeting with the SPCA to further see how they may be able to improve existing legislation and support the organization.

PC’s - The new act will allow the SPCA to focus on the protection of non-farm animals. The Act also establishes an Animal Cruelty Appeal Board to hear appeals of animal seizures and investigation issues – an opportunity for individuals to have seizure of an animal reviewed by an independent board in a timely manner.

The NDP supported the passage of the Animal Protection Act in Nov. 2008. Once there is sufficient experiences with the Act and its regulations it will be possible for stakeholders to determine if further legislation is necessary to adequately protect companion animals.

Yes, The Green Party supports The Earth Charter which states in clause 15. “Treat all living beings with respect and consideration” and 15.a. “Prevent cruelty to animals kept in human societies and protect them from suffering." The Green Party believes it is necessary for government to develop a cooperative role with a broad range of non-governmental organizations and would work with the SPCA and other interested NGOs in order to ensure the quality of life of all animals kept in human society, including those for breeding and  livestock purposes.

3. Will your party push to have all municipalites enacting humane animal laws and require that BSL be rescinded in those municipalites that have enacted such legislation? ((breed specific legislation enacts punitive laws based on breed of dog rather then the actions of negligent owner’s regardless of breed or mix)

Liberals feel that the rights of municipalities to make and enforce their own bylaws should be respected and do not see a role for the provincial gov’t to lobby for changes at the municipal level. The Liberal Party believes that it can be most effective protecting animals and safe guarding the rights of animal owners by introducing changes within its jurisdiction. An example of this was the change to the Animal Protection Act our party put forward. ARPO further asked the Liberal party to elaborate as it is not clear what the Liberal policy is concerning BSL (breed specific legislation that applies punitive laws on breeds of dogs instead on irresponsible dog owners regardless of breed of dog or Mix.) - is the Liberal Party policy to advocate for BSL or is the party stance that BSL is not good legislation? The Liberal response was:

Thanks for following up regarding the Liberal responses to your survey. At the provincial level, we would not introduce legislation that would ban specific breeds of dogs but do recognize the municipality's right to introduce their own bylaws with respect to animal control/local issues. I hope this helps to clarify our position and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

Please scroll down to read all about Lloyd Hines and why you should be concerned that the Liberal Party has selected Hines to represent their party.

PC’s – The NS SPCA opposes the establishment of municipal by-laws that declare recognized breeds of dogs vicious or dangerous. As I said in a questionnaire responded to during the 2006 election I’m not entirely convinced that by banning certain breeds would prevent dog attacks from happening. Other breeds can demonstrate aggression towards people depending on the circumstances, how the dog was raised and treated itself. I think I’d be more supportive of legislation that addresses the causes of aggression rather than targeting the banning of specific breeds.

NDP- will work with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities to develop humane by-laws. The NDP does not support breed- specific legislation.

The Green Party is opposed to breed specific legislation and will work with municipalities to better define humane animal laws, including laws holding owners and breeders liable for any negligence on their part in cases of animal violence.

4. Will your party increase funding to the NS SPCA to facilitate the hiring and training of more cruelty investigators to adequately address the need? (currently other provinces are increasing funding ex. N.B. & Que.)

There are many not for profit organizations …the Liberals would strive to meet the needs of these organizations while recognizing that the gov’t must live within its means. To our knowledge there has been no formal request made to increase funding to the SPCA. Our party would be open to meeting with the SPCA and discussing its needs.

PC’s- announced $100,000.00 in funding to the SPCA. The funding is set in our budget to support the SPCA’s work implementing the new Animal Protection Act.

The NDP has called for adequate funding to address the problem of cruelty to animals…An NDP Gov’t will endeavor to increase funding to the NS SPCA during the term of its mandate, but with the context of balancing the budget.

The Green Party depends upon broad consultation with all interested NGOs, and a Green government would explore all avenues toward improving the enforcement of anti-cruelty laws, including the hiring and training of investigators.

5. Will your party support a province wide TNR (trap-neuter-release) program for feral cats?

Animal control issues fall under municipal jurisdiction and a Liberal gov’t would support local efforts to address this issue. Our party is concerned with the thousands of unwanted cats born each year and realizes the burden they place on the SPCA’s space and resources.

PC’s – Feral cats have always been an issue but it has been highlighted recently in the media – the efforts of some individuals have taken upon themselves to treat humanely these colonies in an effort to allow them to live freely but to help control the nuisance factor they may cause which often gives these animals negative attention …we also need more education for people to understand pets are not a throw away object, they are a part of your family and must be treated that way.


The Green Party recognizes the benefits of this program and would negotiate with municipalities about such a province wide program.

Please feel free to elaborate. ARPO looks forward to your response and all responses will be circulated province wide to like minded organizations with a media release.

Janet Chernin
Director at Large,
ARPO – Advocates for Responsible Pet Ownership

Lloyd Hines and the Provincial Election in June 2009 –
and what Responsible Dog owners need to know about him

In 1995 Lloyd Hines lobbied for and passed breed specific legislation in the district of the municipality of Guysborough – banning pit bulls, with no grandfather clause built in.

Because the media paid virtually no attention to this issue, most residents of Guysborough were unaware of the new law in 1995 . Apparently without public support or, to the contrary, outrage, the municipality amended the by-law in 2004 to ban Rottweilers (the amendment contained a grandfather section to exempt Rottweilers already living in the Municipality). The ban on Rottweilers was passed after the New Brunswick attack that led to the death of the four year old child. Warden Lloyd Hines was active in pushing for these bills, and he threatened to push a breed specific ban through the Union of Municipalities – which he almost successfully did in 2008 – but because people in other areas of Nova Scotia know what happens when breed bans become law – Lloyd Hines failed in his bid to pass breed restrictions throughout the whole province.

Lloyd Hines is currently running as a Liberal Candidate in the provincial election in the riding of Guysborough Sheet Harbour in the June 2009 Election.

When Lloyd Hines was Warden of the District of the Municipality of Guysborough he made it a priority in his mandate to first ban pit bull dogs, and then add rottweilers to that ban.

When Lloyd Hines was first Vice President, and then President of the Union of the Nova Scotia Municipalities he made it a priority of his mandate to have breed restrictions passed throughout the whole province of Nova Scotia.

If he is elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia – what do you think one of his major priorities will be when he gets there?

This is a quote that Lloyd Hines said in 2004 when he was attempting to have rottweilers banned in his municipality –
"I don't want to be the warden of the Municipality of Guysborough and have to go to the funeral of some kid who was eaten."

When Guysborough dog owners go to the polls in June – hopefully they will go to the voting booths with the knowledge that they are voting not just for themselves – they are voting for every dog owner in Nova Scotia.

And there's also the great "Panic Policy Making" document - where Lloyd Hines is talked about personally - which is at]
- where they figure that the only reason he has been doing all his breed banning foolishness is because of his own personal fear of large dogs.

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