The Mouse That Roared

Our dog Mouse (our last was Wolf, son of Bear, dog of RedBeard) frequently gets walked at the Bruce Pit dog park in Ottawa.  If you have a dog, you should know that they (and you!) are much happier and balanced when well-exercised.   No-one reinforces this message in the public eye more and better than Cesar Millan, the “Dog Whisperer”, who will shortly be coming to Canada, and to Ottawa in particular.  We would all do well to listen to Cesar’s messages of balance and humility, and to think more about what it all means in the grander context of humans who are in turn subservient to our “masters”, that is, our governments and their public institutions.

When Christy and I first arrived in Ottawa in 1990, one of the attractions of the place (and a key reason for our having remained here, despite that our initial intent was just to check it out for a few years) was the access to natural environments nearby where we could walk, ride bikes, and cross-country ski with our young kids and hound (then, “Bucky”).  At the time of our arrival, much of the land surrounding Ottawa was “Greenbelt”, land nationally (ie publicly!) owned, and administered on our behalf by the National Capital Commission (NCC), and open to all.

In the years (decades!) since our arrival, we have observed these lands, which were largely expropriated from private individuals for the ostensible purpose of creating housing for returning War Veterans (a noble cause!), being sold off to developers who have profited greatly.  The Moffat Farm fiasco is just one example of the NCC’s expropriation of land under false premise, the manipulation of due process, opaque un-accountability,  and the subsequent sale of our land to their developer-buddies.  We have observed an ever-increasing number of rules being applied to those Canadians who use these public lands, with the natural result being that those areas with the strictest terms of use are, of course, now the least used.  And, of course, reduced public use allows a stronger argument by the NCC that the land is of little public utility, and so can be sold off to the development community for a pittance (and to their great profit).  It is a very simple and tidy little way to (mis-) use a public institution for personal profit.

In January of 2010 Christy and I were walking Mouse (off-leash) at the Bruce Pit, about to enter an area that when we first arrived was free for anyone’s general use without restriction, but that had since had rules applied by the NCC that precluded dogs in the area between November and April, and required dogs be on-leash from May through October, it having been designated a “Ski Trail”.  On that day our national police force, the RCMP, had officers stationed behind trees to surprise dog-walkers and present them with warnings and tickets (with hefty fines), for, in my opinion, doing nothing wrong.  I was incensed enough to make my views public, and to solicit for support for the cause of dogs and freedom on the Bruce Pit forums, here*.

Cesar, beware!  You are entering a politically dog-unfriendly zone!  We have here an institution that doesn’t understand it needs to loosen the leash, not pull it tighter.  At one level up in the hierarchy, the dogs (ie us dog-walking humans) are balanced, but the master (the NCC) is not.

That link to the original discussion again.* Enjoy.


* I notice the link is broken.  The site is now at, but the discussion of the events of Jan 2010 is missing… I hope to get some of it bacq, it was some interesting stuff.

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4 Responses to The Mouse That Roared

  1. I looked over some thing similar to this post while browsing google news… I was interested and then started searching around, and landed here… in any case, I believe that I agree with what you talk about here. However I’m going to go check what additional information I can look up as well.

    • ben says:

      Jeannie, it is great to see that the system is working! I have long believed that the Internet would be a great agent of truth, and think it might be helping both of us discover it, right here. If you do make it bacq after looking around, I’d be interested in hearing what you find, and whether it substantiates or refutes what I say. Am I right or wrong, or somewhere between?

      Are you from Ottawa, a dog owner, or simply someone who is seeing the institutions we created to guard our rights instead becoming increasingly oppressive?

      Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Very nice article and right to the point. I am not sure if this is in fact the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thanks in advance 🙂

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