Funding for Animal Welfare in Ontario by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
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The province of Ontario allocates an exceptionally low amount of fiscal resources for agencies involved in animal welfare. The main groups - the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Humane Society, receive small transfer payments from the government. They exist mainly from donations and fund-raisers.
The City of Toronto has an approximate budget of $11 million per year for animal control, animal related complaints and investigations. Compare this to a transfer payment from the Province to the OSPCA (and their affiliates) of only $5.5 million a year.
The Province of Ontario has an abysmal patchwork of animal protection services. Each municipality or county can opt in or out of what kind of services, if any, they are willing to pay for. For instance, in one town, there may be a contract with an animal control service that only deals with stray or injured dogs. Nothing about puppy mills, kitten mills, injured wildlife, stray or injured cats, animal abuse or neglect.
One town might have a physical property, such as a kennel, to take rescues to. One may rely only on a network of foster homes. One town may have 24 hour service - one town may only be Monday to Friday, during business hours.
Animal protection personnel are traditionally under paid and under-equipped. Cramped, over-crowded buildings, lack of resources and often only by the good will of a local vet do they receive a break on medical help.
In a civilized, first-world society, this is truly unacceptable.
The solution being proposed is that the Minister of Finance of Ontario engage in an agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and earmark a permanent transfer payment of adequate funds to the Ontario SPCA to facilitate them in doing their work properly.
The OLG is concerned with corporate stewardship, social responsibility and committed to various priorities of the people of Ontario. In 2016-2017, OLG paid the Province $2.63 BILLION. This is after-tax money from the people of Ontario.
Please join me in telling the Province and OLG that Ontarians want to see some of that money used to professionalize and standardize the level of care and services that animal protection agencies want to be able to provide.
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