Calèches allowed back on the streets, Coderre abandons moratorium

MONTREAL – Calèches drivers will be allowed back on the streets of the Old Port, after they filed an injunction to lift a one-year ban put in place by the City of Montreal.

“I’m very happy with the decision, because this was the worst thing I’ve ever lived in my life so far,” Luc Desparois, a calèche owner, said.

READ MORE: Mayor to require mandatory vet checks after horse falls in downtown Montreal

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said he accepted the judge’s ruling and would not be fighting it in court on June 3, when both parties are expected to present more arguments.

He did, however, state that tighter regulations would be put in place.

“We will be vigilant, it’s not harassment it’s just to make sure that we comply with the regulations,” Coderre said.

“Trust me, it will change.”

READ MORE: Montreal calèche drivers to file injunction, protest one year ban

The city was also ordered to turn the water supply back on for the horses.

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  • Montreal calèche drivers to file injunction, protest one year ban

  • Drivers insist calèche ban could mean ‘death sentence’ for Montreal’s horses

  • No calèches in Montreal for a year: Denis Coderre

    Judge Kirkland Casgrain ruled drivers will be allowed to return to work immediately.

    READ MORE: Drivers insist calèche ban could mean ‘death sentence’ for Montreal’s horses

    The drivers’ lawyer, Audi Gozlan, argued the city exceeded its authority when Coderre announced city officials needed one year to debate whether the horse-drawn carriage industry has a place in Montreal.

    “You can’t just obliterate a profession, a type of work that exists, you can’t decide overnight without notices, without meetings, without discussions,” Gozlan said.

    The Montreal SPCA issued a statement expressing disappointment over the decision, but suggested it would not back down from advocating for the horses.

    “We remain, however, fully determined to pursue our actions until a permanent ban on horse-drawn carriages is achieved in Montreal,” the organization wrote in a statement.

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The ban came after several incidents surfaced that showed the animals working in sweltering conditions during the summer.

READ MORE: Calèche horse, car collide in Griffintown, sparking debate over safety

There were also three accidents: one where a horse collapsed after tripping on a metal plate on Peel and Notre-Dame streets, another when a mare was spooked and got caught as it tried to jump over a bench in the Old Port, and most recently, a horse was hit by a car in Griffintown.

A horse fell at Peel and Notre-Dame during rush hour on Tuesday, July 14, 2015.

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A Global News viewer sent in a photo of a calèche horse that got spooked and jumped over a park bench, Thursday, September 17, 2015.

Mirella/E-mail

A calèche horse collided with a car in Griffintown, Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

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