Transcript: OSPCA at a Crossroads | Jan 24, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "OSPCA at a crossroads. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says AN ONTARIO COURT RECENTLY
RULED THAT THE POLICING POWERS
OF THE ONTARIO SOCIETY FOR THE
PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
IT GAVE THE PROVINCE ONE YEAR TO
RE-WRITE THE FRAMEWORK FOR HOW
TO ENFORCE LAWS THAT PROTECT
ANIMALS FROM ABUSE AND NEGLECT.
JOINING US NOW FOR MORE: BRIAN
SHILLER, GENERAL COUNSEL FOR THE
ONTARIO SPCA...

Brian is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short curly black hair. He's wearing a gray suit and white shirt.

Steve continues KENDRA COULTER,
CHANCELLOR'S CHAIR FOR RESEARCH
EXCELLENCE AND CHAIR OF THE
LABOUR STUDIES DEPARTMENT AT
BROCK UNIVERSITY...

Kendra is in her late forties, with long wavy blond hair and bangs. She's wearing a bright red blazer, black shirt, and pearl necklace.

Steve continues AKAASH
MAHARAJ, CHAIR OF THE UNIVERSITY
OF GUELPH'S NEW EQUINE PUBLIC
POLICY GROUP AND CEO OF THE
THINK TANK, THE MOSAIC INSTITUTE...

Akaash is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short curly gray hair. He's wearing a gray tweed suit, white shirt, and yellow tie.

Steve continues AND CAMILLE LABCHUK,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR THE
ANIMAL-RIGHTS GROUP ANIMAL JUSTICE.

Camille is in her twenties with long wavy blond hair with highlights. She's wearing a gray tee.

Steve continues AND IT IS DELIGHTFUL TO HAVE YOU
BACK HERE, WHOM WE HAVEN'T SEEN
IN MANY, MANY YEARS.
AND YOU BACK HERE WHO I THINK WE
LAST SAW ON ELECTION NIGHT
SOMETIME AGO WHEN YOU WERE DOING
WORK WITH THE GREEN PARTY, AND
YOU HERE WHO WERE HERE NINE
YEARS ON THIS ISSUE AS WELL.
AND I DON'T THINK YOU'VE EVER
BEEN HERE?

Kendra says HAPPY TO BE HERE.

Steve says HAPPY TO HAVE
EVERYBODY HERE.
SYDNEY COHEN IS OUR DIRECTOR TODAY.
DO YOU WANT TO BRING THIS GRAPHIC UP?
WE WANT TO BRING SOME BACKGROUND
TO BEAR HERE.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Who should protect the animals? Bogaerts versus Attorney General of Ontario."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
IN 1919, 100 YEARS AGO, THE
ONTARIO GOVERNMENT GAVE THE
ONTARIO SPCA A PRIVATE CHARITY
LAW ENFORCEMENT POWERS FOR
ANIMAL WELFARE CASES.
A GUY NAMED JEFFREY BOGARTS
BROUGHT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO
COURT SAYING IT WAS
UNCONSTITUTIONAL FOR THE
GOVERNMENT TO GIVE THE OSPCA
THOSE POWERS.
THE COURT HEARD ARGUMENTS LAST
YEAR.
CAMILLE'S GROUP, ANIMAL JUSTICE,
INTERVENED IN THE CASE.
THE JUDGE RULED ON JANUARY 2,
2019, JUST EARLIER THIS MONTH
AND CREATED A NEW PRINCIPLE OF
JUSTICE, THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENCIES MUST BE TRANSPARENT AND
ACCOUNTABLE, AND THE JUDGE SAID
THAT THE OSPCA AS A PRIVATE
CHARITY WAS NOT TRANSPARENT OR
ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PUBLIC, SO
THEIR LAW ENFORCEMENT POWERS,
THE JUDGE SAID, ARE
UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
AND THE JUDGE SUSPENDED THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RULING FOR
ONE YEAR SO THE PROVINCE COULD
REFORM ANIMAL WELFARE
ENFORCEMENT, UNLESS, OF COURSE,
THE GOVERNMENT APPEALS AND WE'RE
STILL WAITING TO FIND OUT ABOUT
THAT.
OKAY, AGAIN, BRIAN, WITH SOME
MORE BACKGROUND IN PLACE, HOW
DID THE OSPCA GET THESE POWERS
IN ENFORCEMENT 100 YEARS AGO IN
THE FIRST PLACE?

The caption changes to "Brian Shiller. OSPCA."
Then, it changes again to "Who's the law?"

Brian says I THINK IT WAS REALLY BASED
IN THE FACT THAT IT'S ANIMAL
WELFARE IS VERY COMMUNITY-BASED,
AND THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE TIME
WERE LEAVING THESE TO
COMMUNITIES AND EVENTUALLY IT
WAS... THIS LEGISLATION COMES
INTO PLACE AND IT LEAVES ALL
POLICING POWERS IN THE HANDS OF
THE OSPCA, AT LEAST IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.

Steve says AND WHAT WAS THE
OSPCA'S INVOLVEMENT IN THE CASE,
IN THE COURT CASE?

Brian says IN THIS COURT CASE RECENTLY?

Steve says YEAH.

Brian says IT OFFERED ASSISTANCE AS
REQUESTED BY THE MINISTRY OF THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL.

Steve says DID IT HAVE A VIEW ONE
WAY OR THE OTHER AS TO WHETHER
OR NOT YOU SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT
HAVE THESE ENFORCEMENT POWERS?

Brian says WE EXPRESSED NO VIEW ONE WAY
OR THE OTHER.
OUR GOAL IS TO ENSURE THAT
THERE'S ANIMAL PROTECTION
LEGISLATION THAT MOST
EFFECTIVELY HELPS ANIMALS IN
THIS PROVINCE.

Steve says OKAY.
CAMILLE, WHY DID YOUR GROUP INTERVENE?

The caption changes to "Camille Labchuck. Animal Justice."

Camille says WELL, WE'RE LOOKING AT THIS
AS ONTARIO ANIMAL WELFARE BEING
IN CRISIS, AND WE SAW THIS AS A
CASE WHERE ANIMAL ISSUES WERE
GOING TO BE AT THE HEART OF THE
CASE, BUT NOBODY THERE WAS
SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE
ANIMALS.
SO YOU HAVE MR. BOGARTS WHO WAS
CONCERNED ABOUT PROPERTY RIGHTS
OF HIS AND OTHER LANDOWNERS IN
HIS COMMUNITY.

Steve says WE SHOULD SAY, HE'S
WITH THE ONTARIO LANDOWNERS
ASSOCIATION.
THIS IS A RURAL EASTERN ONTARIO
SORT OF QUASI-LIBERTARIAN GROUP?

Camille says I WOULD SAY VERY LIBERTARIAN,
AND THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT
THEIR OWN RIGHTS.
THE MINISTRY OF THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL IS TRYING TO UPHOLD THE
LAW BECAUSE THEY WANT TO ENFORCE
THE STATUS QUO IN THE SYSTEM
THAT'S IN PLACE.
AND ANIMAL JUSTICE FELT LIKE WE
HAD TO BE IN THE COURT TO MAKE
SURE THE JUDGE HEARD WHAT WAS
BEST FOR ANIMALS, AND FOR US
TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
ARE GOOD FOR ANIMALS.

