Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thanks Andy.

A few years ago cartoonist Andy Donoto put out a cartoon of what he thought then was a average "pit bull" owner.  It generated hundreds of emails and letters to both Andy and the Toronto Sun. 
People sent in pictures of their dogs and of themselves.  Some with talent sent Andy their cartoons and this time they projected positive images of owners.  I believe Andy finally got that owners of these dogs are everyday people;they are neighours, teachers, graphic artists, doctors, civil employees, realtors, business owners, caregivers etc.  Just because these people don't make the papers does not mean they don't exist and by the thousands if not tens of thousands in Ontario. 
Thanks for including the "pit bull ban" in the cartoon Andy and for putting it on the top of the heap.  The ban woke up alot of people as to just how bad laws could affect so many individuals and their family members.

One can view Andy's cartoon at the link below.  The other cartoon mentioned is not worth a view.

October 23, 2012 | Cartoons | Opinion | Toronto Sun

Thursday, October 4, 2012




October 4th, 2012
Dear Government House Leader
In the last three days during legislative question and answer period you personally have accused opposition parties of promoting "guilty until proven innocent".
How hypocritical as THAT is exactly what you, your party members and Dalton McGuinty did to thousands and thousands of Ontario citizens when your party passed the 2005 New Ontario Dog Owners Liability Act (DOLA).  It was your party that actually legislated "reverse onus" and took away presumption of innocence.  
Sir do you have any idea how many responsible citizens have gone to court to save their non-offending family pets lives since 2005?  Ontario citizens automatically guilty when no crime  committed?  Yet you have spent days in legislature lamenting the possibility of same for a single person because he is a colleague of yours?
We know from one web site alone Queens Park Liberals have received over 223 THOUSAND emails demanding "guilty until proven innocent" be amended in DOLA by removing the breed discriminatory portions in DOLA. Still your party continues to do nothing to right that injustice?   
Three bills have been put forth to correct this injustice for Ontario citizens.  Bill 16 has passed 2nd reading AND committee meetings and is currently waiting for you to call it forth yet you cry out for a single person to not be assumed guilty?  You as our government house leader dare to ignore the call demanding ALL citizens be presumed innocent and NOT automatically "guilty" under current Ontario law? 
Under the freedom of information act in 2007 it was found ONE Ontarian EVERY 3 days received a provincial offence for owning an assumed "illegal dog".  The crime being what the family pet looked like? These citizens also could lose professional status and their ability to earn an income as they are currently guilty in law. Going to court their only recourse to prove innocence.
Citizenship should never be a two-tier system. The justice system is for all people. This can end for many when you call Bill 16 for 3rd reading. Let legislative democracy occur and give Canadian Charter Rights back to THOUSANDS of non-offending Ontario citizens.
Do your job as government house leader for all citizens of Ontario.  
Call Bill 16 forth for 3rd reading now.   
Fran Coughlin
Advocate for Responsible Dog Ownership
Activist Against Breed Specific Legislation
Co-Founder of Hersheys Anti-BSL Group



Sunday, May 13, 2012

FIGHT For 3rd Reading of Bill 16

"EDUCATE DON'T DISCRIMINATE"! Wise advice but so far unheeded by many "Liberal" politicians in Ontario when breed specific legislation came to be under McGuinty rule in 2005.  Thus not only thousands of short haired smooth coated medium sized family pets became targets of canine racism but their human companions became victims also.

To end this stereotyping it's been seven long and difficult years of protests, court cases, petitions, fund raising, more court cases, dog shows, even more protests, rallies, special events, numerous amounts of petitions and two previous private members bills (thank you Cheri DiNovo) to get Bill 16 where it is today. A "Tri Party Bill" sponsored by PC MPP Randy Hillier, NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo and Liberal MPP Kim Craitor passed 2nd reading on February 23rd, 2012 by a vote of 51 to 26. Not an easy feat when Ontario's Premier continues to manipulate media, intimidate his caucus and whip votes. Before May 9th, of 2012 people had hope all committee members would be open, receptive and truly interested in insuring responsible, fair and effective legislation for the people of Ontario. Didn't happen

We live in what is supposed to be a free and democratic country but in "Dalton's Ontario" the CANADIAN Charter of Rights and Freedoms doesn't mean much and is given little credence. Since Bill 132 warrantless entry, reverse onus and even Canadian Charter rights to travel freely across Canada is the norm. Many people moved out of Ontario to save their family pets leaving jobs, family and friends to do so. Many former residents would like to come home. Even those travelling to Ontario from other provinces and countries are negatively affected. These are just some of the reasons why so many have fought so long and hard to have current legislation amended. Passing Hersheys Bill 16 will return equality to all citizens along with removing reverse onus and re-introducing freedom of unrestricted travel.  Getting Bill 16 where it is today has involved thousands and thousands of good Ontarians giving copious amounts of their time, effort and money.  It has been a blood, sweat and tears kind of scenario.

