Monday, February 8, 2010

City Council

So I was watching something on my local channel about some proposed changes to the City bylaws regarding pets/owners. One proposal was to fine people $350 if they were out walking their dogs but did not have a 'doody bag' with them to clean up after their animal.

Sorry but I find that ridiculous. I've stepped in dog poo. Just last week I went out to shovel my front walk and found a GIANT pile of steaming fresh crap laying there, I hate it. I rode my bike through a particularly unsavoury pile of it in the fall (UGH!) but I still would not expect people to be fined for not carrying a BAG with them. What if they did have one but already used it, threw it out, and were heading home? My dog is 13.5 years old and has a very distinct potty pattern. I only bring 2 bags with me for that very reason and I throw them out as soon as I see a garbage can. Now what - am I supposed to carry two bags of poo with me in my son's stroller, or make my older kids carry it around, so we can prove to a passing bylaw officer that we came prepared? I think that is ludicrous. And it is not going to stop people from letting their dogs crap on the ground. They could just shove a bag in their pocket and keep it there forever, and let their dog doodie all over the place. Meanwhile, some poor unsuspecting person could get nailed with a $350 fine even if their dog has never poo'd in the park, or if they have always cleaned up after their pet. I think it's insane.

They are also deciding about putting up the license fee - but doesn't that ONLY hurt the people who actual follow that bylaw and register their pets every year or so? It certainly does not get money from people who do not license their animals.

And they are talking of a cut-off of dogs or cats, I believe setting the limit at 3. What if a person currently has 4 pets, well taken care of, licensed, registered, all their shots, clean up after them etc ---- do they have to give one of their beloved pets away if this bylaw gets approved??? I just don't understand that.

Recently a home was found to have over 100 animals inside - is that why they are discussing this bylaw? So they are going to punish people who have 4 or 5 pets? I don't get it.

I have a big piece of cat poo on my back step, I noticed earlier. I don't have a cat. So it's one of my neighbour's pets most likely. I hate that too. I don't let my dog wander around and crap on people's property - but I still don't feel like supporting bylaw changes like this. I much more prefer to let my dog out when I see a cat in our yard ;) That works well too but it appears that the cold weather my old ancient dog doesn't like is letting the cats back in. But whatever - I live near other people so I can expect a little bit of interference. I live in a city - how can I expect that every single other person around her act perfectly? I don't... I wish they did lol, but I am not going to wander around all day making sure no one's pet poops on my lawn. I just clean it up and think 'one day I will move OUT of the city'. I would not want some old guy walking his 15 yr old dog in the park to end up with a $350 fine for not carrying a stupid BAGGIE.

I almost always run out of bags before I get home - so am I supposed to start carrying 5? 10?

The SPCA had a representative at this council meeting expressing their concern because they felt it would cause them to get buried under more animals - especially the limit on pets.

There was also a 'concerned citizen' there who said something very interesting. She said that this is slowly chopping away at the Rights of residents here. That this started out as a vicious dog bylaw but is GROWING into including all pet owners. Gee doesn't that sound familiar?

Give them an inch, and they will take a mile? You can apply this concept to just about any program out there. Just change the key words from pets/baggies to drivers/licenses, children/nutrition, smokers/smoking bans and the story is the same. It always starts out as something that seems Good for the General Public and then expands step by step until you can't even remember how the hell you got to this point.

Dogs poop - let's fine people who's animals are seen taking a dump... okay.... but then they don't catch many (I rarely see the bylaw officer around my park right now) so let's expand it to Fine People for not carrying around a little plastic baggie. Surely that will gross some more cash!

Let's stop smokers from bothering fellow restaurant goers .... okay.... well that wasn't quite good enough so let's take a few more steps until suddenly no one can smoke in any establishment, not even outside on the patio and while we're at it, let's not allow ciggies to be shown to the public so we will cover them up. Maybe people will forget they can't smoke if they can't see the packages.

