March 2, 2010 - Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

General Purposes Committee





Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Anderson Room

Richmond City Hall


Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair

Councillor Linda Barnes

Councillor Derek Dang

Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt

Councillor Greg Halsey-Brandt

Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt

Councillor Ken Johnston

Councillor Bill McNulty

Councillor Harold Steves

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 5:07 p.m.









It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the special meeting of the General Purposes Committee held on Monday, February 8, 2010, be adopted as circulated.












Banning the sale of dogs in storefronts

(File Ref. No.:  12-8275-01/2009-Vol 01) (REDMS No. 2731601)



Marcie Moriarty, General Manager of Cruelty Investigations for the BC SPCA, was in favour of banning the sale of dogs in storefronts.  Ms. Moriarty spoke of concerns related to dogs being sold in stores, noting that although pet stores claim that their dogs come from loving homes, these stores often hide behind puppy brokers.  In March 2009, CBC aired a documentary that exposed Hunte Corporation, a puppy broker, and showed the conditions in which puppies are kept.



Ms. Moriarty noted that currently there are no regulations or authority that oversees dog breeders.  Thus, pet stores can claim anything on their websites.  In regards to Richmond pet stores’ claim that their dogs come from ‘licenced breeders’, she questioned who licenced them.



She commented that neither the members of the Canadian Kennel Club nor other reputable breeders sell to pet stores as they do not know where their puppy will go.



Ms. Moriarty spoke of Richmond’s current bylaw and said that although pet stores have a register to record who provided the puppy, this register does not include the address of where the puppy was acquired.  Without the address, she questioned how the breeding conditions could be monitored.



She also listed business figures related to the sale of dogs in Canada, and advised that only 5% of money spent is on the purchase of the animal, the remainder of money is spent on other things for the animal.



In response to queries from Committee, Ms. Moriarty advised the following that (i) puppy mills are only in business because they have buyers; and (ii) although some puppies from mills may be healthy, they are bred in poor conditions.



Christie Lagally, volunteer with the Richmond Animal Protection Society (RAPS), distributed materials (copy on file, City Clerk’s Office) and spoke in favour of banning the sale of dogs in storefronts.  Ms. Lagally stated that RAPS would like to see a full ban as many puppies purchased from Richmond pet stores are surrendered to RAPS within the first two years.



She spoke of figures related to surrendered or abandoned purebreds, and noted that almost every jurisdiction in BC consistently only sees 25% of purebreds surrendered or abandoned.  However, in Richmond this figure is 57%.



Ms. Lagally advised that surrender forms are included in the materials she distributed and noted that many of the forms indicate that the dogs were purchased from Richmond pet stores.  Also, she referenced a petition in favour of banning the sale of dogs in storefronts.



Ernest Ang, owner of the Richmond Pet Habitat, was opposed to the proposed ban.  He stated that Richmond pet stores comply and perhaps exceed the standards of care set out by the Canadian Veterinarian Medical Association, humane societies, and the SPCA.  He advised that Pet Habitat only receives puppies from government certified facilities.  Mr. Ang was of the opinion that the banning of puppies being sold in Richmond stores would increase unregulated ‘backyard breeding’ and would create unfair competition for Richmond pet stores.



In response to the previously referenced CBC documentary, Mr. Ang noted that the video was one-sided and as such CBC has removed the link to the video on its website.  He concluded by stating that pet stores want to be part of the solution and he invited the City to work with them.  Mr. Ang read from his submission that is attached to and forming part of these Minutes as Schedule 1.



In reply to queries from Committee, Mr. Ang advised that he would provide Council with copies of the United States Department of Agriculture standards.



Discussion ensued regarding Richmond’s current dog bylaw, and in reply to a query made by Committee, Wayne Mercer, Manager, Community Bylaws, advised that only three dogs are permitted per household.  He clarified that puppies are not considered dogs until six months of age.



