Saturday, May 27, 2006

BS Legislation In Ontario

No, this is not about that kind of BS from the McGuinty government.

First big dog show of the summer season here in Eastern Ontario today. We had the good fortune to meet some folks from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Association, and some of their dogs this afternoon. These are dogs that are now banned in Ontario under the Liberals' ridiculous breed-specific legislation on pit bulls.

While the highly dangerous (and unmuzzled) Staffy was licking my hand and wagging his tail furiously, much to my daughter's delight, we talked about the stupidity of this law. As I have written in comments on other blogs on this topic, let's imagine that one year most drunk driving deaths in Ontario are caused by people driving Fords. The Liberal solution to this would be to ban Fords. This is an exact parallel for the pitbull ban, except that enough people drive Fords that they wouldn't dare.

The fact is that dangerous dogs are owned by irresponsible and dangerous people. No one breed of dog can be singled out; all dogs have the potential to be safe or dangerous according to how they are bred, socialized, trained, kept and managed. The smart legislator would solve a problem with legislation directed at people, not dogs.

Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant has been something of an ambulance-chaser when it comes to incidents involving 'pitbulls'. Interestingly, when confronted with real problems that are less susceptible to bogus, smoke and mirror solutions, he is conspicious by his absence. Where was he when a teenager was shot outside the Eaton Centre? Where has he been during the last three months of mob rule in Caledonia?

The pitbull ban is a shameful vote grabbing exercise with no basis in fact, reason or decency. It's the worst kind of law, because it punishes the innocent, feeds on ignorance and gives a false sense of security. Not only is it stupid and ineffective, but it's a grave injustice.

There may not be a lot of votes in repealing this shameful law, but an opposition leader of any integrity would make it part of their platform in the next provincial election. We call on John Tory to do the right thing and get rid of the pitbull ban.

You know, although the BS in the title of this post referred to Breed Specific legislation, maybe it really is about that other kind of BS after all.