This page is dedicated to sharing letters that community members have written to the City of Victoria mayor and council regarding their concerns about the horse carriages. Usually the City replies with a stock response that dismisses the concerns of citizens and makes false claims regarding the regulations and care of the horses, but it is important they continue to get letter regardless. You can write the City of Victoria mayor and council here.
It is very important that we have a place to share these letter and so if you send a letter to mayor and council please also send it to us and we will post it here. We will not post any personal details that you don’t want posted publicly, but we ask to be able to post your name, so that people can see who is advocating for these animals. You can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mayor and Council,
Citizens of Victoria who use our streets, the tourist occupants of the carriages, and the horses pulling the carriages are put in very dangerous situations so that the owners of these horse-drawn carriage companies can make a buck. It is absurd to me that our Mayor and city councillors condone these risks.
I live in James Bay and have witnessed dangerous incidents with regard to the horse-drawn carriages in traffic on Dallas Rd and other streets and intersections. I have seen 10 cars backed up behind a horse carriage on Dallas Rd unable to pass. The cars would then veer around the carriage and cut very sharply in front of the horse or horses because car drivers are irritated with having to put up with this unnecessary obstruction in the roadway. Are Mayor and Council waiting for a major and disastrous accident to happen before they remove the horse carriages from the streets of Victoria?
There are documented horse carriage accidents that have occurred in Victoria.
The horse-drawn carriages are an antiquated form of transportation in an urban centre that creates totally unnecessary hazards and increased carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles that must slow or stop.
The effect of banning horse-drawn carriages on tourism will be negligible. Will the masses of tourists who arrive by cruise ship and other means really stay out of the downtown core because the horse-drawn carriages are gone? Undoubtedly, the answer is no. The benefits of banning them, including increased safety, normal traffic flow, and the welfare of the horses, will be realized immediately. Victoria is a beautiful city that would draw the same number of tourists without the horse-drawn carriages.
There have been recent calls to ban horse-drawn carriages in cities such as Quebec City, where two incidents occurred in May of 2017. A horse suddenly took off, the driver was unable to control the animal, and the carriage overturned. Soon after, another horse tripped and lay on the ground for about 2 hours. Bystander videos that depict the horse repeatedly trying to stand and falling over again are extremely difficult to watch. A resulting petition to ban horse-drawn carriages in Quebec City garnered over 34,000 signatures.
“It’s time to follow suit by phasing out this antiquated, inhumane, and unsafe industry,” said Anita Kapucinska, spokesperson for the SPCA Montreal.
These horse-drawn carriages create very risky and unsafe situations for the drivers and citizens of Victoria, occupants of the carriages, as well as, the horses. Many cities, such as Toronto and London, have banned horse-drawn carriages on their streets for these reasons.
I drive a vehicle. The horse-drawn carriages cause ridiculous traffic congestion. The City of Victoria Mayor and Council are not considering the welfare of its citizens by allowing the horse-drawn carriages on city streets.
I have spoken to many residents and who have expressed their absolute disgust with the animal abuse and traffic congestion that are occurring with the horses and carriages.
I am planning to move out of the James Bay area because I cannot continue to witness daily the abuse of the horses being forced to work in traffic and the obvious danger to citizens that appears to be condoned by the City of Victoria Mayor and Councillors.
I am requesting that the Victoria City Council consider whether sacrificing the safety of its citizens to allow for horse-drawn carriages is really in the best interest of the city.
I am requesting that horse-drawn carriages be banned on the streets of Victoria.
I will be sending this letter to major newspapers across Canada.