In reply to further queries from Committee, Mr. Ang provided the following information:




those wishing to purchase a dog from Pet Habitat are told how big the dog will grow, its temperament, typical problems associated to the breed and so forth;




many people wishing to purchase a dog from Pet Habitat are well informed as they have researched their choice prior to entering the store;




Pet Habitat does not have a policy whereby a puppy must be visited in the store numerous times before it is purchased;




every puppy sold from Pet Habitat has a microchip and must be checked by a veterinarian within 72 hours of the sale; and




Richmond Pet Habitat sells over 200 puppies a year.



Discussion ensued regarding the CBC documentary and in response to comments made by Committee, Mr. Ang advised that Pet Habitat is against puppy mills and he has visited Hunte Corporation breeders.  He noted that he would share more information regarding Hunte Corporation.



Sarah Henderson, representing PJ’s Pets, spoke in opposition to banning the sale of dogs in pet stores, and noted that a 2008 study conducted by Ipsos Reid indicated that only 10% of dogs owned by Canadians came from pet stores.  The remaining 90% come from other sources, therefore, selling dogs in stores is not a problem.  Ms. Henderson was of the opinion that a ban of the sale of dogs in pet stores will decrease jobs in Richmond as PJ’s Pets has a particular position that solely deals with the care and wellbeing of puppies:  Kennel Technician.  Ms. Henderson read from her submission that is attached to and forming part of these Minutes as Schedule 2.



In reply to queries from Committee, Ms. Henderson advised that (i) an employee of PJ’s Pets selects breeders; (ii) PJ’s Pets puppies come from a family-oriented environment within Canada; (iii) puppies are checked by PJ’s Pets' veterinarian once they arrive at the store; and (iv) Kennel Technicians receive in-store training.



Cheri Simmons, former Store Manager for PJ’s Pets, was opposed to banning the sale of dogs in storefronts.  She was of the opinion that this ban would take away accountability and responsibility to find good homes for dogs.  There are no rules regulating breeders, therefore pet stores, which are regulated, are better places to purchase dogs. 



Ms. Simmons spoke of PJ’s Pets efforts to work with RAPS and indicated RAPS’ Board of Directors declined to work with them as they did not endorse the sale of animals in pet stores. 



In reply to queries from Committee, she noted that (i) better records should be kept in relation to where puppies come from; and (ii) PJ’s Pets does screen potential puppy buyers in order to match the future owner to the proper dog. Ms. Simmons read from her submission that is attached to and forming part of these Minutes as Schedule 3.



Gary Batt, President, Petland Surrey, spoke in opposition to banning the sale of dogs in storefronts.  Mr. Batt spoke of his involvement with the National Board of Directors of the Pet Industry in Canada and highlighted his participation during the creation and implementation of regulations related to dogs being brought into Canada.



Mr. Batt spoke of dogs being members of families, and companions. He stated that many parties are concerned with the proper breeding of any animal, and noted that his pet store attempts to regulate breeding and care as much as possible.  Mr. Batt stated that he does not support puppy mills and believed that pet stores are not the problem, but instead part of the solution.  He commented that often he sees puppies for sale on the side of the street and there are lists of puppies for sale in the classified ads of newspapers and on the internet.



Also, Mr. Batt advised that Canada does not licence or regulate the breeding of dogs, therefore there are no standards for kennels, no regulations, and no inspections.  He noted that such licences and regulations fall under the Provincial governments’ mandate.  Mr. Batt read from his submission that is attached to and forming part of these Minutes as Schedule 4.



Discussion ensued regarding how to best address the various issues raised by the delegations and Committee commented on:




Richmond’s kennel bylaw;




regulations and enforcement of regulations for dog breeders;




the submission of a resolution to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) seeking provincial standards for dog breeding;




amending Richmond’s bylaw so that the keeping of puppies is included in the three dog per household limit;




enhanced record keeping of where dogs are attained from including the address; and




Richmond pet stores’ involvement in seeking legislative reform.