Steve says WHY DID YOU FEEL THOSE
TWO THINGS WERE LACKING IN THE
WAY THE OSPCA DID ITS BUSINESS?

Camille says WELL, THE OSPCA IS THE ONLY
PRIVATE CHARITY IN THE PROVINCE
THAT'S ALLOWED TO ENFORCE
PUBLICLY ENACTED LAWS.
THIS IS SOMETHING THAT EXISTS IN
MANY PLACES AROUND THE COUNTRY
AND IN FACT AROUND THE
COMMONWEALTH.
EVERYTHING PREVIOUSLY WAS A
PRIVATE PROSECUTION AT THAT
POINT.
IT WASN'T LIKE THERE WAS A
PUBLIC POLICE FORCE DOING THESE
CASES FOR ANIMALS, SO THE RSPCA
SPRUNG UP, AND THAT MODEL SPREAD
TO THE COMMONWEALTH.

Steve says "R" MEANING?

Camille says ROYAL SPCA IN THE U.K.
WE THINK IF YOU HAD TO DESIGN
THE SYSTEM FROM SCRATCH TODAY,
LIKE ALL OF OUR OTHER PUBLIC LAW
ENFORCEMENTS, IT WOULD MAKE MORE
SENSE TO DO THAT.

Steve says AND WHAT DID YOU THINK
OF THE COURT RULING?

Camille says WELL, THE JUDGE ADOPTED MOST
OF WHAT ANIMAL JUSTICE REQUESTED.
THEY UPHELD THE OSPCA'S SEARCH POWER.
IT'S APPROPRIATE FOR THEM TO DO
WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO POLICE
ANIMAL PROTECTION IN THIS
PROVINCE, BUT HE SAID THAT THE
SYSTEM WHERE PRIVATE CHARITY
WITHOUT ANY ACCOUNTABILITY, SO
OVERSIGHT BY POLICE SERVICES
LEGISLATION, FOR INSTANCE, AND
TRANSPARENCY, SO ABILITY TO
ACCESS INFORMATION, LIKE FREEDOM
OF INFORMATION REQUESTS, HE SAID
THAT WAS THE PROBLEM.
AND WE AGREED WITH THAT.

Steve says HMM.
AKAASH, WHAT WAS YOUR TAKE ON
THE RULING?

The caption changes to "Akaash Maharaj. University of Guelph."

Akaash says I THOUGHT IT WAS A GREAT
VICTORY FOR THE DEMOCRATIC
PROCESS FOR ANIMAL WELFARE AND
INDEED FOR THE OSPCA ITSELF.
I SHOULD BEGIN BY SAYING THAT IN
MY WORK I HAVE HIGH REGARD FOR
THE OSPCA, AND ESPECIALLY FOR
THE PEOPLE WHO ARE INVOLVED IN
IT.
I THINK THEY ARE GENERALLY WELL
INTENTIONED AND MOTIVATED BY A
DESIRE TO PROTECT ANIMAL
WELL-BEING.
HAVING SAID THAT, STRUCTURALLY
THE OSPCA IS AN AFFRONT TO
DEMOCRATIC NORMS.
IT'S AN ORGANIZATION THAT WIELDS
PUBLIC POWER AND CONSUMES PUBLIC
RESOURCES BUT IS NOT SUBJECT TO
PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY.
IT HAS POLICE POWERS, INCLUDING
UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES THE
RIGHT TO SEARCH PRIVATE PROPERTY
AND SEIZE PRIVATE ASSETS, BUT IT
IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE POLICE
SERVICES ACT.
IT IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE FREEDOM
OF INFORMATION REQUEST.
IT IS NOT SUBJECT TO OVERSIGHT
OR THE RULINGS BY THE OMBUDSMAN.
IF YOU'RE GOING TO WIELD THAT
SORT OF PUBLIC POWER, WHICH I
THINK THEY SHOULD, YOU MUST BE
PUBLICLY ACCOUNTABLE.

Steve says DO YOU HAVE A VIEW AS
TO WHY IT'S BLASTED THE WAY IT
HAS FOR 100 YEARS WITHOUT
WITHOUT TOO MANY PEOPLE ANYWAY
BEING PARTICULARLY FUSSED ABOUT
ALL THOSE THINGS?

Akaash says I THINK IN PART IT'S BECAUSE
MOST ANIMAL WELFARE CASES HAPPEN
OUTSIDE OF PUBLIC SCRUTINY,
OUTSIDE OF PUBLIC ATTENTION.
BUT IN ADDITION, THIS IS AN OLD
ISSUE.
MOST PEOPLE WOULD AGREE, I
THINK, THAT MODERN POLICING AS
WE NOW UNDERSTAND IT STARTED
WITH THE METROPOLITAN POLICE IN
LONDON.
THE MET WAS FOUNDED IN 1829.
THE R SPCA WAS FOUNDED IN 1824,
AND IN FACT THE ENTIRE POLICE
SERVICES, THEIR UNIFORMS, THEIR
RANK STRUCTURE, THE TITLES THAT
THEY ARE GIVEN WERE ALL ACTUALLY
BASED ON THE RSPCA'S MODEL OF
RANKS, BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT
TO IMITATE THOSE OF THE
MILITARY.
THIS IS AN OLD SYSTEM, BUT
CLEARLY THE WORLD HAS MOVED ON
SINCE THE 1820S.

Steve says MADAM CHAIR, HOW DID
YOU GET TO THIS ISSUE?

The caption changes to "Kendra Coulter. Brock University."

Kendra says WELL, IT'S A REALLY
SIGNIFICANT TIME TO BE THINKING
ABOUT THE WELL-BEING OF ANIMALS,
BUT ALSO THE PEOPLE ON THE FRONT
LINES WHO DO THIS WORK.
SO THIS IS THE ONLY KIND OF LAW
ENFORCEMENT WHERE IT'S THE
MAJORITY OF WOMEN, FOR EXAMPLE,
AND WE ACTUALLY HAVE SLIGHTLY
MORE FAIR INSPECTORS IN THE
TTC, THAN THERE ARE
ANIMAL CRUELTY INVESTIGATORS
FOR THE ENTIRE PROVINCE.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS SAYS?

Kendra says THERE WAS ACTION NEEDED.
THERE WERE MANY GOOD REASONS TO
HAVE THESE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT
WHAT IS THE MOST EFFICIENT AND
EFFECTIVE WAY OF ENFORCING A LAW
OF GIVING ANIMALS THE
PROTECTIONS THAT THEY NEED, THE
CARE THEY NEED AFTERWARDS, OF
PROTECTING FRONT-LINE OFFICERS,
OF HAVING LEGAL ENFORCEMENT
SYSTEM THAT IS ACCOUNTABLE TO
THE PUBLIC, RESPECTFUL OF THE
PUBLIC, BUT THAT ALSO IS EASY
FOR THE PUBLIC TO ADMINISTER.
RIGHT?
WE WANT A SYSTEM THAT MAKES
SENSE, THAT'S COHERENT, THAT
WORKS FOR EVERYONE.
SO THOSE ARE THE MAIN FACTORS
THAT I THINK ARE SIGNIFICANT,
AND THIS IS WHAT WAS PERHAPS IN
MORE OF A HYPOTHETICAL
DISCUSSION HAS BECOME VERY
URGENT AND ACTION IS REALLY
NEEDED BY THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says AND WHAT DO YOU THINK
OF THE COURT'S DECISION?