Don't let anyone tell you remaining a democracy in a democratic country is easy or comes cheaply. It does not. Many Ontarians know when you finally make Queens Park committee meetings the work done to get there needs to be taken seriously and deserves to be respected by all political parties and their respective politicians. Partisan politics should be left at committee meetings doorstep, a place where legislation usually becomes law.  With personal freedoms at stake, politicians who go into these meetings only to play a game for the benefit of "party popularity, power, prestige and perks" need to be voted out of office.

Why you ask if this important? Read the quote from the highest court in Ontario slowly and carefully. (Her Majesty the Queen and Phillip Huggins) "Anything enacted by legislature must be enforced however harsh, absurd or contrary to common sense".
Do you get how serious legislation is? I mean do you really get it"?  Ontarians are both appalled and offended at what happened in the committee meeting on May 9th, 2012.   Important and well thought out amendments were shot down without an ounce of serious thought or consideration after seven long hard years of extensive intensive work done by thousands of caring citizens; as those that have got there knows, getting through parliamentary committee doors is not a simple nor easy task.

Case in point. It has taken centuries, in some cases, for governments to acknowledge wrongdoings. The first human witch hunts in Europe and America occurred in the 16th century. Many of the real stories about the infamous SALEM WITCH TRIALS are still widely unknown. 150 people imprisoned, twenty innocent men and woman put to death (including a five year old girl). The underlying stories of deceit, power, financial greed and politics at the time are in fact even more intriguing than many of the old myths still told today.
 It took until October 31st, 2001 for the state of Massachusetts to exonerate the last witch killed in Salem.  That particular "witch hunt" took hundreds of years to finally, officially and legally be resolved.  When legislation becomes law, those laws should not be based on myth, hype, personal gain, propaganda, gullible votes or fear-mongering. Hopefully today's current governments will not be be so slow to right this current wrong.

Recent committee meetings were really NO different than those in 2005. All professional experts testified breed specific legislation (BSL) to be ineffective in lowering dog bites, costly to taxpayers and do not improve public safety.  Various experts cited recent worldwide studies showing banned breeds to be no more aggressive than any other type or breeds of dogs.  Countries, cities, towns, counties and one U.S. state have removed breed discriminatory laws based on documented evidence to its ineffectiveness.
 In spite of  new evidence given at two of the Ontario committee meetings, in the third meeting all   six amendments were rejected quickly, harshly and absurdly by the four Liberal representatives sitting at the table. Shades of committee meetings in 2005!  Facts and studies given by experts again ignored. Is all testimony given by so many credible professional experts to be disregarded again? Will current legislation stay in place though "public safety" has not improved? Will people continue to stand by while innocent and beloved family pets continue to be seized out of good and responsible homes and killed based only on appearance? Are "Canadian Charter Rights' to remain compromised?


How can discrimination and profiling continue to be sanctioned by government?
Why are we teaching childen to profile based on appearance?  How can myths and misinformation win over facts and studies given by professional experts?
How can decent politicians remain silent when current legislation needs to be corrected? Why are some media outlets still promoting hype while ignoring studies? How is it one single politician can whip votes, disrespect proper political procedures and subvert the democratic process?

Enough IS Enough!


1. CALL and personally talk to your elected representative insisting Bill 16 be called for 3rd reading
2. ASK your place of business for a letter of support and deliver or fax it to your MPP's office.
3. CONTACT business associates, educate them and ask for their support. Give educational tools.
4. Contact your friends and family and ask them to contact their MPP on your behalf.
5. Put up posters/flyers at dog parks, pet stores, grocery stores; every place you can think of.
6. Visit  Have friends join the page and keep up with events.
7. SHARE this blog and pass the messages of this blog and others speaking to Hersheys Bill 16.
6. Look up "Bill 16-Committee meeting" on YouTube. Listen to the experts see what really happened
8. Visit  to document and make public your MPP's letter.
9. Attend and promote the many protest walks and rallies against BSL going on all over Ontario.
10. Contact Ontario's Minister of Tourism and let the Minister know you will not be visiting.

    Lastly please consider donating to the cause.  Materials and major events cost money to produce.

NOTE:  To work around the program as written, some sentances are off or grammatically incorrect.