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Mayor Tory promises free doggie daycare if re-elected

It must be election season because the promises are starting to come fast and furious. Last week, the federal Liberals teamed up with the NDP, striking a deal to launch a dental care program for middle- and low-income Canadians. A week later, Ontario’s Premier Ford announced a child-care deal with the federal government, which would result in an average of $10 a day daycare by September 2025. And that’s on top of cutting license plate fees. Not to be outdone,  Mayor John Tory, heading for another election this fall, has promised that, if re-elected, he will provide free doggie daycare to more than 200,000 stay-at-home dogs.

In an announcement on Friday, Tory shared the details of the promise, called the Protect Your Pooch (PYP) program. The program would offer up Toronto city councillors, including Josh Matlow, Kristyn Wong-Tam and Gord Perks, for free dog-walking and grooming services to local residents and their four-legged friends.

“The Protect Your Pooch program would be a groundbreaking service for Torontonians everywhere. With so many pandemic pets being adopted over the past few years, I know residents are worried about how to keep their furry friends entertained while at the office. If re-elected, the PYP program is one of many ways I would ensure high-quality care for Torontonians and their four-legged loved ones,” Tory said.

Tory also noted that the program would make it mandatory for city workers who engage with the public to have dog treats in their pockets at all times.

But Charlotte Felinus, founder of the Cat Advocates of Toronto Society, said this is another instance of Tory neglecting Toronto’s second-most prominent animal community – cats. “It’s clear that Mayor Tory is putting dogs first. Cats deserve attention in his campaign platform and we hope that he’ll consider adding them to his proposal before election day,” she said.

Tory previously announced during a radio interview in 2015 with 102.1 The Edge that he is Team Dog. “Dogs to me are kind of, just a little more affectionate and therefore you can have a better relationship with them.”

With so many dog lovers in Toronto, this could be a popular move for Tory, and just the kind of push he needed for re-election.

What’s next – free lawn care?

In other news, April Fools!

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO