Montreal's calèche horse owners to receive $1K in compensation

The city has put a program in place to help horse owners and drivers transition into new careers. Calèches will be banned from Montreal streets starting Dec. 31.

The horse-drawn carriages will be banned from city streets starting next year

The city says it wants to help calèche industry workers transition as the end of the practice on Montreal streets approaches. (Morgan Lowrie/The Canadian Press)

Montreal's calèche owners will receive compensation from the city as the Plante administration moves forward with plans to shut down the industry for good.

Starting May 1, horse owners can sign up to receive $1,000 in compensation. The SPCA and another animal rights association will help place the animals with adoptive families and shelters, the city announced Wednesday.

Last June, the Plante administration announced it would ban calèches, the horse-drawn carriages operated mostly as a tourist activity downtown and in Old Montreal, as of  Dec. 31. 

That announcement followed a succession of accidents and complaints involving calèches. Then, five months later, a calèche horse died in the street, reviving public outrage. 

The compensation plan for the horse owners was announced in a news conference led by Coun. Jean-François Parenteau, the executive committee member responsible for the environment. 
The death of a calèche horse in November renewed opposition to the practice. (Chris Romanyk/Facebook)

Parenteau said the city is partnering with the SPCA and Galahad, an SPCA offshoot organization responsible for rescuing horses. 

The city is also planning information sessions in partnership with Emploi Québec and the federal government to help calèche drivers find new jobs. 

With files from Myriam Tremblay-Sher


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