Postscript: Of puppy mills, chat shows, and rotten deals
Published Monday, September 26, 2011 8:09AM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, June 6, 2012 5:06PM EDT
I love dogs.
I have a 15-year-old mutt who still manages to get up and wag her tail whenever I come in --whenever she hears me, which is not very often.
But she still knows where the cookies are and can play me any way she wants.
So when I see cases of animal abuse it goes right to the core. And I get angry.
The images from last week's puppy mill raid in western Quebec were sickening.
Cages stacked on top of each other.
Sick dogs covered in feces.
Many of them sick with parasites.
Almost 200 dogs are still under the care of veterinarians.
So what can we do?
Start with the puppy mills.
If there is no market for the dogs, there will be no unscrupulous bloodsuckers making a quick buck on the backs of innocent and defenceless animals.
This week Toronto became the second Canadian city to ban the sale of animals in pet stores.
Dogs and cats in Toronto must come from shelters, humane societies or rescue groups. Now it won't stop all the Craigslist and Kijiji sales, but it's a good start.
Why can't we do the same here?
The second thing we can do is make the punishment fit the crime.
Why is Quebec the puppy mill capital of North America?
It's because of a checkered history of lax enforcement and laissez faire attitudes.
That is slowly changing.
MNA Geoff Kelley and his group have done some good work.
The number of Quebec inspectors has gone from 4 to 40.
They will soon have greater powers and tougher animal welfare regulations are coming. But the toughest punishments are still just fines, which amount to no more than a slap on the wrist.
What we really need are jail terms, but that falls under the federal criminal code and proving intent to be cruel is not easy.
However it can be done if there is a will.
Send a couple of puppy mill operators to prison for a while.
See how they like being in cages.
Airing dirty laundry on TV talk show
On the political front, Quebec's crisis of corruption is becoming a circus of corruption.
Why on earth would top investigator Jacques Duchesneau agree to go on a popular Radio-Canada talk show before he appears before a National Assembly committee next week?
A little bizarre n'est-ce-pas?
Let's hope our former police chief truly has the goods.
I suspect he does and is only scratching the surface of widespread deceit and decay.
Quebec City arena deal stinks
The biggest heist of the week though came in full view of everyone.
It was a brazen daylight stickup.
Our elected officials decided to ignore the democratic process and fair play in passing the Quebec City arena deal.
What it means is that Quebecor has a lock on naming and management rights for the new arena for the next 20 years.
A building for which the Liberals gave away $200 million of your money. Without competition, without tenders.
And not even anything remotely guaranteeing an NHL hockey team.
Clearly, the call here is misconduct.