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Statutory Paramountcy [s.67]

. Pryde v. Chief Animal Welfare Inspector

In Pryde v. Chief Animal Welfare Inspector (Div Court, 2022) the Divisional Court considered the 'conflict' paramountcy provision of s.67 of PAWS (it cites Hudson):
Issue #6: Did the Board fail to apply the test under s. 67 of the PAWS Act?

[74] The Applicants submit that the Board failed to apply the test found in s. 67 of the PAWS Act which reads:
In the event of a conflict between a provision of this Act or of a regulation made under this Act and of a municipal by-law pertaining to the welfare of or the prevention of cruelty to animals, the provision that affords the greater protection to animals shall prevail.
[75] The Applicants submit that the local by-laws for the Townships of Oro-Medonte (Moonstone) and Severn make provision for (shorter) tether lengths which provide greater protection to animals, and the Board ought to have followed those by-laws rather than the provisions in the Act.

[76] Those provisions are as follows:
Severn: Section 5.4 of By-law No. 2020-62, “Being a by-law for the licensing and regulating of dogs and kennels and for the control of dogs within the Township of Severn,” provides that “any person who has tethered an animal shall ensure that at all times the animal has unrestricted movement of a length not less than 2 metres.”

Oro-Medonte (Moonstone): Section 9.4 of By-law No. 2011-176, “A By-law to regulate and license Dog Kennels within the Township of Oro-Medonte,” requires that sled dog kennel operators abide by an industry guideline which recommends a tether length of 1.8 metres.
[77] While the provisions in the by-laws are different from those in the PAWS Act, it cannot be said that they conflict with one another. The by-laws do not require a different length from the Regulation under the PAWS Act: rather, in the case of the Township of Severn, the by-law requires “at least” a 2-metre length tether. A three metre-length-long tether, as required by the Regulation, does not offend the by-law.

[78] In the case of the Township of Oro-Medonte, sled dog kennel operators are required to abide by industry guidelines which recommend a tether length of 1.8 metres. A longer tether length does not conflict with this by-law.

[79] The Board considered the test in 114957 Canada Ltée (Spraytech, Société d'arrosage) v. Hudson (Town), 2001 SCC 40 (CanLII), [2001] 2 S.C.R. 241 at paras. 38-39, and applied it to the two by-laws and the Regulation. The Board concluded, reasonably, that the dual compliance test did not put the Applicants in a position where obeying one law meant disobeying the other, even though both sets of laws here deal with the same subject matter.

[80] The Board’s decision is reasonable and well articulated. We find no basis on which to interfere with its finding.


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