The caption changes to "Kendra Coulter, @DrKendraCoulter."

Kendra says IT WAS AN INTERESTING ONE.
I'M NOT A LEGAL EXPERT, BUT I
THINK IT REFLECTS A LOT OF THESE
PUBLIC DISCUSSIONS, AND IT MAKES
IT VERY CLEAR.
THIS IS A MODEL THAT'S BEEN
AROUND FOR A HUNDRED YEARS, YOU
KNOW, LIKE AKAASH, I TOO THINK
THAT EVERYONE IN THE SPCA IS
MOTIVATED THROUGH GOOD
INTENTIONS.
THEY ARE THERE BECAUSE THEY
BELIEVE IN ANIMALS' WELL-BEING,
AND THE QUESTION IS ARE WE
SETTING UP A SYSTEM WITH THE
MOST RESOURCES, WITH THE MOST
TRAINING, WITH THE MOST
PROTECTIONS IN PLACE?
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OPTIONS,
RIGHT?
SO WE'RE AT A VERY IMPORTANT
INTERSECTION.
THE GOVERNMENT COULD CONTINUE
DOWN THIS ROAD, BUT YOU KNOW,
IMPOSING MORE SCRUTINY AND
OVERSIGHT OVER THE OSPCA, OR IT
COULD PIVOT.
AND IF IT PIVOTS, THERE ARE A
NUMBER OF POSSIBILITIES, A
NUMBER OF OPTIONS.

Steve says WE'LL RETURN TO THOSE
OPTIONS IN JUST A SECOND.
BRIAN, I WANT TO BRING YOU BACK
IN, BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH THIS
GROUP HAS BEEN AROUND FOR 100
YEARS IN ONTARIO, I DON'T WANT
TO ASSUME THAT EVERYBODY HAS
HEARD OF THEM OR KNOWS WHAT THEY DO.
SO CAN YOU TELL US BASICALLY
WHAT THE ONTARIO SPCA'S RANGE OF
ACTIVITIES ARE?

Brian says SURE.
SO THE OSPCA, PART OF ITS
RESPONSIBILITIES RELATE TO
ENFORCEMENT OF THE OSPCA ACT.
SO THAT DEALS WITH THE
PROTECTION OF ANIMALS, AND THERE
ARE AGENTS AND INSPECTORS WHO
LAY CHARGES UNDER BOTH THE
CRIMINAL CODE AND THE OSPCA ACT.

Steve says HOW MANY?

Brian says HOW MANY CHARGES?

Steve says INSPECTORS.

Brian says OH, INSPECTORS.
I DON'T KNOW THE PRECISE NUMBER
RIGHT NOW.
ABOUT 65.

Steve says IT'S PRECIOUS FEW FOR
A POPULATION OF 13 MILLION.

The caption changes to "Animal welfare, people problems."

Brian says IT IS PRECIOUS FEW.
IT IS INADEQUATELY RESOURCED,
BUT REMEMBER THAT I THINK BEING
LOST IN THE DISCUSSION IS THAT
THE OSPCA APPROXIMATELY 75 percent OF
ITS WORK IS IN OTHER AREAS
RELATED TO SHELTERING,
EDUCATION, SPAY AND NEUTER.
THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER
ACTIVITIES DONE BY EMPLOYEES OF
THE SPCA WHO ARE NOT AGENTS OR
INSPECTORS.
HAVING SAID THAT, THE WORK OF
THE AGENTS AND INSPECTORS IS
VERY IMPORTANT, AND I AGREE WITH
KENDRA THAT IT'S TIME THAT THERE
IS A VERY SERIOUS DISCUSSION
WITHIN GOVERNMENT ABOUT WHETHER
THEY WANT TO SERIOUSLY PROTECT
ANIMALS IN THIS PROVINCE,
ANIMALS WHO HAVE NO VOICE,
ANIMALS WHO DAY IN AND DAY OUT
WE KNOW STORIES OF ABUSE AND
NEGLECT, AND DO THEY NOT WANT TO
ADEQUATELY PROTECT THEM?

Steve says DO YOU THINK THE OSPCA
DID ITS JOB WELL?

Brian says I THINK THE OSPCA HAS BEEN
DOING ITS JOB WELL, WILL
CONTINUE TO DO ITS JOB WELL AND
IS REALLY IN NEED OF A FULSOME
DISCUSSION WITH THE GOVERNMENT
AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS IN
DISCUSSING WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
TO PROTECT ANIMALS IN A BETTER WAY.

Steve says CAMILLE, DO YOU THINK
THE OSPCA WAS DOING ITS JOB WELL?

The caption changes to "Camille Labchuk, @CamilleLabchuk."

Camille says I THINK THE OSPCA DOES THE
BEST IT CAN UNDER THE
CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT IT FRANKLY
HAS BEEN SET UP TO FAIL.
WE HAVE, OF COURSE, THE
STRUCTURE WHICH IS A PROBLEM.
A PRIVATE CHARITY ENFORCING
PUBLIC LAWS.
BUT LET'S GET INTO THE FUNDING
FOR A MINUTE.
THE OSPCA RECEIVES JUST UNDER 6
MILLION dollars TO ENFORCE THE LAWS IN
THE ENTIRE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.

Steve says OF ONTARIO.

Camille says THAT'S RIGHT, AND THAT ONLY
CAME INTO PLACE IN THE LAST TWO
YEARS.
PRIOR TO THAT, THEY SELF-FUNDED
EVERYTHING.
TO PUT THAT IN CONTEXT, WE SPEND
ABOUT 4.4 BILLION dollars ON POLICING
IN THIS PROVINCE.
SO YOU COMPARE THAT TO THE 6
MILLION dollars THAT WE DEVOTE
EXCLUSIVELY TO ANIMALS, AND IT
IS JUST, FRANKLY, STEVE, A JOKE.

Steve says AKAASH, THIS IS A
GROUP THAT STILL HOLDS BAKE
SALES TO BE ABLE TO FUND ITS WORK.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT SAYS?

The caption changes to "Akaash Maharaj, @AkaashMaharaj."

Akaash says IT SPEAKS POORLY OF THE LEVEL
OF PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR WHAT I
THINK MOST PEOPLE WOULD AGREE IS
A PUBLIC PRIORITY.
THE LAST YEAR THAT THE OSPCA
PUBLISHED RECORDS, THEY
INVESTIGATED 15,519 COMPLAINTS.
THAT'S AN AVERAGE OF TWO
COMPLAINTS AN HOUR EVERY DAY IN
A YEAR, AND THAT IS AN ENORMOUS
AMOUNT OF PUBLIC ACTIVITY.
THE AMOUNT OF FUNDING THEY
RECEIVE FROM THE GOVERNMENT IS
MINUSCULE, AND IT IS RELATIVELY
NEW.
THIS IS AN INTERESTING JUNCTION,
BECAUSE THERE ARE TWO SEPARATE
ISSUES ON THE TABLE.
THE FIRST IS THE LEGITIMACY OF
THE OSPCA, WHICH HAS CLEARLY
BEEN... OR THE LEGITIMACY OF
ENFORCING CRIMINAL LAW, WHICH
HAS CLEARLY BEEN CALLED INTO
QUESTION BY THE COURT.
THE SECOND IS ITS EFFECTIVENESS,
BUT THE REALITY IS NO
GOVERNMENT, I THINK, WOULD OR
SHOULD INVEST GREATER RESOURCES
INTO THE OSPCA UNTIL THE
LEGITIMACY PART IS FIXED FIRST.
THE REAL WAY THAT I HOPE IS THAT
IN THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
THERE MAY BE AN URGE TO BRING
THE OSPCA INTO COMPLIANCE NOT BY
INCREASING ITS ACCOUNTABILITY
BUT BY STRIPPING IT OF ITS FUNCTIONS.

