Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees Issues Press Release On The OSPCA, Questions Where McGuinty's Promised "Animal Welfare Task Force" Is

August 7, 2012
For Immediate Release
Frank Klees, MPP

Missing ! Animal Welfare Task Force

On June 3, 2011 Dalton McGuinty's Minister of Community and Correctional Services announced the creation of an Animal Welfare Task Force in response to the Meek-LeSage Review. Fourteen months later, Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees still can't find any trace of it.

The task force was the McGuinty government's response to a scathing report by Justice Patrick LeSage and Dr. Alan Meek following their review of the OSPCA's plans to euthanize the entire animal population at its York Region shelter, as a way to deal with a reported ringworm outbreak.

The report revealed numerous serious failures at many levels of the OSPCA's operations, and recommended legislative changes to provide for effective provincial oversight and also recommended the separation of the OSPCA'S sheltering services from its investigation and enforcement services.

The recommendations were welcomed by Klees, who had proposed similar changes in a Motion that was debated in November of 2010 and was defeated by the Liberal members of the legislature.

"The Meek-LeSage report held out some hope that we would see some meaningful legislative changes that would bring the powers granted to the OSPCA under the authority of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services" said Klees. " Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any trace of the task force that the minister announced fourteen months ago. We were assured that task force would work with the government to identify how best to implement provincial oversight of the OSPCA."

In a letter delivered to the Hon. Madeleine Meilleur, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Klees asked for an update on the status of the task force.

"After a number of follow-up calls to the Minister's office, we still can't find anyone who has heard of the task force. Clearly, oversight is not something the McGuinty government understands," said Klees who has been leading the charge for the Official Opposition in the Ornge scandals.





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