Boroughs of Montreal “forced” to do business with the white shepherd at immense prices!
Translation of the original article:
A costly anti-pitbull law
To conform to the new anti-pitbull law, Montreal boroughs made the choice to offer a long term contract to Berger Blanc, despite considerably higher rates compared to the previous offered services.
Three 27-month contracts for animal control services have been offered in the past few weeks to the private society Berger Blanc, the only valid bidder in the context of a request for proposals in Mai by deputies from Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension (VSMPE), Ahuntsic-Cartierville and Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Having already done business with the firm in the past, the latter saw its bill climb by 58%, going from about 9770$ monthly to 15 520$.
For VSMPE, who will host the next Montreal animal centre near the end of 2019 or 2020, the increase was 16%. ‘’The norms and requirements have increased, so we understand this small fee increase and are satisfied by Berger Blanc’s services.’’ Frantz Benjamin, Saint-Michel advisor and president of the Municipal Council, admits to Métro.
In Ahuntsic-Cartierville, even though they had operated since 2002 with the SPCA, deputies chose Berger Blanc despite a 23% increase in comparison to previous years.
Up to 60% increase
Finally, in Montreal-North, the tender would be, according to the borough, 60% more than their current contract with the SPCA. However, this contract has not yet been concluded. ‘’The borough is still evaluating the different options in order to establish a long-term contract with an organisation.’’ Véronik Aubry, Montreal-North spokesperson, says. The deputies will have to make a choice in the following borough council meetings before the end of summer.
‘’The prices are higher, but it is because of the new services that are asked of us.’’ Pierre Couture, Berger Blanc’s CEO explains. He mentions notably the eventual euthanasia of pitbulls, now banned on the territory of Montreal if they have not been registered before the March 31rst. ‘’We can imagine that illegal owners will not pay if we have to keep the animal and the City hasn’t planned anything to reimburse these costs. We need to plan for this.’’ he continues.
‘’These prices guarantee the city quality service. We have a civil responsibility and one of security.’’ – Pierre Couture, Berger Blanc’s CEO.
Prices already criticised
After the adoption of the anti-pitbull law in December 2016, to which it opposed, the SPCA has decided to terminate its contracts with ten or so boroughs, while also confronting the City in court. In early April, the first call for propositions had been canceled at the demand of many boroughs, denouncing Berger Blanc’s prohibitive prices. The latter was trying to retrieve the SPCA’s contracts.
In order to conduct the necessary animal services, many boroughs had taken the decision to temporarily prolong their agreements with the SPCA, giving out the arrangements tied to pitbulls to veterinarians or external services.
Contrary to Ahuntsic-Cartierville, who finally opted for Berger Blanc despite the significant price increase, many boroughs prefered to go for the ‘’better economic choice’’, Christine Gosselin, Plateau-Mont-Royal (PMR) advisor maintains. Refusing a two time increase from Berger Blancs proposal, PMR signed with the SPCA once more. ‘’With the money we save, the outcome is better even if we have to ask for the services of veterinarians for pitbulls without behaviour problems. It’s a custom-made approach, but it’s the more logical one.’’ the deputy declares.
The boroughs of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie and of the South-West have also decided to continue their agreements with the non-profit organisation, while excluding pitbull-related services. Anjou, Lachine, Verdun and Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce are doing the same, even if the latter’s deputies will hold a vote in mid-August to sign a new long-term contract with an yet-to-be-determined organisation.
‘’I am more comfortable with the SPCA, who doesn’t seek profit and conforms well to requirements. But we know that the mayor (Denis Coderre) is able to make the boroughs come together and do what he wants them to, even if they don’t want to.’’ – Marvin Rotrand, CDN-NDG advisor.
The only opposition deputy in Ahuntsic-Cartierville to have opposed the contract, Émilie Thuilier denounces ‘’a path to take for deputies attached to Denis Coderre’’. ‘’It is the consequence of the City’s terrible management in this file,’’ assures the one who will run with Project Montreal for the borough’s mayoral seat in November. ‘’This anti-pitbull law doesn’t make sense and the mayor’s stubbornness is costly for the citizens.’’
Contacted by Métro, the City of Montreal states that it does not have ‘’a position’’ in regards to these increases. ‘’The distribution of these contracts falls on the boroughs’’ who want a ‘’turnkey service’’ Marie-Eve Courchesne, Montreal City’s public relations officer, wrote by email. Mayor Coderre’s office did not wish to Comment.