Steve says LET ME DO, KENDRA, A
FOLLOW-UP ON THIS WHOLE BAKE SALE THING.
DO YOU THINK IT'S AN ISSUE THAT
ON THE ONE HAND THEY ARE HAVING
TO DO THEIR OWN FUNDRAISING WITH
THINGS LIKE BAKE SALES AND ON
THE OTHER HAND ENFORCE THE LAW
AT THE SAME TIME?

Kendra says YES.
IT SETS UP AN ORGANIZATION INTO
A VERY CHALLENGING POSITION.
THAT SAID, I ALSO THINK IF THE
PUBLIC FULLY UNDERSTOOD THE
DIFFICULTIES AND THE CHALLENGES
OF FRONT-LINE ENFORCEMENT, OF
WHAT THE OFFICERS ARE DOING,
WHAT THEY'RE EXPERIENCING, MOST
OF US DON'T WANT TO LOOK AT A
PICTURE OF AN ABUSED ANIMAL FOR
MORE THAN A SECOND.
THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO DAY IN AND
DAY OUT, VERY LOW WAGES, NO
PENSIONS, ARE HAVING TO DEAL
WITH LIVING ANIMALS, DEAD
ANIMALS.
THIS IS FUNDAMENTALLY ABOUT THE
WELL-BEING OF THE ANIMALS WITH
WHOM WE SHARE OUR HOMES AND
COMMUNITIES, BUT IT IS ALSO
DIRECTLY LINKED TO HUMAN
WELL-BEING.
THIS IS ABOUT LAW ENFORCEMENT
AND ENFORCEMENT OF A PUBLIC LAW.
AT THE SAME TIME WE KNOW THERE
ARE VERY CLEAR LINKS BETWEEN
VIOLENCE AGAINST PEOPLE AND
VIOLENCE AGAINST ANIMALS.
SO MY RESEARCH COLLABORATOR HAS
DONE RESEARCH ON FEMALE VICTIMS
OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, BATTERED
WOMEN IN CANADA, AND 89 percent OF THEM
REPORTED THAT THERE WAS ALSO
ABUSE OF AN ANIMAL IN THE HOME
GOING ON SIMULTANEOUSLY.
SO THERE ARE A LOT OF
CONNECTIONS, ESPECIALLY IN TERMS
OF LARGER MANIFESTATIONS OF
HARMS AGAINST ANIMALS, DOG
FIGHTING.
IT'S COMMON TO FIND NARROWS,
FIREARMS, ET CETERA.
SO THIS IS ABOUT ANIMALS BUT
ALSO ABOUT PUBLIC SAFETY MORE
BROADLY.

Steve says DO YOU THINK THAT THE
OSPCA INVESTIGATORS HAVE
RESOURCES SIMILAR TO POLICE
OFFICERS TO DO THEIR
ENFORCEMENT, ALTHOUGH POLICE
OFFICERS ARE DEALING WITH
HUMANS, NOT WITH ANIMALS, OF COURSE?

Kendra says THEY DON'T CURRENTLY HAVE
RESOURCES.
A REAL TAPESTRY ACROSS THE
PROVINCE, A NUMBER OF REGIONS
ACROSS THE PROVINCE DON'T HAVE
COVERAGE.
THERE ARE REGIONS OF THE
PROVINCE WHERE THERE'S AN
OFFICER WHO MIGHT NEED TO TRAVEL
FIVE HOURS TO GET ACROSS THE
REGION THEY ARE COVERING WHO
MIGHT NOT HAVE TWO-WAY RADIOS,
WHO MIGHT NOT HAVE ANY MEANS OF
RELIABLE COMMUNICATION IF THEY
ARE DEPENDENT ON CELLPHONES AND
WORKING IN REMOTE AREAS WHERE
THEY CAN LOSE COMMUNICATION.
AGAIN, THESE ARE VERY DEDICATED
FOLKS.
I HOPE IN WHATEVER DECISION THE
GOVERNMENT MAKES, THEIR
KNOWLEDGE, THEIR EXPERTISE IS
RECOGNIZED AND SEEN AS AN ASSET,
AND WE'VE ALSO... YOU KNOW, A
KEY REASON THAT THAT FUNDING WAS
PROVIDED TO THE OSPCA WAS TO
AUGMENT TRAINING.
THE PROGRAM OF TRAINING IN THE
OSPCA IS ACTUALLY RECOGNIZED AS
BEING... HAS BEEN QUITE STRONG,
AND SO WE HAVE INVESTED IN THE
TRAINING FOR THESE OFFICERS.
LET'S USE THEM AS A RESOURCE AND
AN ASSET IN TERMS OF WHATEVER
PATH WE CHOOSE.

Steve says OKAY.
BRIAN, LET ME SET UP THIS NEXT
QUESTION THIS WAY.
I THINK THERE IS GRAND CONSENSUS
ACROSS ALL OF SOCIETY THAT
NOBODY WANTS TO SEE, YOU KNOW,
PET CATS, PET DOGS HARMED IN ANY
WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.
WHERE IT GETS MORE
CONTROVERSIAL, AND I GATHER THIS
IS WHY THIS FELLOW FROM THE
ONTARIO LANDOWNERS ASSOCIATION
INTERVENED, IS THAT WHEN OSPCA
INVESTIGATORS COME TO...
ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATORS COME
TO, LET'S SAY, A FARM IN RURAL
ONTARIO BECAUSE MAYBE THEY GOT A
TIP THAT HORSES AREN'T BEING
TAKEN CARE OF APPROPRIATELY OR
CHICKENS, COWS, WHATEVER, THAT
BECOMES MORE PROBLEMATIC.
WOULD YOU RESPOND TO THE
ALLEGATION THAT THE OSPCA, IN
THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES, MAY HAVE
BEEN PLAYING ITS HAND IN TOO
HEAVY-HANDED A WAY?

Brian says SO I HAVE BEEN ACTIVELY
INVOLVED IN A NUMBER OF THOSE
CASES, AND I CAN SAY THAT THE
INSPECTORS AND SENIOR INSPECTORS
IN SOME OF THE CASES, AND AGENTS
DEALING WITH SOME OF THE MORE
CONTROVERSIAL CASES DEALT WITH
THEM IN A VERY APPROPRIATE WAY.
THEY ARE INDIVIDUALS WITH A
GREAT DEAL OF KNOWLEDGE OF
FARMING.
I CAN THINK OF ONE OF THE SENIOR
INSPECTORS WHO WAS ACTIVELY
INVOLVED IN ONE OF THE
INVESTIGATIONS WHO GREW UP ON A
FARM, KNOWS A GREAT DEAL ABOUT
FARMING, BEEN TRAINED IN DEALING
WITH FARM ANIMALS.
AND LET US NOT FORGET,
FREQUENTLY WHEN OSPCA
INVESTIGATORS ENTER FARMS, THEY
GO WITH LARGE ANIMAL
VETERINARIANS WHO ARE GIVING
ADVICE AND DIRECTION THROUGHOUT
THE INVESTIGATION.
SO IN ANY POLICING SITUATION,
THERE ARE GOING TO BE
COMPLAINTS.
THAT'S JUST THE NATURE OF IT,
AND WITH HUMANS, WITH ANIMALS,
THE INDIVIDUAL THAT IS SUBJECT
TO THE INVESTIGATION FREQUENTLY
HAS COMPLAINTS WITH WHAT IS
GOING ON, AND IT'S
UNDERSTANDABLE.
THEY HAVE THEIR OWN PERSPECTIVE
ON THINGS, BUT THE LAW'S THE
LAW, AND IF YOU ENTER A FARM AND
YOU SEE THAT THERE ARE ANIMALS
IN CRISIS, I VERY RECENTLY HAVE
BEEN DEALING WITH A CASE WHERE
THERE ARE COWS ON A FARM WHO ARE
NOT ANYWHERE NEAR RECEIVING THE
PROPER CARE BY THE FARMERS, AND
YOU HAVE TO STEP IN AND DEAL WITH IT.

