A Ripley From Canada: Barking Is Banned At A Dog Park

This would also qualify as an Ethics Alarms res ipsa loquitur file item, but the EA category reserved for conduct so astoundingly stupid that it beggars belief is the right place for this one.

Imagine: according to a new sign posted on the gate to the long-standing dog park at the corner of Jean-Talon Street and Provencher Boulevard in Montreal’s Saint-Leonard borough…

…. “it is forbidden to let your dog bark, whine, or howl.” Violators —well, the owners of the violators—could be fined between $500 and $2,000.

Will Canadians put up with this? The totalitarian virus seems to have gained a stronger foothold in Canadian culture than in the U.S., and thank heaven for that. However, the City of Toronto installed similar no-barking signs at dog park in March but had to remove them after a strong negative reaction from the public. The difference is that at this point no local U.S. government would dare put up such a sign in a dog park. I offered the hypothetical to the owners of some of Spuds’s pals, and the reaction to the idea bordered on violent.

Anne-Émilie Thibault, a spokesperson for the Saint-Leonard borough, explained that the sign “was intended to help reduce the nuisance experienced by the neighbourhood of this dog park.” Morons. If the community regards the sounds of dogs barking as a nuisance, then the community shouldn’t have a dog park. This is exactly like forbidding children’s shouts and screams in a playground. My house is within earshot of both a playground and a park where dogs romp, and the earsplitting screams of little girls are far more of a “nuisance” than the occasional yappy dog. These, however, are the sounds of life in a free society where liberty and the pursuit of happiness are paramount.

A society that elects governments capable of trying to ban dogs barking has taken a serious wrong turn somewhere.

Americans take heed.

8 thoughts on “A Ripley From Canada: Barking Is Banned At A Dog Park

  1. This is an interesting one. Kind of like when a Muslim or a Hispanic guy goes on a shooting spree. What to do, what to do? I’m going to guess the majority of dog owners in densely populated urban areas are enlightened or gay or both. Having pets rather than children signals one’s virtue. I guess dogs will be sacrificed on the altar of all things virtuous. There’s always cats after all. And as any cat lover will tell you, cats are infinitely superior to dogs (as well as humans, come to think of it). Adieu Fido. It’s been good to know you.

  2. I’m sure you’ve been paying attention the last few years. Justin Trudeau portrays himself as a woke, hip young guy who’s in touch with all the latest progressive ideas. In fact the left in the US loves him and there have been lefty posts asking why HE can’t be the president. However, he is what I call a soft tyrant. He hides behind his good looks and politically correct DEI talk, but he also piles on and enforces the regulations, a few at a time, until Canada is now a lot less free than it was when he took power. The trucker protest last year was the first time his mask really slipped. In the US, thankfully, official authority to freeze people’s bank accounts or strip people of their business and other licenses, insurance, permits, and other things necessary to make a living is limited by the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is supposed to be roughly the equivalent of out Bill of Rights, does not grant anything like our level of due process, especially civilly.

    In the United States, you have the right to a trial by jury whenever you can be imprisoned for six months or more, in Canada you only have that right if you can be imprisoned for five years or more. In the US the Bill of Rights specifically says that the government can’t deprive you of life, liberty, or property without due process. The US government can’t simply hold your ability to make a living hostage to force your compliance with whatever directive it issues, at least not without a hearing. The instances in which the state governments can do that are very limited, like failure to pay child support (pandering to the first wives lobby) or failure to pay state-guaranteed student loans (too many people going to school on the government’s dime and then not paying it back). We’ve already seen that in Canada the government’s ability to disarm its citizens, restrict their speech, and take away their ability to earn a living is much greater.

    The biggest difference is that in the United States, the government’s powers aren’t supposed to change just because the government says right now there’s just too much going on to be worried about due process. Even things like the Homeland Security Act and the Patriot Act were mainly managerial in nature, the former being simply a governmental reorganization (albeit on a large scale), and the latter being mostly about enhanced surveillance powers (but no new ones), greater interagency cooperation (long overdue), and expansion of the crimes that could result in terrorism charges (reflecting the new reality). The times it HAS overreached, the courts have usually said no ultimately, with the notable exception of the Korematsu case, in which SCOTUS declined to get involved with the Roosevelt administration’s conduct of WW2 by excluding Japanese Americans from the West Coast., which had a greater impact than it might have otherwise had because there were only 127,000 Japanese Americans living in the US at the time, and 112,000 of them lived on the West Coast. However, the subsequent Endo case said that the exclusion zones were constitutional, but subsequent incarceration was not. Canada, however, has the Emergencies Act, which allows the government to bypass the democratic process to deal with whatever it deems necessary. Trucks could be seized, accounts frozen, and attempts to raise money for legal defense simply stopped. The Act was only invoked for nine days, but it had the desired effect. Essentially Trudeau told protesting citizens either end this or lose everything, and the protest collapsed.

    The effect of that hasn’t been lost on Canadians at all levels. Everyone knows in Canada that, as long as Trudeau and those loyal to him hold the power, which they have for ten years and appear likely to hold for a good number more (no term limits in Canada), it’s dangerous to challenge the government. Maybe this time out the government thought that this negative reaction wasn’t enough to get bothered about, but everyone knows that if the government decides that something IS worth getting bothered about, it can destroy your life.

    Thankfully most parks have limited hours, and you’re unlikely to hear dogs barking or kids shouting early in the morning or after sunset. The fact is, as you pointed out, if you live near a park, it shouldn’t surprise you that people walk their dogs or children come to play when they aren’t in school. It shouldn’t surprise you any more than noise if you live near a train station or an airport or a harbor or a firehouse or a hospital. If you wrote to the fire department or the hospital and said “hey, we just moved in across the street and we have an eight-month-old baby, do you think you could hold off sounding your sirens until you’re a few blocks away and turn them off before you get near here?” they’d laugh, and rightly so. Good luck with getting public transportation to accommodate you. If you want quiet, go buy a house on a hill in the countryside, set way back from the road, where the nearest town is four miles away and the nearest hospital is ten miles away. Then you can sit on your porch and yell at everyone who passes by to quiet down.

  3. If “Bark Bans” were attempted in the United States it would be a clear violation of the First Amendment. We allow protesting, don’t we? I fail to see the difference. (other than number of participants, decibels generated, and likelihood of getting bit {protest} )

  4. “…fined between $500 and $2,000”…
    Yeah, but that’s only $369 to $1,476 US.
    Jack’s arguments are all common sense, and we have seen how short the supply of that is in Canada under Trudeau.

  5. There’s a bit of signature significance here. If someone detests the sound of children or pets having fun and a recreational area designated for them during normal hours… there is absolutely something wrong with him or her. I don’t mean mild irritation, but actually thinking that there oughtta be a law or regulation against it.

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