A lot of people ask me 'What are you going to do with that?' after I mention I'm going to return to school for my Master's degree. As being 'done' almost assuredly happens after you have 'started', I never paid much thought to my future after my return to school. I always figured that I would return to programming, this time within the finance industry. There is a good chance that I could fill a role here within Calgary, although I have been weighing other options as well.
Most people would agree I'm very patriotic, and I would love nothing more than to keep myself within Canada. Within Canada, the epicenter for finance resides in Toronto. Now, moving to an even larger city, with more traffic and more urbania is not very high on my list of life choices. Although if I'm going to move to a larger city, I would like to keep it in Canada. The problem: Ontario has a real thing against some dogs.
Sonja tuned me into Ontario's hate for particular breeds of dogs. After a bout of examining skill sets on a financial job website, and again realizing that over ninety percent of the financial programming jobs in Canada are located in Toronto or one of it's suburbs, I decided to dig into this so called 'pit bull ban'.
The ban comes in two parts: The original Dog Owner's Liability Act, and an amendment passed in Bill 132. The first five or so sections of the Dog Owner's Liability Act make sense. If you dog bites another person, you as the owner are liable. The later sections around search and seizure also make sense if your dog has done something to make it a 'menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals'. Sane logic around how your animal can be taken from you, what will happen to it, as well as what repercussions exist for the owner are laid out through the law. However, Section 6, as well as all of Bill 132 are completely stupid bullshit.
The Liability Act lumps Riley, an American Staffodshire Terrier, in with Pitbulls. And, Ontario does not like Pitbulls in a very big way. There seems to only be two ways an individual can own a Pitbull or one of its cousins in Ontario. The first is that you owned one before the law came into effect, and you have bent over backwards with muzzles, registration, 1.8m leashes and sterilization. The other is that your dog is a flyball competitor, registered with a kennel club which has formally (written letter) invited you to a competition within Ontario's borders.
This means as a Canadian citizen, if I want to do a cross Canada road trip, I either can't bring my dog, or I can't enter Ontario. Failure to comply could lead to 'a fine of not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both.' Seems a little steep for just owning a particular breed of dog. Especially because the process ends up with the dog being taken, and most likely destroyed.
Getting back to my future, it looks like TO is off the list. Considering my success with negotiating away The Cat, I doubt I will have any success getting Sonja to give up the dog because I landed a job in Ontario. The truth is particularly frustrating because of Riley. She is an incredibly loving dog, and is more obedient that a lot of dogs I know. A little comfort comes from facts showing that the ban in Ontario is not reducing the amount of dog attacks. Perhaps the people in Ontario will lead a charge and get the bill amended to not focus on specific breeds. After-all, if we focused on the specifics, shouldn't the man that spearheaded the law against pitbulls be working on making Saabs illegal because they stall, disorient people and cause them to ram drunken cyclists into mailboxes?