Recently received communiques from the NWT Legislative Officials are encouraging.
The continued negative spotlight which has been placed upon the Northwest Territories since July 2008 has resulted in a much needed proactive response by certain Members of the Legislature from various Northern communities. The support that these particular MLA’s have given has resulted in a response from both the Minister of Justice: Hon. Jackson Lafferty, the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs: Hon. Robert C. McLeod, and the NWT Premier: Hon. Floyd K. Roland.
Excerpt from letters I have received from their offices:
Hon. F.K. Roland and Hon. Jackson Lafferty: ” I am pleased to report that our work has already begun. The Department of Justice is partnering with other departments on a work plan that aims to introduce animal protection legislation during the life of the 16th Legislative Assembly.” This means by Fall it is hoped.
Per the communique of Hon. Robert C. McLeod which I received as well, I am of the understanding that “the Department of Justice will be the lead department for examining the broader issues of animal welfare”.
The following list are copies of the Animal Protection Acts I sent by registered mail to the Legislature in the hope that they will be used as a Template for the NWT Act. Those acts were: British Columbia, Ontario’s newest Act, Alberta, Manitoba and the Yukon. A copy of the Animal Cruelty Act as contained within the Federal Criminal Code of Canada was also passed to them.
A further recommendation made by this writer to the Legislature is to see qualified Animal Cruelty Investigators established with the legal authority to seize any and all animals in crisis, and who will also have the legal authority to press criminal charges against all offenders. The legal authority of these Animal Cruelty Investigators needs to supercede that of current By-Law Officers and work in conjunction with the RCMP under the Federal Criminal Code of Canada. It must not be left to the opinion of untrained personnel to determine whether or not an animal is in crisis, as was the case with the starving dogs in Tuktoyutuk that were not seized, and whereby RCMP failed to press charges. The current status of the three starving survivors remains unknown for sure.
It will also be recommended that current By-Law Officers and RCMP obtain the certification/training in Animal Cruelty Investigations.
As the founder of action to obtain an Animal Protection Act in the NWT, I myself am taking the applicable courses necessary to become just such an Animal Cruelty Investigator. If I can do this on my own time, at my own expense, there is no plausible reason why those already employed in the various municipalities as By-Law Officers and with the RCMP, that they cannot do so themselves.
While the news is seemingly good, a watchful eye must be kept on the progress of the Legislature on this very important issue. A watchful eye will be kept.
THANK YOU to all of you ACROSS CANADA AND INTERNATIONALLY WHO have supported the call needed for these animals. THANK YOU to those groups such as the Animal Defense League of Canada, Animal Alliance of Canada, PETA, Cause 4Paws and so many others who have supported my efforts. Voices are now being heard, voices will continue to be heard as long as they are loud and clear.
A very Special Thank You goes out to the three MLA’s who chose to support this appeal for Animal Protection in the NWT: Hon. Paul Delorey, Hay River; Hon. Bob Bromley and the Hon. David Ramsay. Without their interest and continued support this issue would not have gained the attention of the Ministers and the subsequent action now being taken.