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Old August 17th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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twodogsandacat twodogsandacat is offline
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Prime Minister's Wife is an Animal Lover Too

The Prime Minister’s wife is quite the animal lover and even ran an adoption event during a party for the press recently. Also as some of you may know the Prime Minister reportedly cried over the death of a cat. So here's a little insight into the Harper family from today's Toronto Star.

PM's wife would like a dog
Aug. 17, 2006. 12:52 PM

OTTAWA — Laureen Harper says she's a dog-lover forced by circumstance into an exclusively feline lifestyle.

The prime minister's wife has had up to seven cats living at 24 Sussex at the same time — including two of her own and five kittens temporarily adopted from the local animal shelter.

But in an ideal world, she says, there would be a puppy patrolling the prime ministerial grounds. She says she's resisted because it wouldn't be the right fit for her family — or fair to the animal.

"I love dogs and we don't have a dog because we have to travel too much. But I would love to have a dog," she said Thursday during an event at the Ottawa Humane Society.

"Dogs have to be walked two to three times a day, cats don't. We have two cats that keep each other company all day long.

"Cats fit our lifestyle . . . You have to think of an animal for 15 or 20 years."

Harper made the remarks at a news conference announcing the humane society's annual fundraising Wiggle Waggle Walkathon. She will help select the walkathon's Top Dog — the canine equivalent of a parade marshall.

Standing beside her was daughter Rachel who seemed nonplussed when informed that she will also help judge the applicants. The seven-year-old paused, shrugged and replied: "I guess."

The prime minister's daughter seemed more fascinated by the Maltese-****zu puppy named Fozzie laid down by her feet. She tried to walk the dog but didn't get very far with all the television cameras and microphone-toting reporters there to chronicle her mom's public appearance.

Besides being known for her love of animals, Harper — a graphic artist and photographer by training — is reputed to be a political junkie with a voracious appetite for consuming news about her husband's career.

She is also known for scooting about town on her motorcycle, and those who know her describe her as down to earth and affable.

However, she has maintained a distance from the spotlight since her husband's election in January. She noted that her 10-minute public appearance Thursday set a new personal benchmark since the election.

"I think this is the most (media) I've done," she said.
Don't blame me I voted NDP.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:05 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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I wonder what they're trying to accomplish with these articles. There is literally a new one every month.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:06 PM
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Someone should start a lobby group to get some of our animal cruelty laws changed while he's still the Prime Minister.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rainbow
Someone should start a lobby group to get some of our animal cruelty laws changed while he's still the Prime Minister.
Strike while the iron is hot.
Don't blame me I voted NDP.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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I am no fan of Mr Harper,but if he would show the guts of a REAL animal-lover,not only with cute articles,I might look at him a bit different.
He has the power,to push for animal-welfare in this country,to finally give animals some protection,but he would more than likely lose votes from the various businesses dealing with animals.
Vote-getting is what it's all about after all
"The cruelest animal is the Human animal"
3 kitties,Rocky(r.i.p my boy),Chico,Vinnie
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Old August 18th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by twodogsandacat
Strike while the iron is hot.
Exactly Excellent letter:
-------Original Message-------
From: Diana S. Bokhari
To: Stephen Harper
Cc: Claire.a.Lessard@mapaq.gouv.qc.ca ; commentairesPM
Sent: Monday, August 14, 2006 11:15 PM

To The Honourable Prime Minister, Stephen Harper

Dear Mr. Harper,

Although I will most probably receive a letter from one of your office’s Political Attaches, I sincerely hope that my letter will reach not only your personal desk, but also your heart and humanity. I was inspired by a recent story about you on CBC.CA News, Friday, June 09, 2006, titled “Pet-Loving PM Harper 'on line' With Foster Program” where you are referred to as “The country's most powerful cat lover, Prime Minister Stephen Harper” and that “(he) is using his official website to urge Canadians to foster pets that have been abandoned or rescued.” A glimmer of hope touched my heart, and I therefore take this opportunity to tell you my story, and to ask for your personal help.

I own and operate a holistic pet center in Westmount, Quebec which opened its doors almost five years ago in September of 2001. From the very beginning, the very soul of my business has been dedicated to the health and well-being of all animals, but I have since become even more aware of a very serious problem that persists in our province – a serious lack of cogent animal protection laws, and their enforcement. As a result of this, Quebec has become an incubator, a safe haven for puppy and kitten mills, at last count 1800 known such operations, churning out thousands of abused, ill, unwanted pets that are sold through pet shops who either intentionally or stupidly conceal this fact from unsuspecting buyers. These buyers are mostly impulse buyers who are unaware of what they are buying into, or from, and who more often than not bring home inbred, sick animals who are an ill representation of their breeds.

