Citing various odd reasons, one being security issues the request through Freedom of Information Laws was denied. Even stranger is the wording in the response from the clerks office at Toronto City Hall.
The last paragraph, section 11 (e) in particular caught our attention. The first reason cited, 8 (1)(i) security could have been handled by redacting specific dates, times etc. However a route plan, duration of trip and stops should have been released so as to determine whether the plan is in accordance with the humane laws which govern animal transport both in Canada and the USA. As the Toronto Zoo elephants are still legally and technically owned by the City of Toronto the people of Toronto, citizens have a legal right to review the plan so as to take whatever action they might see fit in accordance to their civil rights if in fact any, part or all of the transport plan Could be in contravention of Provincial and/or Federal laws.
Section 11(e) reads: relates to positions, plans, procedures, criteria or instructions to be applied to any negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of an institution;
Section 11(g) reads: relates to information including proposed plans, policies or projects of an institution if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in premature disclosure of a pending policy decision or undue financial benefit or loss to a person.
What pending policy decision?
The zoo and Zoocheck announced in September that ALL the permits were in and that the elephants would be leaving mid to late October. What would be left to negotiate if this were the case?
The transport plan is legally PAWS property and transport is Zoocheck’s responsibility so I guess they have some say in whether it is made public.
Until the trucks leave Toronto Zoo property the Toronto Zoo elephants are technically still the legal property of the city of Toronto. One would think citizens would have a legal right to review the plans to determine whether or not it is in contravention of any laws regarding the humane transport of animals. Our supporting evidence for this concern would be the effort by Toronto Council and Zoocheck to force the air transport in August of 2012 knowing full well that the plane’s low pressurized cargo hold was in fact in direct violation of IATA laws governing the humane air transport of live animals.