Victoria Councillor Ben Isitt holds the position that the city should develop regulations next year to phase out commercial horse-drawn carriage operations by 2023. His motion went to councillors this week. “It’s just signaling that the era of horse-drawn carriages on the streets may be coming to a close. There’s many other opportunities that we can look to in the 21st century,” he said.
This question arose last year when the SPCA called for a ban on using horses to draw carriages in a reaction to an online video showing horses downed and struggling after their carriage was clipped by a bus. The SPCA has since revoked their call for a ban and their recommendations to the city council were adopted. Councillor. Charlayne Thornton-Joe has been working with the SPCA and carriage operators to ensure the horses are well taken care of. Local operators have been careful to adhere to the guidelines set out by the city.
“This motion misses the whole premise of a horse-drawn carriage experience. Our services are about providing the public an opportunity to interact with and learn about our amazing horses, slow down and experience life at an easy pace, and remember our historical roots,” said Donna Friedlander, owner and operator of Tally-Ho Carriage Tours.
The polar positions held by Isitt and Thornton-Joe will certainly cause debate. The horse drawn carriages congest traffic, but many feel they are a part of Victoria’s iconic charm.
With whom do you most agree? We’re running a poll on our Facebook Page from Wednesday, May 22nd through to Tuesday, May 28th. Let us know what you think and we’ll include the results in a letter to the Victoria City Council.
Click HERE to vote!