Kids are not eating well enough. Let's start teaching them about the Canada Food Guide in schools. Let's increase their activity... okay... that's not good enough so let's just do a secret vote in the Board Room and whap the schools with the new rule that NOTHING that is not on the Canada Food Guide list can be served in the schools, or at school parties, and the teacher's can't pack it in their lunches either. Next prediction from me - parents will be asked not to send anything 'not approved' cos that already happens at my daycare. It will spread to schools eventually, watch this space.

Drivers - must have your license with you at all times now. Or you could get fined. Even if we just happen to stop you for no reason, if you cannot produce your license immediately, you will get a ticket. Who cares if you just jumped in your car to grab the kids from school, who cares if you have already been paying your license and registration fees faithfully for the past 40 years - you don't have it with you today so you have to pay up. Now.

And if you walk down to the corner with your old blind diabetic dog just to give her some exercise for a few minutes, but you forget her poo bag - we will fine you $350. I don't care that she didn't actually even crunch on someone's lawn, we are still going to fine you.

How nice!
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Oh and I should add what our fab mayor said at the end.... he talked about how a boy in Saskatchewan was killed recently . He said 'that dog belonged to somebody'.

First of all I heard it was a pack of wild dogs, but regardless - what does a young boy tragically losing his life have to do with a $350 fine for lacking a poo-bag or increased license fees have to do with it? Honestly Norm... sorry but that was the silliest thing I have heard yet.

What I also noticed is that the couple of older aldermen are more open to listening to things like this and tend to table the ideas for further thought or outright say there are several things WRONG - but the younger ones tend to just let it all happen.

8 comments:

  1. Rather than fining people without a bag why not make it legal to go out and kick the mutt across the road and punch the owner in the mouth. As for cats, a simple pellet in the butt from an air rifle (not a CO2 gun or real rifle) will deter the furry little brutes.

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  2. Hey a socialist state needs an aweful lot of other peoples money you know, they pay people to think up new ways of getting at yours.
    I Like Texas's system of a part time legislature at $7,000 a year per member rather than our full time system for 100 grand + where they really have nothing to do but think up new and useless ways of spending our money. Plus Texas has no personal state income taxes and a higher GDP than all of Canada.
    less is better when it comes to government.
    But in Canada....
    Socialism Socialism Ra Ra Ra stick it to the middle class Ha Ha Ha. Phucking socialists.

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  3. My town restricts dogs to a ridiculous degree and lets cats roam free and unfettered. On the subject of ridiculous laws, a landlord here can be fined $5000 for a grow-op found in his rental property! I guess it's easier to catch the victim than the perpetrator. I would vote for the candidate or party at local, provincial or federal levels that would cull our laws instead of adding more.

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  4. Whenever the Government tries to police the people, it ends up badly.

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  5. Powell - my bf is thinking more along the lines of 'next time one of the neighbourhood cats wanders into our garage, I'm going to run out and shut the door and lock them in there'. Oh dear - it's -25C at night right now,,, I shudder at the thought! But I will sit at my computer which faces the backyard and see THREE different cats come out of there. Not sure if it's a kitty convention or what??

    As for other rules - I remember as a teen of 17, my neighbour kids kept letting my dog out of the backyard even though we had locks on it. They would climb our fence and let him out, and I would get a fine of $75 for "dog running at large" if he was picked up by bylaw. He was not vicious, he just happily ran through the fields and ended up in the downtown area a few times. I could never catch who was letting him out or I would have brought the fines to their parents, but I assume it was kids. I don't really know. But anyway instead of the police checking around to see who was tampering with our fence, we just kept getting fined. Eventually I could not leave my dog out there alone and that was unfair, we had a huge yard because of our dogs but it just went to waste. Again, punishing the people who try to follow the rules. I remember one time when bylaw dropped off my dog, he was writing me a ticket and I let go of the dog's collar to sign the paper..... the bylaw officer FREAKED on me and said I had to 'get that dog secured RIGHT NOW!'. I was on my own front lawn and the dog was just sitting there - but he said I could not have 'that animal' loose. Since when? I never saw a report that said your dog was not allowed on your own lawn unless he was tied up or leashed. But he told me to get him in the backyard NOW or I would get another ticket.

