August 15, 2014 – Aurora, ON – Department of Justice Canada
Justice Minister Peter MacKay today visited the York Regional Police Canine Unit in Aurora, Ontario, to acknowledge the important role the unit, and others like it, play in protecting Canadian communities.
Police service animals are often at risk of violent assaults, and in fact, a number have been killed in the course of their duties. In May 2014, the Government of Canada introduced legislation to ensure that those who wilfully harm a law enforcement animal face serious consequences.
"Police dogs often play a crucial role in the protection of our families and communities. They assist police officers to solve crimes and enforce the law, and their contribution is undeniable. In May 2014, our Government introduced legislation that will take important steps to help protect them from the risks they take daily in the performance of their duties, so they can continue their work, in safety, as key members of our police forces across the country."
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
"We were pleased to host Peter MacKay, Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General and Costas Menegakis, Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill here today at York Regional Police Headquarters and were proud to give both a demonstration of our talented Canine Unit teams. We rely on police service dogs on a daily basis to provide support to our officers in keeping our communities safe. We also support the legislation tabled in May that will protect police service animals like those in our Canine and Ceremonial Mounted Units and look forward to seeing the bill pass when the House of Commons resumes."
Eric Jolliffe, Chief of Police, York Regional Police
"Our Government is committed to protecting police service animals, like Edmonton Police Service Dog Quanto and Toronto Police Service Horse Brigadier, who were killed in the line of duty. In May 2014, we acted on this commitment by introducing Bill C-35, the Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto's Law) which will help to protect the animals that work so hard every day to keep us safe."
Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill, Costas Menegakis
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