As a result of the discussion,



It was moved and seconded



That the staff report entitled ‘Banning the Sale of Dogs in Storefronts’ be referred back to staff to comment on:




what are the standards, if any, for people selling and/or breeding dogs in BC;




kennel regulations, as well as the number of dogs in households at various ages and the impacts;




liaising with Richmond pet store owners and Richmond Animal Protection Society to see what suggestions they have to address the issue; and




the potential grandfathering of existing pet stores based on the purchase of dogs from bona fide kennels in BC.



The question on the referral was not called as discussion ensued regarding further information required on the possibility of an enhanced standardized animal sales record, in particular to include the name and address of the supplier of the animal, and on whether the City has the authority to licence breeders and/or regulate the source of the animal’s origin.



The question on the referral was then called and it was CARRIED.





(File Ref. No.: ) (REDMS No. 2819979)



It was moved and seconded



That the application by Royal Ballroom Dance Studio Inc, doing business as Royal Restaurant, for an amendment to add patron participation under Food Primary Liquor License No. 302360, in order to offer dining and dancing, be supported and that a letter be sent to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch advising that:




Council recommends the amendment to the food primary liquor licence permitting patron participation for ballroom dancing on the premises as it will not have a significant negative impact on the community;




Council’s comments on the prescribed criteria (set out in section 53 of the Liquor Control and Licensing Regulations) are as follows:





The potential for additional noise and traffic in the area if the application is approved was considered;





The impact on the community if the application is approved was assessed thru a community consultation process and considered;





That the amendment to permit patron participation under the Food Primary liquor licence should not change the establishment so that it is operated in a manner that is contrary to its primary purpose was considered;




As the operation of a licensed establishment may affect nearby residents the City gathered the views of the residents as follows:





Property owners and businesses within a 100 metre radius of the subject property were contacted by letter detailing the application and provided instructions on how community comments or concerns could be submitted;





In addition, signage was posted at the subject property and three public notices were published in a local newspaper.  This signage and notice provided information on the application and instructions on how community comments or concerns could be submitted.




Council’s comments and recommendations respecting the views of the residents are as follows:





That the letters received opposed to the amendment to permit patron participation were reviewed and was determined that the type of entertainment proposed would not impact the neighbourhood significantly and that based on the number of letters sent and the lack of responses received, Council considers that the amendment is acceptable to the majority of residents in the area.











Provincial Funding for Fire Rescue Services

(File Ref. No.:) (REDMS No. 2736527)



John McGowan, Fire Chief, Richmond Fire-Rescue, provided background information and responded to Committee queries.



It was moved and seconded







the reduced 2008 surplus allocation request of $148,500 for additional temporary Fire Rescue services be approved; and




the General Manager of Law and Community Safety be authorized to execute the contribution agreement with the Province of British Columbia.











Replacement of Management Staff

(File Ref. No.:  05-1695-01/2010-Vol 01) (REDMS No. 2824618)



Discussion ensued regarding the various management positions that were the subject of the staff report and Committee indicated they wished to discuss the positions in greater detail. 



As a result of the discussion,



It was moved and seconded



That following the March 2, 2010 Finance Committee meeting, Item #4 “Replacement of Management Staff” be considered in a Closed meeting of the General Purposes Committee.











Service Agreement Ratification

(File Ref. No.:  ) (REDMS No. 2839372)



It was moved and seconded







the VANOC Service Agreement be ratified as presented; and




the General Manager of Parks and Recreation be authorized to execute this agreement.












Falling Ice and YVR Investigation



In reference to a recent article in a local newspaper, discussion ensued regarding ice falling from a plane and the seriousness of its impact on a local resident’s house.



As a result of the discussion, the following referral was made:



It was moved and seconded



That the recent incident involving falling ice from a plane over Richmond be referred to staff to make inquiries of YVR on what occurred.












It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (7:17 p.m.).






Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Tuesday, March 2, 2010.



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie


Hanieh Floujeh

Acting Executive Assistant

City Clerk's Office