In a news release on Tuesday morning, the Ontario provincial government announced that they would be introducing stronger legislation to protect animals from abuse and neglect in the province, by proposing the country’s strongest ever penalties for those who hurt and neglect animals. If passed, Ontario's new animal welfare laws would become the strictest in Canada.\nIt was announced on Tuesday morning that Doug Ford’s provincial government would be introducing new legislation to better protect animals in the province of Ontario. The government is proposing much stronger punishments for offenders and a more “robust enforcement system” to ensure they are charged.\nThe proposed legislation, known as the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act, 2019 would improve animal welfare by introducing and implementing several new offences, that would prohibit animal cruelty.\nOne of the biggest changes would be allowing provincial inspectors to take over from humane societies, who have been enforcing animal cruelty laws since the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) said it would no longer investigate and enforce animal cruelty laws in June 2019.\nToday our government is taking action to protect animals across the province. If passed, the PAWS Act will have the strongest penalties ever in Canada for people who violate animal welfare laws. https://t.co/8IdtMq8yyh pic.twitter.com/3VfMkCTyfj— Doug Ford (@fordnation) October 29, 2019\nAs well as handing over animal cruelty investigations to provincial officers, the new legislation also proposes to: introduce new offences to combat activities such as dog fighting, significantly increase penalties for serious, repeat and corporate offenders, and improve oversight and ensure increased transparency and accountability.\nAs well as the proposed legislative changes, the provincial government intends to employ more local inspectors to ensure stronger coverage across the region, including separate specialists in livestock, agriculture, horses, zoos and aquariums.\nView this post on Instagram 🐶 Cute puppy alert 🐶 from the Sudbury SPCA (@sudburyspca): “Meet Smokey who will be available for adoption tomorrow at 11am! She's a 3 month old female, and is adorable! You can stop by and meet her…” . Visit @sudburyspca for more info! A post shared by Ontario SPCA & Humane Society (@ontariospca) on Sep 18, 2019 at 5:15pm PDT\nSpeaking in a news release, Parliamentary Assistant Christine Hogarth explained, “The PAWS Act would introduce the strongest penalties in Canada for offenders. This made-in-Ontario model demonstrates that our government understands how significant the well-being of animals is to the people of this province."\nIf the bill is passed, Ontario would then have the strongest penalties and punishments for animal cruelty in the whole of Canada. Significantly, Ontario would be the first and only jurisdiction in Canada to implement a full, provincial government-based animal welfare enforcement model.\nView this post on Instagram Who doesn't want a bunny to "hop" up into their feed on a Sunday? . Here's an adoption update on Butterscotch from the @ospcapeac: . "He's settling in just fine and is really becoming the bun of the house! . Overall the adoption process went smoothly and I'm appreciative of the care that Butterscotch got before I adopted him. I would definitely adopt from the OSPCA again. . Thanks again! Have a bunderful weekend!" . What a cutie! To see more rabbits available for adoption check out @ospcapeac A post shared by Ontario SPCA & Humane Society (@ontariospca) on Sep 15, 2019 at 12:02pm PDT\nMoreover, under the PAWS Act, first-time offenders could face fines of up to $130,000 and two years jail-time. Repeat offenders could receive fines of up to $260,000, and corporations could face up to $1-million.\nThis is considerably higher than some other parts of the country, and would even include charges for contravening the basic standards of care for animals.\nWonderful to announce this morning that I’ll be introducing the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS 🐶) Act. Our new animal welfare system will offer the strongest penalties in Canada and more inspectors to enforce the laws. https://t.co/QWSSzkopIl pic.twitter.com/Lcc4WBO6kG— Sylvia Jones (@SylviaJonesMPP) October 29, 2019\nThe legislation is expected to be introduced later today by Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.\nIf it is passed, the province will begin to implement the new system on January 1, 2020.\nThere are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.