Friday, August 6, 2010


This week's perspective from Bob Reid:

I know absolutely nothing about Dean Maher and whether he’d make a good choice for the Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina city council seat in November’s election, but I do know this: he gets a Touchdown for his communications play this week. Maher quickly earned headlines and talk radio time by doing one of the best things anyone seeking media attention can do – and that’s leveraging a hot-button issue. In this case, it’s Maher’s call for a ban on pet shops in Toronto. He says there are far too many animals needing homes already in city and Humane Society shelters, and furthermore, many pet shop employees are ill-equipped to properly counsel prospective pet owners on the needs and obligations which go with the role. Not only is it an irresistible water-cooler issue, Maher has done another smart thing, namely, he has gotten credible third-party support for his position from at least one veterinarian. Controversy is always newsworthy, and if it’s centred around an issue upon which virtually anyone could have an opinion, it’s a sure-fire attention-getter.

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