Advocacy Update – Lobbying Efforts Continue

As the second wave of the pandemic continues, we wanted to bring you up to date on the behind the scenes work your team at PIJAC Canada is doing to represent your interests and the interests of your animal clients.

Throughout the last 11 months, we have been closely monitoring the ever-changing legislation across the country, fielding questions from members looking for assistance as they work hard to follow the rules.  Each region is different, and frequently municipalities and provincial departments are not on the same page, causing ongoing confusion on all sides.  One of the biggest challenges has been with how the different levels of government and law enforcement agencies define the language within their respective legislations.

Grooming services have been a particularly contentious issue. When political language refers to “providing services to animals that are necessary for their health and welfare“ there have been many interpretations resulting in unfair persecution of business owners who are trying to do the right thing. On Tuesday we send out a province-wide press release to the media and social influencers in Ontario speaking out about the lack of access to health maintenance services provided by groomers and the consequences to animals. We are currently awaiting word from the government of Quebec on their decision regarding the same services.  PIJAC Canada staff have been hammering away at this issue, demanding the provinces change their minds and classify grooming as an essential health service.  Hot on the heels of this issue is the need for clarity on what services dog walkers and daycares are allowed to provide to our front-line workers and vulnerable population.

Outside of the pandemic work continues with investigations into municipal activities surrounding the availability of pets in communities such as current activities in Nanaimo, BC as they look to adjust their pet related bylaws.

Energy and patience are understandably stretched thin across the country, but we remain diligent in our efforts to support your businesses and the needs of your clients. The invaluable assistance of your partner association, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, has ensured we are bending the right political ears as each region in Canada has handled pandemic protocol in different ways.  We are extremely grateful for your ongoing willingness to help keep us informed.  Although we cannot predict what direction lawmakers will take, we remain determined in our cause and, as always, available to you.

Remember to check out the CFIB’s Small Business Help Centre for updated information on available programs and services.