With caleche horses retired in Griffintown, their owner demands compensation in court

calèche

The much-disputed stables are still standing in Griffintown, with the horses are still inside them—except now, instead of carrying caleche passengers, they take daily walks around the yard and occasional trips to the countryside.

Their owner, Luc Desparois, refuses to give up the fight two years after the city adopted a bylaw outlawing caleches on public streets.

The move, by the administration of Mayor Valerie Plante, came after public pressure that was inspired by photos of horses collapsing on the streets or even colliding with vehicles.

But the ongoing argument comes down partly to money. Caleche operators demanded compensation, but the city refused to offer more than $1,000 per animal.

In a last-ditch effort, Desparois went to court last fall to try to get an injunction to stop the bylaw from coming into effect.

That failed, but Desparois now heads back to court for two days this week.

His lawyer will try to convince the court that the city doesn’t have the jurisdiction to ban caleches and deny him the right to make a living that way.

Neither his lawyer nor the city chose to comment ahead of the hearing.

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