City of Sher­brooke re­lent­less against ken­nel owner

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Ber­trand Gos­selin Sher­brooke Court­house

For a lit­tle more than a year, the City of Sher­brooke has tried to close down a ken­nel owned and op­er­ated by Mrs. Marie-Pier Gougne in an iso­lated area on Duvernay street. It seems that one dis­tant neigh­bour had made a com­plaint to the city to the ef­fect that her barking dogs dis­turbed him. Af­ter sev­eral warn­ings and threats, the case was brought to the mu­nic­i­pal court, be­fore Judge Roland Lamoureux. Very well pre­pared and with the proper doc­u­ments, Mrs. Gougne ex­plained to the Court that, be­fore buy­ing the land where she built her ken­nel, she had con­tacted an in­spec­tor of the city of Sher­brooke. He had then told her that she could go right ahead with her pro­ject. On April 22nd, last year, Judge Lamoureux ac­quit­ted her of hold­ing non-au­tho­rized ac­tiv­i­ties on her prop­erty.

Lawyer Is­abelle Sauvé of the City of Sher­brooke, un­happy with the Judge’s de­ci­sion, ap­pealed the de­ci­sion be­fore Judge Gaé­tan Du­mas of the Su­pe­rior Court which ended with the same re­sult. On De­cem­ber 20th, 2010, Judge Du­mas main­tained Judge Lamoureux’s de­ci­sion. As a mat­ter of fact, Judge Du­mas did not have very kind words for the City of Sher­brooke’s legal rep­re­sen­ta­tive. It seems that the mu­nic­i­pal law al­lowed Mrs. Gougne to hold ac­tiv­i­ties for day­care, groom­ing and train­ing in­side her house, but not out­doors at large on her prop­erty. How­ever, ac­cord­ing to Judge Du­mas, Mrs. Gougne’s ac­tiv­i­ties are akin to agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, which is what the mu­nic­i­pal law al­lows. Briefly, Mrs. Gougne could ac­com­mo­date horses, chick­ens, rab­bits; any­thing but pigs…..and dogs. The City’s legal of­fice did not abide by these two de­ci­sions. They went be­fore the Que­bec Court of Ap­peal with no luck there ei­ther. Judge Pierre J. Dalphond made it clear that an ap­peal could only be al­lowed on a ques­tion of law. He re­jected the ap­peal leav­ing, how­ever, the door open. He wrote that the City of Sher­brooke could take dif­fer­ent mea­sures, in­clud­ing mak­ing its mu­nic­i­pal rules clearer, if the City con­sid­ers that the two judg­ments ren­dered cre­ate a prob­lem. Re­cently, Mrs. Gougne, who is presently bat­tling cancer, has again been threat­ened and ad­vised that she has to put an end to her ac­tiv­i­ties.

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