Thankfully, once in a while a judgement is rendered that actually seems to make sense even if it's one that doesn't have a major impact on society as a whole. This particular tale begins in 2011 in the city of Toronto, a place in years past that was often referred to as "Hogtown", (based on the many slaughterhouses in existence at the time, not the residents) but in today's world it is in fact considered the center of the known universe by many of those that live there.
|A happy Toronto Resident|
So what does this have to do with my renewed faith in our justice system?
Well, just last week Ontario Superior Court Justice James Spence struck down Toronto's ban on shark parts and stated in his ruling that the city bylaw fell beyond the city's jurisdiction. Can you imagine...
Naturally the Canadian branch of animal rights group Humane Society International was quick to react saying the judge's ruling ran counter to the views of councilors and many Torontonians" (probably the average shark as well). "The court's decision nullifies the will of many residents in Toronto, including prominent Chinese Canadians, who want to make sure that their city does not contribute to the shark fin trade," campaigner Gabriel Wildgen said in a press release.
As well it should come as no surprise that Cohn. Kristyn Wong-Tam, who co-introduced the bylaw, said an appeal of the ruling is being considered, according to a release by the advocacy group.
So while some will see this overturning of the bylaw as a travesty of justice and inhumane towards the poor hammerhead and his cousins I view it as a step in the right direction. Trust me, I personally have no animosity towards the shark, (unless the body of water we are sharing is bigger than a soup bowl, of course) but I truly enjoy seeing civic government officials put in their place and reminded of their limitations. Now if these elected officials feel a continuing urge to protect natures oldest predator they should personally contact their own Member of Parliament or possibly some committee or another at the UN (on their own time, and on their own dime) as this issue is really more of a Federal or an International one than a civic one. In the meantime maybe they could direct their focus to more mundane local issues, things they were actually elected to do. You know, fix a few roads, look after ensuring there are adequate resources for the fire and police departments, repair some crumbling infrastructure, etc, etc, etc.
On a last note, I imagine that any New Yorkers reading this are wishing that they could experience some of Justice Spence's common sense, so once again they could suck on the straw of a 32 ounce "Big Gulp" at their local 7-11. If only life were so simple.