Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mr. Premier & The OSPCA.....

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

cc  Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Hon Madeleine Meilleur mmeilleur.mpp@liberal.ola.org, MPP Frank Klees frank.klees@pc.ola.org, Chief Executive Officer of the OSPCA Kate Macdonald abuonaiuto@ospca.on.ca

While today I write you all with respect it saddens me that I must also do so with even more shame, as every day I am becoming increasingly ashamed as a voting Ontarian. Over the past two years the issue of the need for provincial oversight over the Ontario Society for the Protection of Animals has been covered by the media again and again. It has been brought up in the Ontario legislature again and again. With each passing day the issue is garnering more support from Ontario voters, regardless of their political affiliations. What makes me so ashamed is that any decision with regard to the current state of the OSPCA is seemingly made along party lines. This is unacceptable, it must be made with the best interests of the voiceless animal in mind.

I will not go into details on past cases of abuses of power at the hands of the OSPCA. There are many and if you are unaware at this point, after years of the issue being brought to your attention through the media and thousands of emails from concerned citizens, than shame on you for not educating yourselves. If you are aware of the current situation and have done little to rectify it, than you should feel even more shame. I will say it is never too late. It is time to put party lines aside and do what is right for the animals. To this end permit me to pose the following questions :

Mr. McGuinty what is being done on your end to work together with all represented parties to ensure that the OSPCA is continually monitored by an external reviewing body? It was acknowledged in the Ontario legislature that a "task force" has been put in place. Have you been in contact with the individual or individuals heading this task force? To date, what investigation has this task force conducted with regard to the operations of the OSPCA? Will these findings be made public to Ontarians in an act of full transparency? Are you making any effort to ensure the OSPCA separates its duties of serving as both an animal shelter and an Ontario enforcement agency, duties which are a direct conflict of interest?

Ms. Meilleur what are you doing to aid in the effort to ensure conituned provincial oversight of the OSPCA? I read you cried when you heard about the recent case of possible neglect at Marineland yet am wondering if you cried when the OSPCA began killing 350 innocent animals at its headquarters two years ago? It concerns me a great deal when you express such emotion toward one situation yet seemingly turn a blind eye toward the other. The Ontario government has granted next to unlimited power to an organization to protect the animals of this province, yet this same organization consistently lies to the public and abuses that power. With much sympathy toward the dozens of animals at Marineland who have apparently suffered abuse, the OSPCA has killed hundreds, dare I say thousands of animals in recent years. To that end Ms. Meilleur you should be weeping rather than crying.

Mr. Klees I respect your efforts in bringing this issue to the public and thank you. Rest assured if the rest of you were to do the same I would be expressing the same level of gratitude. Mr. Klees do you intend to continue with your efforts to ensure the Ontario government closely monitors the OSPCA?

Ms. Macdonald I have great concern that you still hold a position of power within the OSPCA. Under your watch and the watch of other senior officials, many of whom were directly responsible for the killing of nearly 100 animals two years ago, the OSPCA continues to lack transparency. In all likelihood if two years ago the OSPCA had fallen under the scrutiny of an external governing body, none of you would still be employed at the organization. I ask you to prove me wrong. Exactly what has the present board and upper management of the OSPCA done to adhere to the recommendation of the external report that was commissioned early last year, a report that was hidden from the public until the media exposed the situation? If you all still choose to remain in power, then you must prove to Ontarians that you deserve to be. You must prove that you are making improvements and that you feel deep sorrow that the direct actions of the board and management have caused such suffering to Ontarians, and more importantly to the animals. Should you do so just maybe Ontarians who feel let down will be able to forgive you all. I know I will try but to date you have given Ontarians no option other than to hold on to any hope that soon you and other members of the board and upper management will either respectfully resign or be removed from your positions.

I wish to thank all of you for reading my concerns, and sincerely hope that you prove to Ontarians that you have taken them to heart. There is only one way you can demonstrate that you have done so, and that is through your actions. So far only one of you can say that he has done just that. This is not about money. This is not about furthering a political agenda. This is about protecting those who presently do not have a voice, and to an equal degree this is about the legacy of a caring Ontario that does all in its power to help those who through no choice of their own, can not help themselves. I can assure you when it comes to the issue of animal welfare Ontarians want that to be our legacy. The question is do you, and are you willing to take action to see it through?

Respectfully,

Gord Macey
The Toronto Pet Daily 

UPDATE

I have received a message (September 3) from MPP Frank Klees stating that he will continue to press for oversight & accountability of the OSPCA, and expressing his disappointment in the government for ignoring the report on the problems within the OSPCA.

Today (September 5) I received a message from the Premier. I hope this is a sign that all politicians are willing to put differences aside and work toward the goals of "reforming" the OSPCA and monitoring the organization so it can best serve its purpose to help Ontario animals. While of course I will respect the confidentiality of the communication I can say I thank the Premier for his reply, and will do my best (as so many of you are doing) to keep the pressure on.


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