    I wish my dad was home that day. I could use the money for something useful like bailing him out of jail instead ;)

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  6. The by-law enforcement officer in the town you live in is a power tripping freak .If you don't measure up to his standards you will pay until you do or you complain enough to the police commision . I have seen him sitting , parked by my house for as long as half an hour after I first noticed him staring at my yard trying to find something to write me up on . I got home from work one day early , about 2:30 in the afternoon because I wasn't feeling well . When I parked there were no street sweepers , no signs , no indication of any thing . In fact , I had passed the street cleaners on the way home , in another sction of town , about 15 blocks away . At 7:30 A.M. when I went out to go to work I was getting a ticket for parking in a street cleaning zone . There were now 2 signs up , neither visible from my front door or window. They only cleaned the block I live on and then left the area . I passed them on the way to work , in the same are they were in the day before .
    An ex police chief for mayor and a bunch of control freaks on city council makes a wonderful combination . This whole city is designed for control . Go into any sub-division and check out the access routes everything is choked down so they can control entrance or exit .

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  7. ah yes! my Bf used to live in the Flats and had a few run-ins with the street sweepers. One fine late Spring morning, 2007 I believe, he was sleeping with the windows open and could hear the street sweepers coming. It was very early, and there had been NO signs put up the day before. He got up and went outside to move his truck and was floored to see several No Parking In This Block signs on the sidewalks. And the whole street was full of cars. So no, he was not blind, they had indeed NOT put the signs up the day before or you'd think at least one person would have heeded the warning and parked elsewhere. Luckily, no one came around to ticket that he knows of, but they could have. And how do you fight that ticket? Take photos of your street every single day, all year long, to prove that there were no signs up 'just in case'. It's really mental. Usually the signs are up 2-3 days before they get to the area I'm in now and people get fed up and park there anyway lol.

    I lived in Southridge before moving to another area a couple years ago... so you don't need to tell me about the traffic and access problems/control. The 13th ave/transcanada bottleneck is a total disaster and we have yet to go through there when the lights made any sort of sense at all - I lived with that mess for 4 years and that was enough for me! I'm in an older area now built in the 70s and it's a fair bit better for getting around.

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  8. Oh and I don't know if the current bylaw officer is the same one from when I was a kid but that other dude was certainly on a power trip. I remember sitting on a bench down in Strathcona park about 10 years ago and it was not quite 11pm. He was sitting in his truck just outside the park gates and came over eventually with his flashlight right in my face and told me that I had to leave the park. He had a totally crappy attitude, did not say it nicely. I was no longer a teenager, and not mouthing him back or anything like that I promise lol. I was sitting there blinded and looking at my watch. I still had 10 minutes according to the 'park closes at 11' sign but he wanted me gone NOW. I sat there and did not move so he walked back to his truck and shone his high beams on me. At 1059 I got up and walked the few steps to the 'gate' and left. He tore out of there like a man on fire,squealing his tires and glaring at me! But that was back in the day when I didn't have the guts to phone and complain, to stand up to him (other than my silent 'sit-in' protest when I refused to leave lol). He was a real piece of work.

    I made a joke once when getting a ticket for my dog,,, he said it was for 'Dog Running At Large' and I said 'Don't you mean Large Dog Running?'. He huffed and puffed and glared at me then too. Gee sorry buddy - I'm not lipping you off, never have, I'm taking my ticket nicely and just trying to crack a joke!

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These are my views and opinions. If you don't agree or think I am sadly misguided, that is your view. Feel free to share your thoughts but I also reserve my right to moderate content (IE foul language, excessive flaming, etc).

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