“I hope this man (now temporarily suspended St. Catharines Veterinarian Mahavir Singh Rekhi) never practices again and the College gets their act together and properly responds to the outrage my constituents are feeling.” – Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates
News from the Office of Niagara Falls Riding MPP Wayne Gates
Posted October 18th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Queen’s Park, Toronto – Wayne Gates, NDP MPP for Niagara Falls met this October 17th with the College of Veterinarians Ontario regarding the recent revelations of animal abuse by a St. Catharines Veterinarian.
Meeting at the offices of the College, Gates noted that there was a some need for potential legislative changes but had concerns the College was not taking the case seriously enough.
“It’s clear to me there’s major concerns with current legislation preventing the College from dealing with this case as quickly as it could, stated Gates.”
“For example, they don’t have the power to issue interim suspensions or to release the information until after a judgement has been delivered. This meant that residents in Niagara were taking their pets to Dr. Mahavir Singh Rekhi while the College had video evidence of what was occurring behind those doors. It’s a gap in the legislation that needs to be addressed immediately.”
Gates voiced his surprise that many of the regulations that may have stopped the St. Catharines Vet sooner were not in place and he had concerns they were not taking the case seriously enough.
“They informed me that outside of the legislative changes, the College was looking at making internal changes to their policy as well—issues like when they should provide evidence of abuse to the OSPCA or Police. If they’ve been around since 1874 – why has it taken so long for these internal policies to be in place?”
The College indicated that they had prepared a list of legislative changes they would like to see that would address the issues of interim suspensions and possible punishments, however, they noted these changes were already being suggested before the case of the St. Catharines Vet became known.
“The fact that the College knew they needed these changes concerns me. Certainly this case has highlighted the need for these reforms but it seems to me these changes were already being requested. How could they not view those videos and realize that something needs to be done now, not months from now?”
The College refused to provide Gates with any information on the specific case of the St. Catharines vet when pressed that the vet’s license should be immediately revoked. The College noted they planned to seek public consultation on their upcoming policy change proposals.
“I imagine they’ve heard quite a bit from the residents of Niagara but I hope they hear more at those public consultations. I hope this man never practices again and the College gets their act together and properly responds to the outrage my constituents are feeling”.
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