Do you remember how excited we all were all were on the twenty-second of March? Why? That was when …. in response to strong voter feedback … our provincial government proudly issued a press release stating that the NDP Government was going to “Take Action to Protect Animals and Penalize Animal Abusers” !
How could we not be excited? Wasn’t that good news? Who would have imagined that after four years of only writing a teeny little housekeeping regulation for our Act that our provincial government was finally prepared to listen to the animal loving community?
On a good day, politics is a shell game. If you add into that mix a ‘rookie’ government with a majority mandate sliding down a slippery slope to an election … all bets tend to go out the window!
Lets face it …. the tragedy this week has only underscored the talent for tap dancing with our NDP Ministers. Both our Justice and Education Departments have been long on rhetoric and very, very short on action!
The Department of Agriculture is clearly part of that well oiled team! I was very, very disappointed to see a letter from the Minister trying to skew their lack of performance in a positive light. Press releases from the society ED explaining why it is perfectly legal for dogs to freeze to death at the end of a chain positively pale beside the rubble I read!
Much ado was made of existing penalties on the books while conveniently overlooking that they are not worth the paper they are written on without more specific regulations with respect to offences. The equivalent would be bragging about Drinking and Driving penalties if there were no actual specific legal limits to define the offence, eh?
THere was more rubbish about having a One Hundred Percent conviction rate! Perhaps the Minister had forgotten that animal advocates in this province can readily read the publicly available online Cruelty Investigation Statistics on the society website. In other words, that the letter’s recipient could easily discover for herself that out of 712 justifiable cruelty cases last year, FIVE convictions were achieved! Yup … that’s right!
Now TECHNICALLY, he was telling the truth … because only five out of 712 justifiable cases … or less than ONE PERCENT of justifiable cases made it to the courts. But that of course does not sound anywhere near as impressive as bragging about a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT conviction rate, eh?
Now if you have read the official caucus responses to the survey sent to all parties by People for Dogs, you will realize that the NDP have learned one thing during their time in office. To be efficient? To get the job done? Nope .. they have learned how to “say it best when they say nothing at all”!
Below you will see a letter from the Premier to one of the leading animal advocates behind the grassroots group People for Dogs. It is polite and political and basically backpedaling on any suggestion that this session would see tangible progress for animal welfare in this province!
Why the waffling? Why the sudden loss of interest in taking action? Because they believe that they CAN of course!
Here in Nova Scotia, the Justice Department is scrambling to cover up suggestions that they failed to protect Rehtaeh Parsons! The Education Department … of which Cole HArbour High School is a part .. are telling anyone who will listen that they had no idea bullying was still stalking school halls! The Agriculture Department is confident that announcing a hush money payment of 100 K will be sufficient to ensure the society will back up their story that all is right in the world for animals!
Would it be any different if the sitting government was Liberal or PC? Somehow I suspect we may soon see!
What time is it? While it is overly optimistic to expect any politician to be straight forward, it is definitely time for our sitting government to remember that report card day is coming for them all!