There is much more to this problem:

Most of these animals are later dumped at our shelters, and our shelters here are in a sad, sad state. I cannot begin to tell you the number of animals that are left at any given shelter at any given time, but the numbers are staggering. All of us who are involved in animal rescue dread both the summer moving season and the Christmas holiday gift giving time – the two times of the year that are a nightmare for us, and all of the unwanted animals, where a carnage of euthanized pets reaches its unbelievable, horrible highs.
Many of those who work either as volunteers, or otherwise, with these poor beings often end up with depression or anxiety disorders. Many use up their personal savings, time, and other resources to help save animals that are either carelessly discarded or abused by others. We are all paying the price for this mess, on personal, emotional and national levels, including our health care system since most of these rescuers end up burned out, medicated and/or unable to work.

The kind of abuse that goes on inside puppy and kitten mills is indescribable. All this to make a profit most of which ends up directly in the pockets of the millers. Most of these operations are hidden, undeclared “businesses” so in essence they are given a carte blanc to cheat your government of tax dollars. Why doesn’t anyone in power care about this? Is there a hidden agenda that the rest of us should be aware of?

It has been proven that criminals who intentionally injure people begin with cruelty to animals. Is this the kind of society that we represent here in Canada? I would like to believe not.

Mr. Harper, I and countless others have written to the Quebec government for help in this matter and every time that something begins to take shape, once a new party comes into power, all animal welfare legislature gets thrown out the window. I have myself recently written a long letter to Jean Charest offering to work side by side with him to help raise both funds and awareness necessary for better laws. His attaché sent me the following lackluster response that I consider to be a direct insult to my intelligence, the Premiere’s, as well as her own, not to mention playing the perfect hot potato with taking the responsibility as well as the stand. Are they not aware that their own province has been leading the way in both national and local news with animal cruelty cases? Where has the infamous Anima-Quebec been each and every time? This was their response, and if nothing else, as a tax payer who pays their salaries, I believe I deserved a better answer:

Dear Ms. Saakian Bokhari,

On behalf of the Premier of Québec, Mr. Jean Charest, thank you for your e-mail dated June 26, 2006, in regard to puppy mills.

In this respect, we believe it is important to mention that, since January 2005, the Division of the Act respecting the health, safety and welfare of animals (L.R.Q., c. P-42) referring to animals’ safety and welfare is in force. Accordingly, inspection of dogs’ and cats’ places of custody and breeding is feasible in Quebec through this law.

The inspection mandate has been referred to the Association nationale pour le mieux-être des animaux (ANIMA-Québec). We invite you to communicate with this agency to report a doubtful case or to get more information (1 866 321-1771 or www.animaquebec.com).

Having said that, rest assured that we took careful note of your request for a tougher animal protection law. Also, we have forwarded copy of your e-mail to Mr. Yvon Vallières, ministre de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation, for his perusal.

Sincerely yours,

Julie Mac Murray
Political Attaché

cc: Mr. Yvon Vallières, Minister

As though this wasn’t enough, this was the “inspiring and hopeful” response that I got from Yvon Vallieres’ attaché:

July 18, 2006
Ms. Diana Saakian Bokhari

Dear Ms. Saakian Bokhari,

On behalf of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Yvon Vallières, I hereby acknowledge receipt of your email of last June 26 transferred by Premier’s Office Minister concerning the puppy mills.

Rest assured that we took careful note of its content.


Frédéric Lagacé

Political Attaché

As you can imagine, someone like me who is constantly hands on with the everyday reality of what it is really like out here with all of these sick, abandoned and abused animals, would get very angry by these brush off, generic replies. Imagine if you, as an animal lover and foster guardian yourself, would receive a reply to your own heartfelt letter that would make you feel like you don’t know what you are talking about, or that the very real and present problem is nothing more than an exaggeration on your behalf. I have chosen to respond to both of the said offices with following open letter as part of an international petition found here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takea...ltl=1154040078 I believe it safe to say that the world is watching us, and they do not approve of what they see.

Mr. Harper, I appeal to you as a fellow human being, and as a faithful man who believes that there is a God who is watching all of us, the same God that created man and all of our fellow living beings. I need not quote the scriptures for you to remind you that God has entrusted humans with the care of all animals, great and small, and that the ultimate responsibility to protect them from pain and suffering is ours and ours alone. Neither you nor I could ever say that we didn’t know about this, and that’s why we did nothing to stop their suffering. We will both equally have to answer to Him for what we did or did not choose to do to help them. I beseech you on their behalf, and I appeal to you as the decent and caring man that you are, to step in and make changes to, and enforce criminal code 446 A and B. I appeal to you to help champion this cause for us in Quebec by pressuring our provincial government to review and enforce strict animal welfare laws that will reflect a distinct society worth being proud of.

I thank you for your time, and look forward to your response.

Very Sincerely Yours,

Diana S. Bokhari
Naturalanimal Holistic Pet Center Inc.
Westmount, Quebec

cc: Quebec Prime Minister Jean Charest, Mr. Yvon Vallières, Minister of Agriculture

If you haven't already signed, now's an excellent time, thank you
In rescuing animals I lost my mind but found my soul
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