Steve says DO YOU WANT TO SAY
WHAT PART OF THE PROVINCE THAT'S
HAPPENING IN?

Brian says WESTERN ONTARIO.

Steve says THAT DOESN'T NARROW IT
DOWN TOO MUCH.

Brian says THAT'S AS FAR AS I'M GOING TO
NARROW IT DOWN FOR YOU.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says DO YOU HAVE ANY
REASON, AKAASH?
I KNOW OF YOUR HISTORY OF
HORSES, OBVIOUSLY DEEPLY IN LOVE
WITH THESE ANIMALS, AND YOU CARE
ABOUT THEM A GREAT DEAL.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REASON TO
SUSPECT THAT THE OSPCA HAS BEEN
OVERLY HEAVY-HANDED IN ITS
APPROACH IN RURAL ONTARIO ON FARMS?

Akaash says INTERESTING QUESTION.
I WAS PREVIOUSLY HEAD OF THE
NATIONAL EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION
AND SO HAVE BOTH A PROFESSIONAL
AND PERSONAL CONNECTION TO THIS.
I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT THE...
IT'S HIGHLY INCONSISTENT.
IT'S HIGHLY INCONSISTENT ACROSS
THE PROVINCE.
ONE OF THE ISSUES HAS BEEN
PRECISELY THE QUESTION OF
WHETHER THE OSPCA HAS THE
RESOURCES TO MAINTAIN A BAND OF
STANDARDS.
SO I WOULD SAY THE OSPCA HAS
BEEN CRITICIZED IN PARTS OF
RURAL CANADA FOR BEING
EXCESSIVELY HEAVY-HANDED FOR
HAVING RESPONDING TO COMPLAINTS
THAT HAVE BEEN MADE BY PEOPLE
WHO MAY BE DRIVING PAST A FARM
AND HAVE NO REAL UNDERSTANDING
OF WHAT IT IS THEY ARE SEEING.
EQUALLY, IT HAS RECEIVED
COMPLAINTS THAT IT HAS NOT SHOWN
SUFFICIENT ZEAL IN PROSECUTING
OR PURSUING CASES OF WHAT PEOPLE
FEEL ARE MANIFEST ABUSES OF
LARGE ANIMALS, ESPECIALLY
HORSES.
I THINK PART OF IT DOES GO BACK
TO A RESOURCE ISSUE, ENSURING
THERE ARE ENOUGH RESOURCES SO
THAT THERE ARE MINIMUM STANDARDS
ACROSS THE PROVINCE.
BUT I THINK ALSO IT GOES BACK TO
THE ACCOUNTABILITY ISSUE, AND
THAT IS THE ONE AREA WHERE
PEOPLE TEND TO BECOME THE MOST
EXERCISED IS WHEN THE OSPCA
ENTERS INTO PRIVATE PROPERTY TO
INVESTIGATE.
THE OSPCA DOES HAVE A HANDBOOK
THAT GUIDES ITS OFFICERS ON
UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD
THEY ENTER A PROPERTY WITHOUT A
WARRANT.
THAT HANDBOOK IS PRIVATE, SO THE
PEOPLE OF ONTARIO ARE NOT
ALLOWED TO SEE THE BASIS UPON
WHICH THE OSPCA OFFICERS MAKE
THAT DECISION, AND I THINK THAT
GOES BACK TO THE CORE ISSUE OF
THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO CANNOT
HAVE CONFIDENCE IN AN
ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM WHEN THEY ARE
NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO KNOW THE
RULES.
AND EVEN IF THEY FOUND OUT THE
RULES HAVE BEEN BROKEN, THERE'S
NO MECHANISM FOR THEM TO BRING
COMPLAINTS BECAUSE THE OSPCA IS
NOT UNDER THE POLICE SERVICES ACT.

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH
CAMILLE IN THIS REGARD.
I'VE HEARD ON A CBC REPORT THAT
THE OSPCA ISN'T EVEN GOING ON TO
PEOPLE'S FARMS AND DOING
INVESTIGATIONS INTO ALLEGATIONS
OF CRUELTY AGAINST HORSES
BECAUSE... BECAUSE OF THE
CONTROVERSY WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
RIGHT NOW.
CAN YOU HELP US OUT WITH THAT?

Camille says THIS DISCUSSION IS
ILLUMINATING AND HIGHLIGHTS SOME
MAJOR PROBLEMS.
THERE'S THE ISSUE OF ENFORCEMENT
IN THE FIRST PLACE.
RIGHT NOW ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS ON
FARMS IS COMPLAINT-BASED.
THAT'S BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE
PROACTIVE INSPECTIONS, AND THE
REASON WE DON'T HAVE PROACTIVE,
REGULAR INSPECTIONS OF FARMS IS
BECAUSE THERE ARE NO LAWS.
THERE'S NO STANDARDS, NO
REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE LIVES
OF ANIMALS ON FARMS.
FROM THE MINUTE THEY ARE BORN TO
THE DAY THEY ARE SHIPPED FOR
TRANSPORT.
SO FOR THE OSPCA TO EVEN HAVE AN
ABILITY TO GO ON THOSE FARMS
DEPENDS ON MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
OR A WORKER, PERHAPS,
COMPLAINING, AND THAT HAPPENS SO
RARELY, AND IT REALLY
DEMONSTRATES I THINK WHY THIS
SYSTEM IS A PROBLEM.
ANIMALS ARE KEPT BEHIND CLOSED
DOORS.
THEY CAN'T REPORT ABUSE
THEMSELVES, AND THERE'S NOBODY
THERE ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR THAT ABUSE.

Steve says LET ME NOW DOUBLE
BACK, KENDRA, TO WHERE YOU WERE
A FEW MOMENTS AGO WHERE YOU SAID
WE'RE NOW AT A FORK IN THE ROAD
AND THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO HAS
SOME OPTIONS ABOUT WHICH WAY
WE'RE GOING TO GO TO ENSURE THAT
ANIMALS ARE WELL TREATED.
WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS WE'RE
LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW AND WHAT DO
YOU LIKE?

The caption changes to "Time for a change."

Kendra says STAY THE COURSE, BUT INCREASE
THE SCRUTINY AND OVERSIGHT OF THE OSPCA.
AGAIN, I THINK THERE WOULD BE
QUESTIONS ABOUT IS THE FUNDING
SUFFICIENT IF THAT ROUTE IS CONTINUED.

