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New Senate Bill Would Protect Great Apes, Elephants, & Give Some Animals Standing in Court

Animal Justice November 17, 2020

Senator Murray Sinclair has introduced a groundbreaking Senate bill to protect great apes and elephants and even give animals legal standing and representation in some court proceedings. The bill, known as the Jane Goodall Act, is one of the most progressive animal protection bills ever introduced in Canada. Backed by renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, the… Read more » Animal Justice

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Victory! Bill to Ban Whale & Dolphin Captivity Passes the Senate

Animal Justice October 24, 2018

After nearly three years of delay and obstruction, a bill to ban keeping whales and dolphins in captivity has finally passed through the Canadian Senate. Senators voted to pass Bill S-203 late on Tuesday, and the legislation will now make its way to the House of Commons for further debate and voting. This groundbreaking legislation is now half-way to becoming law!

The legislation bans keeping whales and dolphins in captivity, breeding them, as well as import and export. There are exceptions for legitimate rescue and rehabilitation efforts.

Only two aquariums still imprison whales and dolphins in Canada—Marineland and the Vancouver Aquarium. The two aquariums fought the legislation at every stage, and pro-aquarium senators repeatedly attempted to kill, block, and delay Bill S-203. Most recently, Conservative Senate Whip Don Plett tried to amend the bill to exempt Marineland and the Vancouver Aquarium, which would have made the legislation meaningless. Senator Don Plett’s delay tactics were finally defeated on Tuesday, and at last the bill was allowed to come to a vote.

Animal Justice has been fighting to help pass this bill from the beginning. Bill S-203 enjoys broad public support from Canadians, and it was saved more than once by the incredible advocacy of people who emailed senators, made phone calls, and shared information about Bill S-203 on social media. In June 2017, the Senate email system was swamped by emails from the public when it looked like pro-aquarium senators were mobilizing to kill the bill.

Bill S-203 has also attracted support from politicians of all political stripes. Earlier this year, Members of Parliament from the Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, and Greens joined Animal Justice and Humane Society International at a press conference to call for an end to Senate obstruction so the bill could move to the House of Commons.

Bill S-203 was first introduced in December 2015 by Senator Wilfred Moore. After Senator Moore’s retirement, it was sponsored by Senator Murray Sinclair. Green Party leader Elizabeth May will sponsor the bill in the House of Commons.

Over a dozen other jurisdictions around the world have already banned keeping some or all cetaceans in tanks, including Mexico, France, South Carolina, and California. Ontario banned keeping orca whales in 2015, and the Vancouver Park Board voted to ban cetacean display and captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium in 2017. The ban is now being challenged in court, but in the meantime, the Vancouver Aquarium publicly promised to end its practice of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.

There is also hope for rescued whales and dolphins once the ban becomes law. The Whale Sanctuary Project plans to build a seaside sanctuary for retired whales and dolphins in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, or Washington, offering hope to creatures who have spent a life confined in miserable concrete tanks.

 

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Advisory: Animal Justice Joins MPs to Call for End to Senate Deadlock on Animal Protection Bills

Animal Justice June 19, 2018

OTTAWA—MPs from across federal parties will hold a press conference to address the Senate deadlock on three animal protection bills—all of which are being blocked from reaching third reading before the Senate rises for the summer.

The parliamentarians will be joined by non-profit organizations advocating for animal protection.

Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Time: 10:45 am

Where: Charles Lynch Press Theatre, Room 130-S, Centre Block

Who:

  • Elizabeth May, MP, Saanich Gulf Islands and leader of the Green Party

  • Michelle Rempel, Conservative MP, Calgary Nose Hill

  • Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Liberal MP, Beaches—East York

  • Fin Donnelly, NDP MP and Fisheries Critic, Port Moody—Coquitlam

  • Camille Labchuk, lawyer and executive director, Animal Justice

  • Julie MacInnes, campaign manager, Humane Society International / Canada

Background:

Bill S-203, the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, is sponsored by Independent Senator Murray Sinclair. It was introduced in December 2015, then stalled repeatedly before passing second reading in November 2016. After extensive study in 17 meetings before the Senate Fisheries Committee, a committee report was presented to the Senate in October 2017, and adopted in April 2018.

Bill S-214, the Cruelty-free Cosmetics Act, was introduced by Conservative Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen in December 2015. A committee report was presented to the Senate in October 2017, and adopted in February 2018.

Bill S-238, the Ban on Shark Fin Importation Act, was introduced by Conservative Senator Michael MacDonald in April 2017. After study by the Fisheries Committee, the Senate adopted the committee’s report in February 2018.

Contact:

Camille Labchuk

Executive Director

camille@animaljustice.ca

Animal Justice

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