Clayton Ruby seeks leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the Ontario pit-bull ban

    TORONTO, April 16 /CNW/ - Civil rights lawyer Clayton Ruby has filed an
application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of
dog owner, Catherine Cochrane, regarding the Ontario government's law banning
pit-bulls: the Dog Owners' Liability Act.
    On October 24, 2008, the Court of Appeal for Ontario released its
decision dismissing Ms. Cochrane's appeal and allowing the Ontario
government's cross-appeal. As a result, all of the amendments to the Dog
Owners' Liability Act introduced back in 2005 were upheld, even those that the
trial judge, Justice Herman, originally struck down.
    Mr. Ruby is now asking the Supreme Court of Canada to review this case on
five grounds: (1) the Court of Appeal set the bar too low for the government
in defending the constitutionality of legislation by only requiring the
government to adduce "some evidence" of the harm the legislation is intended
to address; (2) the Court of Appeal failed to focus on whether the law is
overbroad in "some applications", which is all that is required; (3) the Court
of Appeal considered the likelihood that individuals will be imprisoned for
violating the law, which is an irrelevant factor in the analysis; (4) the
Court of Appeal failed to appreciate what degree of guidance a law must
provide in order to not be impermissibly vague; and (5) the Court of Appeal
erred in upholding the part of the law that allows a veterinarian's
certificate to constitute proof that the dog is a pit bull in the absence of
evidence to the contrary, a provision which unfairly reverses the presumption
of innocence.

For further information:

For further information: or a copy of the written submissions contact:
Clayton Ruby at Ruby & Shiller, Barristers, at (416) 964-9664; or Breese
Davies at Di Luca Copeland Davies LLP, Barristers, at (416) 868-1825 ext. 221

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