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Subject: Ontario Bill 132 Legal Challenge

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Date Posted: 15:18:02 04/20/05 Wed


Cross post widely without alteration

The Banned Aid Coalition has engaged the noted Toronto-based lawyer, Clayton Ruby, to challenge Ontario’s Bill 132, an act to amend the Dog Owner’s Liability Act, which will come into force on August 29, 2005. Clayton Ruby, a criminal and constitutional lawyer, has served as counsel in numerous high profile cases.

The Coalition has been working closely with Mr. Ruby and his associate, Breese Davies, throughout the public hearings prior to the passing of this bill in the Ontario legislature on March 1, 2005. The legal challenge, which will be filed at the Superior Court of Ontario in the upcoming months, will focus primarily on principles of fundamental justice. In particular, we will argue that the definition of “pit bull” in the legislation is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. We will also argue that the legislation, which contains a “reverse onus” provision, violates the right of all accused persons to have the government actually prove any allegations against them.

The Banned Aid Coalition and its lawyers are aware of the legal history of challenges to similar bills in England and the United States, and the conflicting and inconclusive legal decisions resulting there from. No case or cases can be taken as a predictor of success or failure in regards to ours. This is particularly true of cases decided in other jurisdictions. The legal challenge to Bill 132 will be decided on the basis of our laws as interpreted by our courts. While the outcome of the challenge to Bill 132 cannot be predicted, the Banned Aid Coalition is confident in its choice of counsel and that there is a viable argument to be made that this legislation is unconstitutional.

All donations to the legal defence fund go directly to legal costs, which we estimate at $250,000 or more. Members of the Banned Aid Coalition donate their time and services, and any overhead is looked after “in kind.” All donors will be recognized (if desired) on the Banned Aid website and in appropriate Banned Aid printed material.

We thank you for donating to our united challenge against the ill conceived and haphazardly executed Bill 132. With your support we hope to demonstrate how this law will not protect the people of Ontario from irresponsible owners and dangerous dogs.

The Banned Aid Coalition:

Advocates for the Underdog

American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada

Dog Legislation Council of Canada

Golden Horseshoe American Pit Bull Terrier Club

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada

April 20, 2005


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