Montreal pit-bull owners and supporters walked this Saturday July 11th, to take a stand against Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). July 11th 2012 is a date remembered by most pit-bull lovers as the day Lennox was killed by the Belfast City Council.
The walk was a success despite being forced to use the sidewalk by the SPVM officer on site. Québec “Pit Bull” and Nous sommes des Toutous, pas des Voyous the organizers of this walk, had provided an itinerary months ago which in turn was useless. The SPVM officer claimed that if less than 100 people attended, the protesters would have to use the sidewalk, therefore it wasn’t worth providing a police escort and closing streets for 50 or so protesters.
Last month the SPVM provided a police escort to women’s rights protesters opposing the sex trade industry during the Grand Prix weekend, yet they were no more than 50 when the march took to the streets. A few months ago the SPVM also provided a police escort as well as closed streets for under 25 protesters marching to City Hall in support of the homeless. Both protests would have been deemed illegal for not having provided an itinerary. Why did the SPVM attempt to suppress a legal march for pit-bulls?
BSL is a racist legislation against specific breeds of dogs such as Pitbulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Huskies, etc… Breed specific legislation makes no distinction on how well mannered a dog is, instead it judges the dog based on breed versus actions. Some boroughs in Montreal prohibit the ownership of pit-bulls, while the Island as a whole does not. The majority of breed specific legislation are commonly found in suburban and rural areas of Quebec. It is a municipal power as opposed to Ontario, which created a provincial breed specific legislation banning pit-bulls within the entire Ontario territory.
Many animal rights’ activists consider these municipal by-laws unconstitutional, as it gives the cities empowerment to seize and destroy said “property” without a valid warrant or court order. The Quebec charter allows one to enjoy their property to the extent of the law.
When Ontario activists took breed specific legislation to court, they lost. Unlike Quebec, Ontario does not have a charter of their own and the Canadian charter of humans rights does not protect one’s right to enjoy property to the full extent of the law. Only in Quebec do we find such revolutionary laws.
Just last week in Chateauguay, an off-island suburb of Montreal, a police officer named Jean-Francois Meloche (who is well known for wearing a Sheriff’s uniform on the job in protest against Quebec’s austerity measures), issued a ticket to a resident who has a pit-bull and requested that the dog in question be gone in 7 days, or he would return to seize “it”. Law enforcement in Quebec is as it was during the wild-west. This particular pit-bull is now in “hiding” while a petition to oppose the Chateauguay pit-bull ban is spreading online.
The Quebec Court of appeals had this to say:
 A companion animal such as the dog is a moveable property in the eyes of common law. In the case where the By-Law authorizes the seizure and destruction of such property without the consent of its owner and even at the cost of the latter, it must be read with a particular attention in order to avoid any abuse on the part of the authority in charge of its application. 2014 QCCA 1497 (CanLII)
Not only do towns and cities racially profile pit-bulls, but so do landlords. In Quebec landlords still think of themselves as lord of their land. This archaic clause found within rental leases can allow a property owner to prohibit dogs and cats, which violates one’s right to enjoy property as defined by the Quebec charter of humans rights.
CHARTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
6. Every person has a right to the peaceful enjoyment and free disposition of his property, except to the extent provided by law.
1975, c. 6, s. 6.
7. A person’s home is inviolable.
1975, c. 6, s. 7.
Can a lease seen as a contract supersede the Charter and restrict enjoyment of property? Is a municipal “by-law” even a “law”, or simply “rules” and “regulations”? In French it is “un reglement Municipal”, not “une loi”.
Translated text by Rick Cognyl-Fournier on 99% Media http://www.99media.org/rassemblement-marche-contre-legislation-raciale-envers-chiens-dit-dangereux/
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