Montreal won’t fight to renew caleche moratorium: Denis Coderre

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Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said Wednesday that he won’t fight a Quebec Superior Court injunction against the City of Montreal’s year-long ban on horse-drawn calèches.

The injunction was granted Wednesday afternoon and is effective immediately, meaning calèche drivers can return to work until June 3, when the injunction will be revisited by Justice Kirkland Casgrain.

However, Coderre said the city won’t fight to see the moratorium renewed.

“Clearly, the moratorium was not the right decision, and I won’t spend the summer battling one injunction after another.”

“There will be calèches this summer in Montreal.”

Last week, Coderre suddenly announced the moratorium on the horse-drawn vehicles in the city. The ban took effect Tuesday.

Coderre had cited viral videos showing horses colliding with cars and apparently suffering in the heat as justification for a one-year break, to give the city time to come up with new rules.

In his ruling, Casgrain said the city didn’t have authority to introduce such a moratorium.

If the city was concerned about the security of the horses, he said, then calèche drivers should not have been issued operating permits in March.

Moratorium ‘cruel’

Calèche operators and drivers welcomed Casgain’s decision, with one saying he can now “breathe.”

“[The moratorium] wasn’t justified, it wasn’t correct — it was a cruel measure,” said Luc Desparois, the owner of Lucky Luc Stable in Griffintown.

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