With Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre’s proposed ban on new pit bulls set for a vote in September, opponents of Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL) just caught a glimpse at how it may be defeated: through public outcry and protest. At least that seems to have done the trick in Quebec City for the moment.
Mayor Régis Labeaume had planned to get rid of all pit bulls in Quebec City by 2017, period. This was a much harsher move than Montreal’s plan to bar new pit bulls from the island and license and muzzle those that are already here.
Today, dozens (according to the CBC) of Quebec City dog owners and supporters protested outside of City Hall. Just a few hours later, Labeaume said that he had only been trying to start debate on the issue.
“We won’t eliminate pit bulls,” the mayor told the press, “we wanted to hit hard so things would move.”
Now, he seems content to wait for the results of a provincial workgroup on the idea of a province-wide pit bull ban. So pit bull owners in Quebec City and their beloved companions aren’t out of the proverbial woods yet, but the imminent, harsh law is off the table for now.
So is Montreal’s proposed ban also a fakeout designed to gauge public opinion? If so, then he Global Anti-BSL Peaceful Protest on July 16th is a good thing for opponents of Coderre’s ban to attend. In Montreal, it starts in Parc Pélican and makes its way to Parc Lafontaine.
Seeing as the Quebec City ban and the one in Montreal were both created in response to public fear, vocal public opposition may be the way to eliminate them and influence the Couillard Government not to pass one in the first place.
* You can also still vote in FTB’s poll on the Montreal Pit Bull Ban Poll.
* Featured image: Radio-Canada