Ontario government appealing animal welfare enforcement ruling

The ruling gave the government a year to create greater transparency around animal welfare enforcement

The Ontario government is appealing the court ruling that give it a year to sort out a way to make animal welfare enforcement in Ontario more accountable.

The Jan. 2, 2019 ruling from Ontario Superior Court Justice Timothy Minnema, said that the powers given to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals by the province should be more stringently regulated.

The OSPCA as a non-profit organization, does not fall under the same government transparency requirements as, say, police or Ministry of Natural Resources enforcement personnel. Lawyer Kurtis Andrews, who was involved in bringing the case to the court with paralegal Jeffrey Bogaerts, told Farmtario after the ruling that he expected the province to appeal.

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The ruling could have broader implication for the government, said Andrews, including the authority granted to Children’s Aid Societies to respond to complaints and enforce rulings related to child welfare.

The OSPCA wasn’t part of the legal proceedings, as the case focused on the constitutionality of the powers given to it by the province. The Attorney General of the province was the respondent in the case.

About the author

Editor

John Greig has spent his career in agriculture journalism and communications. He lives on a farm near Ailsa Craig, Ontario. Contact John at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jgreig

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