Pro­posed rul­ing bites the dust

Coun­cil sends ken­nel by-law is­sue back to Plan­ning Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee for fur­ther study

Truro Daily News - - Colchester County - BY HARRY SUL­LI­VAN

A con­tentious pro­posed by­law that would have pro­hib­ited es­tab­lish­ing dog ken­nels in Colch­ester County was soundly de­feated.

In an ap­par­ent re­sponse to pub­lic pres­sure, coun­cil unan­i­mously voted not to pro­ceed with sec­ond read­ing of its Ken­nel Devel­op­ment By-law, at their re­cent meet­ing.

In­stead, coun­cil sent it back to the Plan­ning Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee for fur­ther study over the next three to five months.

The by-law’s de­feat was met with loud ap­plause from the packed pub­lic gallery at the Aug. 3 meet­ing. Cheers also erupted from a large crowd gath­ered out­side the mu­nic­i­pal build­ing. when word of the vote got out.

The by-law as writ­ten was “in­tended to pro­hibit any kinds of Ken­nels for the board­ing of dogs in the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Colch­ester.”

It also con­tained a num­ber of other re­stric­tions re­gard­ing dog own­er­ship and would have ap­plied to ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tions.

“Coun­cil’s de­ci­sion means no mora­to­rium or ban on ken­nel devel­op­ment in Colch­ester County,” Mayor Chris­tine Blair said, in an emailed state­ment fol­low­ing the vote. “The pro­posed in­terim by-law is de­feated and off the ta­ble. The Plan­ning Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee will take a fresh look at land-use plan­ning to en­able ken­nel and re­lated business devel­op­ment that best fits all Colch­ester com- A large crowd of dog own­ers and sup­port­ers turned out for the re­cent Colch­ester County Coun­cil meet­ing to voice op­po­si­tion to sec­ond read­ing of a pro­posed dog ken­nel by-law. The by-law was unan­i­mously de­feated.

mu­ni­ties, the en­vi­ron­ment, and the well-be­ing of an­i­mals,” she said.

“This work will be done with full pub­lic and stake­holder par­tic­i­pa­tion lead­ing to a rec­om­men­da­tion for coun­cil to dis­cuss and de­cide on.”

Coun. Mike Cooper de­scribed the fall­out from the pro­posed by-law as hav­ing cre­ated a “black cloud” over coun­cil.

And based on con­ver­sa­tions with con­stituents, Cooper said, it was clearly com­mu­ni­cated to him that while “a prop­erly done by-law” is needed, “… we need to de­feat this by-law.”

Coun. Ge­off Stewart de­scribed the sit­u­a­tion as “a clear case of what can hap­pen with­out clear and con­cise com­mu­ni­ca­tion.”

“It was a last-minute item (on the Aug. 9 agenda) and its ram­i­fi­ca­tions were not clearly un­der­stood by me,” he said.

And while ac­cept­ing his own re­spon­si­bil­ity in vot­ing in favour dur­ing first read­ing of a pro­posed by-law he didn’t fully un­der­stand, Stewart also took is­sue with me­dia cov­er­age.

“It was clearly stated at coun­cil that night that this was a tem­po­rary mea­sure and again it was re­peated the next day. But not once in any of the me­dia cover-

age was it put in the me­dia at any point in time that this was a tem­po­rary mea­sure.”

In the ini­tial story re­ported by the Truro News on Aug. 23, how­ever, it was stated in com­ments pro­vided by Blair, that the by­law was in­tended to be tem­po­rary while other land-use and plan­ning is­sues were be­ing clar­i­fied.

“I think the main point here is this is a tem­po­rary by-law un­til we have had a chance to com­plete an as­sess­ment on the cur­rent by-law and bring back a re­vised by-law ... as was agreed to a cou­ple of months ago,” she said at the time.

That as­pect was not lost on many readers who posted on­line com­ments in­di­cat­ing they did not trust the by­law would re­main tem­po­rary, in the same way that the fed­eral in­come tax was sup­posed to be tem­po­rary when it was in­tro­duced in 1917 dur­ing the First World War.

The pro­posed by- law prompted much at­ten­tion on so­cial me­dia and led to a protest march from Bi­ble Hill to the mu­nic­i­pal build­ing ear­lier in the week.

“There is a lot of pas­sion out there,” Blair said, fol­low­ing the vote.

HARRY SUL­LI­VAN/TRURO NEWS

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