Lately, it seems that every time I turn on the radio another Nova Scotia town is ready to pack it in and become part of their county! Why? Have they grown tired of their traditional independence? Of course not! Like ever so many other things in life, most decisions are driven by economics!
At the same time, there has been a steady backbeat of the poor boy blues by the new provincial government to soften the landing of their budget today! And yes .. before the keyboards catch on fire, yes I do remember that their predecessors spent the first half of their mandate bewailing their ‘inheritance’!
So are the Liberals following a time-honored tradition of trash talking or is Nova Scotia really hovering on the brink of ruin? Not to be mean, but it makes a very convenient out for putting election promises off for at least a year or two!
So what does all this have to do with the animals? Quite a bit actually! The Minister has set the society up as the fall guy by seeking the lowest common denominator with the new Draft Regulations!
Why? Is the Minister hoping that folks will be so full of angst they will overlook that teeny little detail that he has, in effect, cancelled the new funding for cruelty investigations implemented by his predecessor?
Does he not remember what happened last time the NDP tried to dismiss the need for funding? That the animal loving community is like any other family? That squabbling among ourselves does not stop us from pulling together when the need arises?
Why do animal advocates lobby? Love! It is not about the money! It is never about power or position! Love may not be ALL the animals need, but it rests at the core of each and every proposal that was so carefully prepared and submitted!
It is a mixed blessing that these are regulations and not a new bill! On the uptick, the regulation process is much simpler once the government department commits to the process! The flipside of course is that these regulations will never need to be debated in the house or put politicians in a position of publicly saying yea or nay!
There is no question that these are challenging fiscal times for politicians! That is a simple fact that cannot be sidestepped!
The good news is that it is possible to be kinder without breaking the bank! Make it illegal to shoot a dog or a cat , including feral cats! Provide legal protection for volunteer colony caregivers who are of their own volition managing feral cat populations and creating healthier communities! Change the unenforceable 12 hour tethering limit to off hours and specific weather advisories! Ban declawing!
To be perfectly honest, most of the action items advocates have been suggesting would actually make cruelty easier …. ergo cheaper … to enforce!
Even better, some things, such as mandatory breeder registration would actually generate revenue!
Best of all of course is that more specific regulations would enable the ever so educational opportunities provided by successful prosecution!
What time is it? Right here, right now, those working on the regulations have an opportunity to raise the bar instead of seeking the lowest common denominator!
How many other opportunities do politicians have these days to ‘get it right’ without breaking the bank?