Steve says LET ME JUST UNDERSTAND
THAT.
YOU WANT THEM TO CONTINUE TO
HAVE THE ANIMAL WELFARE
ENFORCEMENT POWERS?

Kendra says I THINK IT'S... IT'S A
CHALLENGING SITUATION FOR
CHARITY, AS YOU MENTIONED.
IT'S RELIANT ON FUNDRAISING AND
DONATIONS TO THEN SIMULTANEOUSLY
HAVE TO DO WHAT CAN BE UNPOPULAR
LAW ENFORCEMENT WORK.
JUST HEAD THE EDMONTON HUMANE
SOCIETY SAID IT'S GOING TO BE
BACKING AWAY FROM ENFORCEMENT
ALL TOGETHER.
PERHAPS INFLUENCED BY ITS OWN
HISTORY OR THE RULING IN
ONTARIO, BUT THEIR ARGUMENT WAS
WE'RE NOT BEST EQUIPPED TO
ENFORCE THE LAW.
I THINK THAT'S THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION.
IS HUMANE LAW ENFORCEMENT A
PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY OR SHOULD
IT BE ASSIGNED TO PRIVATE
ORGANIZATIONS?
NOW AGAIN, INCREASINGLY THE
WORLD IS SAYING THAT IT'S PUBLIC
RESPONSIBILITY.
SO WE ALREADY HAVE NATIONAL
ANIMAL CRIMES UNITS IN THE
POLICE FORCES OF THE
NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, FOR EXAMPLE.

Steve says HOW ABOUT HERE?

Kendra says MANITOBA HAS A BIT OF AN
INTERESTING APPROACH.
THEY HAVE PUBLICLY FUNDED ANIMAL
PROTECTION OFFICERS.

Akaash says AND QUEBEC AS WELL.

Kendra says YEAH, AND...

Camille says ALSO NEWFOUNDLAND.

Kendra says SOME REGIONS WHERE THE POLICE
ENFORCE.
AND THE UNITED STATES, SPCAS ARE
ONLY ENFORCING ABOUT 7 percent OF THE
TIME.
IT WILL BE AGENCIES THAT ARE
DOING THE ENFORCEMENT.
47 percent POLICE, 46 percent MUNICIPALLY
FUNDED ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICES,
AND THEN SPCAS ARE IN THE MINORITY.
SO THERE ARE A NUMBER OF POSSIBILITIES.
I ALSO THINK THERE'S A REALLY
IMPORTANT ROLE FOR PARTNERSHIPS,
WHICH IS WHAT IS THE ROLE OF AN
ANIMAL WELFARE CHARITY?
THEY ARE EXPERTS IN ANIMAL CARE,
IN ANIMAL WELFARE, SHELTERING,
ADOPTIONS AND HUMANE EDUCATION.
PERHAPS WE DECIDE THAT'S THE
IDEAL ROLE FOR THEM IN OUR
SOCIETY, BUT THEY CAN BE
SUPPORTING POLICE, WORKING
DIRECTLY WITH POLICE.
THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING IN NEW
YORK.
THERE'S AN OFFICIAL PARTNERSHIP
BETWEEN THE A SPCA, SO THE
AMERICAN SPCA AND THE NYPD WHERE
THE POLICE HAVE A BASIC LEVEL OF
TRAINING.
THERE'S A SPECIALIZED UNIT, THE
CRUELTY INVESTIGATION SQUAD,
WHICH HAS A LIEUTENANT AND SEVEN
DETECTIVES WHO ARE WORKING ON
IT.
THAT'S AT PAR WITH THE SPECIAL
VICTIMS UNIT OR THE DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE UNIT.
IT'S TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY.
OFFICERS ALSO HAVE A 1-800
NUMBER THEY CAN CALL.
THEY CAN CALL IT 24-7.
THEY REACH THE LIAISONS.
THE OFFICERS AREN'T REQUIRED TO
HAVE PROFOUND KNOWLEDGE.
THEY JUST HAVE A BASIC LEVEL OF
TRAINING.
THEIR EYES ARE OPEN AND ATTUNED
TO THOSE SORT OF ISSUES AND THEN
THEY ARE ABLE TO PARTNER AND
WORK DIRECTLY WITH THE SPCA.
THEY CAN OFFER CARE, A LOT OF
THAT COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT,
PREVENTATIVE WORK.
PERHAPS THAT'S SOMETHING THAT
WORKS WELL.
AND AGAIN, BECAUSE THERE ARE A
LOT OF HUMANE SOCIETIES AND THE
OSPCA OFFICERS WHO ARE VERY
DEDICATED, AND I THINK THEY NEED
TO BE RESPECTED AND HAVE A
REALLY IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLAY.
WE JUST WANT TO FIGURE OUT WHAT
IS THE BEST RESPONSIBILITY SHARING.

Steve says WELL, LET'S BRING THAT
MORE LOCAL HERE.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REASON TO
BELIEVE, CAMILLE, THAT REGIONAL
POLICE SERVICES IN THIS
PROVINCE, OR THE ONTARIO
PROVINCIAL POLICE, HAVE THE
EXPERTISE TO HANDLE CALLS THAT
DEAL WITH CRUELTY TO ANIMALS?

Camille says I THINK EXPERTISE CAN BE BUILT.
WHAT WE KNOW THEY DO HAVE
EXPERTISE IN IS POLICING.
THEY UNDERSTAND HOW TO
INVESTIGATE, HOW TO COLLECT
EVIDENCE, HOW TO TAKE A CASE TO
TRIAL, AND THAT'S A REALLY
IMPORTANT PART.
SPCAS MAY NOT ALWAYS HAVE THAT
EXPERTISE UNLESS THEY GET IT
ELSEWHERE.
SO EXPERTISE FROM THE OSPCA
COULD BE INCORPORATED INTO A
REGIONAL OR PROVINCIAL POLICING
MODEL, AND I THINK IT SHOULD BE
A SHAME TO LOSE ALL OF THE
KNOWLEDGE THAT THE OSPCA HAS
BUILT UP OVER THE YEARS, SO
PARTNERSHIPS MIGHT BE A GOOD
OPTION.
BUT I THINK THE FUNDAMENTAL
VALUE WE SHOULD BE KEEPING IN
MIND IS THIS MUST BE A PUBLIC
SYSTEM.

Steve says AKAASH, WHAT'S YOUR
VIEW ON THAT?

Akaash says I FEEL WE'RE IN A SITUATION
WHERE WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT NOT
JUST WHAT WOULD BE THE IDEAL
SOLUTION BUT WHAT IS THE
FEASIBLE SOLUTION IN THE
POLITICAL CLIMATE.
I THINK IT'S EXTREMELY UNLIKELY
THAT POLICE FORCES IN ONTARIO
WOULD TAKE OVER THE ENFORCEMENT
OF ANIMAL WELFARE LAWS.

Steve says WHY NOT?

Akaash says TWO REASONS.
FIRST OF ALL, OF THE 15,000
COMPLAINTS I MENTIONED THAT THE
OSPCA INVESTIGATED IN 2017,
THERE WERE ONLY 21 CRIMINAL
CHARGES, AND I THINK THAT...

Steve says 21 OUT OF 15,000?

