One Step Closer To Ending BSL in Ontario

today i spent the day at Queen’s Park (Toronto) for the rally to Support  Bill 16 (Hershey’s Bill), as well as watching the proceedings live in the house of legislature.

although it wasn’t my first time on the grounds of Queen’s Park, nor inside the building, it was my first time inside the gallery. i found the process fascinating and it gave me an empowering feeling to know that i can be a part of a change for an issue i am passionate about.

Bill 16 is a tri-party private members bill, brought forth by PC MPP Randy Hillier (and co-signed by NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo and Liberal MPP Kim Craitor). it is a bill to repeal Ontario’s Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) that was brought into effect in Ontario in 2005. in short BSL is a ban on pit bull-type dogs, but in the big picture it is a ban on our basic human rights.

today hundreds gathered at Queen’s Park, wearing their yellow scarves, to support Bill 16.  many prominent people, both from the dog world and the political world, spoke out in support of Bill 16. the energy of the crowd was positive and the sun was shining.

after the rally, the bill went before the house. and after a lengthy debate, i am happy to report that it successfully passed second reading with a vote 51-26. i actually had goosebumps and a lump in my throat as i watched every single PC and NDP member stand strong together during the vote.

the next step for Bill 16 is to go on to committee. to find out more about the process on how a bill becomes law in Ontario, please check out this link.

to watch partial video of the proceedings please click here or you can find the entire transcripts for today’s debate here.

the fight isn’t over yet, but it brings hope to everybody who has put their blood, sweat and tears into fighting this unjust ban.

to find out more about Bill 16, how to get more involved, sign the petition and add your support please visit Bring Back The Bulls. if this issue is important to you, please contact your local MPP to find out their stance on Bill 16.

today i realized first-hand that YOUR VOICE CAN BE HEARD and that every single person CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE when they put forth the passion, time and action.


Emcee Selma Mulvey of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada (DLCC) got the rally started by setting the tone with positive energy and some comic relief.

the energy of the crowd was positive and uplifting as MPPs came out to address them.

PC MPP Randy Hillier, who brought forth Bill 16, made an eloquent address to the cheering crowd.

88-year-old Squibs Mercier (founding member of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada) traveled all the way from Ottawa to show her support…bless her heart!Liberal MPP Kim Craitor spoke to the crowds, one of only three Liberals that supported Bill 16 today. he was one of the very few Liberals who were against the initial ban in 2005 and continues to stand up against his party members to have the ban repealed…brave man!

being 1 of only 3 other Liberals who voted in support of Bill 16 today, MPP Kim Craitor received huge cheers from the crowd (and a hug from Selma).  

Sonny Allinson of the Canadian Kennel Club shares his views to the hundreds who attended.

 Sonny and Selma share a laugh.Cathy Prothro, Co-Founder of the DLCC and President of the American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada (and one of my favourite people), brought her spitfire spirit to the day.
NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo, who has been supporting and fighting this issue for years, took the time to speak to the crowd.
dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes came out with their people to show their support.

wearing their yellow scarves in support.

a huge thank you to the Support Hershey’s Group who organized the rally. please check out their website for more info and important dates.

it was quite the social gathering.

Earl (of The Unexpected Pit Bull Calendar fame) cheering along with his big “WROOF”!

This is the other side of Matrix (of The Unexpected Pit Bull Calendar fame)…not happy wearing her muzzle. Don’t worry Matey…today proved that there is hope!


4 comments on “One Step Closer To Ending BSL in Ontario”

  1. Coleen Wilkinson says:


    I am Editor of “Staffie Tales” – the club magazine for members of the SBT Club of Canada. I was present at the rally on Thursday.

    Your photos are lovely.

    May I have permission to use the one of Squibs Mercier? I wanted a photo of her at the podium for my cover. This is a great one – she looks so good!!!

    Thank you so much!


  2. Liz says:

    Hi Marcia,

    You photos are amazing and capture the spirit of the rally in a very precious and visual way. One can only appreciate the heart to have for our dogs, and the awareness your create by your positive profiling of them ulitizing your gifted talent.

    Thank you for covering the rally and bringing to life those special moments captured so beautifully for all to see.

    Warm Regards
    Liz Sullivan

  3. Fran C. says:

    Fabulous pictures Marcie. Would it be possible to thank the Support Hersheys Group for putting on the rally and mentioning the web site? The more people we have going to the web site and joing the cause the stronger we become in this fight for justice and equal rights in Ontario

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