The year is coming to a close and externally, it was a very strange year from a lot of perspectives, particularly in the political arena. The media must have had a field day with all of the bizarre stories surfacing throughout the year that made watching the news or scanning the headlines like being hooked to the latest reality TV sensation.
Sometimes CKC politics is also a strong contender to capture the attention of those seeking intrigue, titillation or even shock.
I know that politics and government are two different things but sometimes it’s hard to separate the two. And government politics can be tough when it comes to the policies and mandate of the CKC. But with the support and collaboration of my fellow members, the Board of Directors, and other involved parties, I’ve learned a lot about navigating the halls of government administration.
During 2017, we spoke with various government officials in BC when we heard about their intent to introduce a plan for breeder licensing and/or registration for breeders. We still await the outcome but were pleased that they picked up
when we called.
The City of Prince George recently updated its animal control by-laws using references to CKC policies on Dangerous Dog Legislation. To me, this is a good sign of the raised awareness of the CKC combined with a voice of reason with the difficult issues of dangerous dogs.
In Ontario, the City of Toronto proposed new dog ownership by-laws that were generally supported by CKC with some exceptions, such as an ill-advised collar ban. My personal observation was the influence of feedback and the support of animal control services resulted in a slowing down of the ban pending further consultation now expected in 2018.
On a more proactive front, CKC participated in a National Conference for the Federation of Municipalities. Under the direction of the Responsible Dog Ownership Committee, delegates were educated on the merits of the CKC Canine Good Neighbour Program as a constructive tool to educate and entice responsible dog ownership.
In Quebec, CKC members including the Quebec Zone Director, Linda St-Hilaire, met again at the provincial level with lawmakers to present the CKC’s position when there was serious threat of more discriminatory Breed Specific Legislation. The province still has legislation pending but they passed off any immediate action to the municipalities so we shifted our focus to the City of Montreal where a “Pitbull Ban” was being enacted. Taking a lead from the Montreal SPCA, who was vehemently opposing the ban in the courts, we offered our position again and offered to serve as a witness if required. The optimism of the Montreal SPCA that the ban will be lifted under the leadership of the recently elected new mayor seems to be coming to fruition. We heard last Friday that the parts of the animal control bylaw targeting specific breeds will be suspended and the changes will be ratified on December 20.
In closing, I think that it’s timely to congratulate and welcome the recently elected members of the CKC Board of Directors for the 2018-2020 term. To be successful as a Zone Director, it takes strong political skills to champion the direction of the CKC and survive out in the field!