Akaash says YES, ONLY 21 CRIMINAL
CHARGES, AND I THINK THAT THE
TYPICAL POLICE CHIEF WOULD LOOK
AT THOSE FIGURES AND THINK IF
STATISTICALLY THE PROBABILITY OF
THIS RESULTING IN A CHARGE IS
ZERO, AM I GOING TO REDEPLOY
POLICE RESOURCES AWAY FROM
CRIMES AFFECTING PEOPLE TO
CRIMES AFFECTING ANIMALS?
I THINK IN MOST CASES THE ANSWER
WOULD BE NO.
AND INDEED, I THINK IF ONE LOOKS
AT THE RCMP AS A MODEL, WE
ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT.
THE RCMP IS RESPONSIBLE TO
ENFORCE THE ANIMAL PEDIGREE ACT.
WHEN I WAS HEAD OF EQUINE
CANADA, I CORRESPONDED WITH THE
RCMP ABOUT THIS, AND I HAVE
LETTERS FROM THE RCMP SAYING
FLATLY WE WILL NOT ENFORCE THIS
LAW BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE THE
RESOURCES TO DO SO.
I THINK THAT'S THE HARD REALITY
OF THE SITUATION, AND UNDER
THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES, I THINK
THAT THE OSPCA SHOULD CONTINUE
TO ENFORCE THE LAW.
HOWEVER, IT SHOULD DEFINITELY...
I THINK THERE SHOULD BE
FIREWALLS SET UP BETWEEN
FUNDRAISING, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND
COMMERCIAL SERVICES, LIKE
SHELTERS, SO THAT THERE CAN'T BE
A CROSS CONTAMINATION BETWEEN
THREE STREAMS.
I THINK ALSO ITS LAW ENFORCEMENT
SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE POLICE
SERVICES ACT OR TO AN EQUIVALENT
PIECE OF LEGISLATION, AND I
THINK ALL OF IT HAS TO BE
BROUGHT UNDER THE FREEDOM OF
INFORMATION ACT.
IT HAS TO BE SUBJECT TO THE
AUDITOR GENERAL AND HAS TO BE
SUBJECT TO THE OMBUDSMAN, AND IT
HAS TO REPORT TO PARLIAMENT.
ULTIMATELY, I DON'T THINK WE
WANT TO LOSE THE EXPERTISE IN
THE OSPCA, BUT I THINK IT HAS TO
BE MADE ACCOUNTABLE.

Steve says LET ME PUT ALL THAT TO
BRIAN.
IF THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT
INTERVENED AND SAID OKAY WE HAVE
A COURT DECISION HERE, WE HAVE
TO CHANGE THE WAY THE OSPCA DOES
BUSINESS, THEY ARE GOING TO BE
SUBJECT TO FREEDOM OF
INFORMATION REQUESTS, THEY ARE
GOING TO COME UNDER THE AUSPICES
OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL OR THE
OMBUDSMAN, OR WHATEVER, SOME OF
THESE INSTITUTIONS OF
PARLIAMENT, INDEPENDENT
INSTITUTIONS OF PROVINCIAL
PARLIAMENT, WOULD THE OSPCA, IN
YOUR VIEW, WANT TO CONTINUE
DOING ITS ANIMAL ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES?

Brian says WELL, THERE ARE A LOT OF
FACTORS THAT HAVE TO BE TAKEN
INTO ACCOUNT.
FIRST, LET'S BE CLEAR, THE OSPCA
HAS NEVER SAID IT WOULDN'T WANT
TO BE SUBJECT TO OVERSIGHT.
THEY'VE NEVER TAKEN THAT POSITION.

Steve says THEY JUST HAVEN'T BEEN.

Brian says THEY JUST HAVE NOT BEEN.
AND YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE
FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS I'LL GET
BACK TO IS RESOURCES.
AND SO TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION
DIRECTLY IS VERY DIFFICULT.
WOULD THE OSPCA WITH JUST
OVERSIGHT ADDED INTO IT CONTINUE
TO DO ENFORCEMENT WORK?
IT CAN DO THAT, BUT IS IT REALLY
ADVISABLE WITH A CONTRACT OF
5.5 MILLION dollars ANNUALLY TO DO THAT WORK?

Steve says SO IT COMES DOWN TO MONEY?

Brian says WELL, IT COMES DOWN TO MONEY
BECAUSE YOU CAN'T RESOURCE IT.
EVERYBODY ON THIS PANEL HAS SAID
THE EXACT SAME THING.
LIKE, YOU CAN GET A MODEL THAT
WORKS IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY TO
DO IT AND THE WILL TO DO IT.
REMEMBER, WE'RE IN THE SOCIAL
MEDIA AGE.
EVERY DAY PEOPLE ARE LOOKING ON
THEIR TWITTER FEEDS, ON
INSTAGRAM, AND THEY'RE SEEING
THE ABUSE OF ANIMALS OVER AND
OVER AGAIN, AND THEY'RE VERY
ATTUNED TO IT.
AND THE GOVERNMENT ISN'T.
AND THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO
CATCH UP WITH WHAT THE PEOPLE
ARE SEEING AND CARING ABOUT.

Steve says I HEAR YOU, BUT ON THE
OTHER HAND, KENDRA, I'LL PUT
THIS TO YOU, THE CURRENT ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT DOES NOT SEEM, AT
LEAST, TO BE INTERESTED IN
SPENDING MORE MONEY THAN IT
ALREADY HAS COMMITTED TO THESE
ISSUES, GIVEN THAT IT'S GOT A...
AND PICK YOUR NUMBER HERE, 15
BILLION dollar DEFICIT, 14.5, 12.5
BILLION dollar DEFICIT, WHATEVER THE
NUMBER IS, IT'S BIG.
DO YOU EXPECT THE ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT TO SPEND MORE MONEY
TO RESOURCE ALL THE THINGS WE'VE
BEEN TALKING ABOUT HERE?

The caption changes to "Everyone loves animals."
Then, it changes again to "For more information: stopanimalcruelty.ca."

Kendra says KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS IS A
GOVERNMENT THAT WANTS EFFECTIVE
LAW ENFORCEMENT.
THIS IS ABOUT ANIMALS, AND
THERE'S BROAD-BASED SUPPORT FOR
ANIMAL PROTECTIONS.
I MEAN, I'M CONDUCTING A PUBLIC
SURVEY RIGHT NOW, STOP ANIMAL
CRUELTY.CA, GAUGING THE VIEWS OF
THE PUBLIC ON THIS ISSUE.
THE NUMBERS ARE EXCEEDING MY
WILDEST EXPECTATIONS BECAUSE
PEOPLE FEEL VERY PASSIONATELY
ABOUT THIS ISSUE.
AT THE SAME TIME, THIS IS ABOUT
LAW ENFORCEMENT.
THIS IS A GOVERNMENT THAT
BELIEVES IN LAW AND ORDER.
THE PREMIER HAS SPOKEN OPENLY
ABOUT NEEDING MORE POLICE ON THE
GROUND.
THAT COULD BE PLAYING INTO THIS
CONSIDERATION.

