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Ontario Conservative Government Appealing Decision on OSPCA Powers Unconstitutional

The Ontario government is appealing a court ruling that found the enforcement powers held by the province's private animal welfare agency were unconstitutional.

Last month's decision had found the government was wrong to grant police powers to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals without also imposing accountability and transparency standards on the agency.

The Attorney General of Ontario filed the notice of appeal on several grounds, including one arguing the court erred when it recognized a new principle of fundamental justice that law enforcement bodies must be subject to reasonable standards of transparency and accountability.

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Instructions

  1. Create an account if you do not have one, and if you do then sign in.
  2. Fill in the details on the form below the letter template and submit.

Letter Template

Below is a copy of the letter that we will send to all the MPPs for Ontario on your behalf. The email will be directed at your selected MPP, and CC'd to all the other MPPs as well. To continue with this please scroll down to the bottom of the page and fill in the appropriate details.


RE: WITHDRAW THE APPEAL

Dear [MPP NAME], Member of Ontario Provincial Parliament;

On January 2, 2019, In the Superior Court of Justice (Jeffrey Bogaerts vs The Attorney General of Ontario) Justice Timothy Minnema found the policing powers, granted by the Provincial Government to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA), breached the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom The decision handed down by The Court gave the Ontario Government 12 months to take action.

The decision by Justice Minnema is the first substantive action to benefit animals in Ontario since 1955.

On February 1, the Ontario Attorney General saw fit to file an appeal in the case.

As your constituent I ask that you demand the PC government reverse its decision in this case and withdraw the appeal.

OSPCA's abuse of power is notorious and the stories endless, from harassing and extorting farmers and pet owners, to unjustifiably seizing animals. On a baseless complaint, they once entered the bedroom window of a senior while she slept. Before leaving they issued her a compliance order to get her dogs teeth cleaned. Owners have been faced with the choice of paying outrageous fees (in one case +$800,000) to get their seized animals back, or give them up. Complaints about animal cruelty are ignored, animals are left to suffer and in some cases returned to their abuser because OSPCA simply chose not to act. They have no accountability or transparency.

I further ask that the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, at this time, not enter into a long term contract with OSPCA and consider alternative options with a view to implement a new animal welfare system. The annual $5.75 million paid to the OSPCA for services not rendered is unacceptable. That is not how I want my tax dollars to be distributed.

I ask that interim action be taken immediately by the Minister to hold OSPCA accountable and transparent while consideration to future plans takes place and until such time as a new animal welfare system in Ontario can be structured.

I cannot express strongly enough how important this action is and I am depending on you, as my government representative, to strongly reflect my feelings on this important issue. Premier Doug Ford promised during his campaign to address the horrific animal welfare system in Ontario. It's time for him to keep his promise to the animal loving citizens of Ontario.

With Respect,

Constituent Full Name
Address
City
Phone
Email

RAAW Reform Advocates for Animal Welfare