A special meeting of South Glengarry council is slated for March 2 to hear the appeal of a township resident who was recently ordered to have his dog muzzled following an incident in Glen Walter last Fall.
The public hearing will be the first of its kind held in the municipality.
The appellant, whose identity has not been disclosed, was issued the muzzling order by the township after Herbert and Geraldine Schwartz complained in mid-November that Mrs. Schwartz had recently been “attacked” by a Portuguese water dog.
Mr. Schwartz told council that while “there had been some measures taken to issue an order to muzzle,” he wasn’t quite ready to abandon his fight. “I intend to make sure that it is followed. No one is going to get rid of me on this. I’m like a bulldog myself,” added Mr. Schwartz.
In the interim, the owners have filed an
appeal to the edict issued by bylaw officer Kevin Lalonde.
Township clerk Marilyn LeBrun explained at the January 25 regular council meeting that the owners are entitled to file an appeal, under the guidelines of the provincial Statutory Powers
Procedure Act ( SPPA). Such a meeting is set up as a tribunal-type hearing with municipal council serving as the tribunal.
Mrs. LeBrun explained that the township, incorporated in 1998, has never been involved in an SPPA hearing, and neither have the vast majority of its neighbours.
“I called every municipality in Eastern Ontario, and except for Prescott-Russell, where they’ve apparently had some, no one else has either,” she said, adding that South Glengarry’s animal control bylaw is the only municipal ordinance “under the Statutory
Powers Procedure Act process.” Township CAO Bryan Brown responded to questions from council regarding its role in the hearing.
“You have somebody who is appealing a decision of this corporation. And this body of council will act to either uphold or refuse it,” explained Mr. Brown. “In essence, you are the judge. That’s all it is.” Councillor Lyle Warden asked if council’s decision would “put to rest” the matter. “As far as we’re concerned,” replied Mr. Brown.