Camille says HE HAS DEVOTED 25 MILLION
OVER FOUR YEARS TO COMBATTING
GUN VIOLENCE, AND SO I THINK
THAT BODES WELL FOR THE IDEA OF
SUPPORTING ANIMALS.
ANIMAL PROTECTION SUPPORT CUTS
ACROSS PARTY LINES.
IT'S NOT A RIGHT WING ISSUE.
IT'S NOT A LEFT WING ISSUE.
WE POLLED PEOPLE CONSISTENTLY
OVER 90 percent SAY THEY WANT STRONGER
ANIMAL CRUELTY LAWS AND BETTER
ENFORCEMENT.
I DON'T THINK IT'S UNREASONABLE
TO EXPECT THAT OUT OF THE 4.4
BILLION DOLLARS DEVOTED TO
POLICING IN THIS PROVINCE THAT
WE MAYBE PUT 100 MILLION TOWARDS
THE ANIMALS.

Akaash says I AGREE THAT ANIMAL WELFARE
IS A CROSS-PARTY ISSUE AND THAT
YOU... I DON'T THINK YOU'RE
GOING TO FIND SOMEONE WHO WILL
COME ON TO THE SHOW TO SAY THAT
HE OR SHE IS IN FAVOUR OF ANIMAL
CRUELTY.
WE'VE TALKED A BIT ABOUT THE
OSPCA ORIGINS BE... I'M
CONSCIENCE WHEN ONE LOOKS AT
PUBLIC DONATIONS IN THE UNITED
KINGDOM, PEOPLE GIVE A LOT MORE
MONEY TO THE SOCIETY THERE THAN
TO THE SOCIETY FOR CHILDREN.
HAVING SAID THAT, I'M ALSO
CONSCIOUS THAT AS WE ARE SITTING
IN THIS STUDIO HAVING THIS
CONVERSATION, THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO IS IN THE MIDST OF A
45-DAY CONSULTATION OVER THE
ONTARIO ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT,
AND THE EXPRESSED PURPOSE OF THE
GOVERNMENT... THE GOVERNMENT HAS
GIVEN FOR THAT REVIEW IS TO FIND
EFFICIENCIES IN BUSINESS, TO
FIND WAYS OF ATTENUATING THE ACT
TO REDUCE COST FOR BUSINESSES
AND TO REDUCE GOVERNMENT
EXPENDITURES.
I FEAR... I WISH I FELT MORE
OPTIMISTIC THAT A GOVERNMENT WHO
HAS SAID THAT IT'S GOING TO
REDUCE EXPENDITURE ON PROTECTING
ENDANGERED SPECIES IS A
GOVERNMENT THAT'S GOING TO
INCREASE EXPENDITURE ON
PERFECTING ANIMAL WELFARE.
I'M AFRAID I SIMPLY DON'T SEE IT.

Steve says SO AT THE MOMENT,
THEN, IF YOU THINK YOU'VE SEEN
SOMETHING THAT IS TROUBLING,
CALL THE POLICE?

Brian says WELL, AT THE MOMENT, CALL THE
POLICE, CALL 310-SPCA.
IT'S A 24-7 HOTLINE THAT WILL
CONNECT YOU TO THE OSPCA TO
REPORT A COMPLAINT OR REPORT
ABUSE.
I'LL ADD THE OSPCA'S CONTRACT
WITH THE GOVERNMENT EXPIRES ON
MARCH 31 OF THIS YEAR, AND WHAT HAPPENS FROM THERE IS AN OPEN
DEBATE.

Steve says SO YOU NEED A... YOU
NEED THE GOVERNMENT TO DECIDE
SOMETHING IN THE NEXT TWO
MONTHS.

Brian says THE GOVERNMENT, I WILL TELL
YOU, ADVISED THROUGH THE
MINISTRY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
YESTERDAY THAT THEY ARE
APPEALING THE DECISION.

Steve says YOU KNOW THAT?
THEY'VE TOLD YOU THAT?

Brian says THEY HAVE.
SO THAT MAY DELAY THINGS TO SOME
EXTENT.
AN APPEAL MAY BE HEARD SOMETIME
LATER THIS YEAR.
WHERE THAT TAKES US IS A WHOLE
OTHER THING, BUT YOU KNOW, THE
GOVERNMENT HAS SOME DECISIONS TO
MAKE REGARDLESS OF THE APPEAL
WITH THE CONTRACT THAT EXPIRES
AT THE END OF MARCH OF THIS
YEAR.

Steve says CAMILLE, IT APPEARS
THEY ARE NOW APPEALING THE DECISION.
ARE YOU BACK IN COURT THEN?

Camille says OH, ABSOLUTELY BACK IN COURT,
MAKING SURE THAT THE ANIMALS'
INTERESTS ARE FIRST AND
FOREFRONT AT THE COURT OF APPEAL
HEARING.
I EXPECT THERE WILL BE OTHER
INTERVENERS TOO, AND THIS IS
OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING THAT'S GOING
TO BE DECIDED BY A HIGHER COURT.
THIS IDEA OF A PRINCIPLE OF
FUNDAMENTAL JUSTICE IS NOT
SOMETHING THAT COURTS TAKE
LIGHTLY.
IT'S A VERY BIG DEAL TO
INTRODUCE A NEW ONE, AS WAS DONE
IN THIS CASE.
SO A HIGHER COURT WILL REVIEW
THAT.
BUT MORE BROADLY, THIS IS A
POINT OF DEPARTURE FROM PUBLIC
DISCUSSION, AND THAT'S ALREADY
HAPPENING, BOTH IN ONTARIO AND
ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
AS KENDRA MENTIONED, THE
EDMONTON HUMANE SOCIETY BACKED
AWAY FROM DOING ENFORCEMENT.
MANITOBA HAS A DIFFERENT MODEL.
NEWFOUNDLAND HAS A DIFFERENT
MODEL.
THIS CONVERSATION IS STARTING TO
HAPPEN, AND I THINK THAT ALL
ONTARIANS SHOULD BE ENGAGED IN
IT.
SO WE'RE ENCOURAGING, THROUGH
ANIMAL JUSTICE, CITIZENS TO
CONTACT THEIR MEMBERS OF
PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT AND MAKE
SURE THAT THEIR VIEWS ARE KNOWN
ON THIS, BECAUSE THIS ISSUE IS
SOMETHING POLITICIANS NEED TO
HEAR FROM US ON.

Steve says I'VE GOT 30 SECONDS
LEFT.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THIS
ALL RESOLVED?

Kendra says I DON'T MAKE ANY PREDICTIONS,
EVER SINCE DONALD TRUMP BECAME
ELECTED PRESIDENT IN THE UNITED
STATES.
WE'VE GOT THESE BEAUTIFUL HORSES
THANKS TO THE GREAT FOLKS AT
"THE AGENDA" HERE, SOME OF WHOM
ARE STARVING ALONE IN BARNS
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS AND NO ONE
CAN SEE THEM.
WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, DOGS BEING
KICKED, CATS BEING BURNED.
THESE THINGS ARE GOING ON, AND
WE NEED TO FUNDAMENTALLY KNOW
THAT THIS IS AN ISSUE QUITE
LITERALLY OF LIFE AND DEATH, ANT
IT NEEDS TO BE TAKEN VERY
SERIOUSLY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Mark Brosens, @MarkBrosens."

Steve says MR. DIRECTOR, WOULD
YOU GIVE US A WIDE SHOT SO I CAN
THANK EVERYBODY FOR COMING INTO
TVO TONIGHT AND HELPING US OUT
WITH THIS MOST TIMELY AND
IMPORTANT CONVERSATION.
THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.

Brian says THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

Watch: OSPCA at a Crossroads