Animal advocates across Canada should be rejoicing after the recent federal election. The reason? More animal-friendly Members of Parliament than ever before will soon take their seats. Twenty-five of 27 candidates endorsed by Humane Voters Canada—an election-time initiative by Animal Justice—were elected on October 21st, sending a strong cohort of MPs willing to stand up and fight for animals to Ottawa.
As we well know, Canada has some of the weakest animal protection laws in the developed world. Unlike most other developed nations, Canada doesn’t even have a federal animal protection act.
And even recent gains aren’t locked in. During the election, Conservatives, even promised to delay the already-unsatisfactory updates to farmed animal transport regulations. Federal government decisions impact on hundreds of millions of animals every year—from charismatic individuals like lone orcas or elephants kept in captivity, to the hundreds of millions of anonymous farmed animals confined behind closed doors and slaughtered for food each year in Canada.
We’ve already seen how MPs and Senators can make a huge difference for animals. Before the election, a small group of animal champions in Parliament was key to passing a ban on keeping whales and dolphins in captivity, outlawing the trade in shark fins, and closing loopholes in animal fighting and bestiality laws. These victories marked the first substantial improvements to Canadian animal protection legislation since the 1800s, and they wouldn’t have been possible without MPs and Senators on our side.
With 25 strong MPs in office, we’ll make sure this momentum continues. This is the most animal-friendly Parliament in Canadian history, and we’re excited to see more progress happen. Animal Justice and our colleagues in other animal protection groups have long called on the federal government to pass meaningful reforms to federal animal cruelty laws, improve farmed animal transport regulations, regulate and inspect the on-farm treatment of farmed animals, ban the use of animals for cosmetic testing, protect fur-bearing animals, and to end the commercial seal hunt.
The 25 endorsed and elected MPs represent all five parties that won seats in the House of Commons. They are:
- Will Amos, Liberal (Pontiac)
- Rachel Blaney, NDP (North Island—Powell River)
- Sean Casey, Liberal (Charlottetown)
- Julie Dabrusin, Liberal (Toronto—Danforth)
- Pam Damoff, Liberal (Oakville North—Burlington)
- Don Davies, NDP (Vancouver Kingsway)
- Julie Dzerowicz, Liberal (Davenport)
- Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Liberal (Beaches—East York)
- Hedy Fry, Liberal (Vancouver Centre)
- Marilyn Gladu, Conservative (Sarnia—Lambton)
- Mark Holland, Liberal (Pickering—Ajax)
- Anthony Housefather, Liberal (Mount Royal)
- Gord Johns, NDP (Courtenay—Alberni)
- Peter Julian, NDP (New Westminster—Burnaby)
- David Lametti, Liberal (LaSalle—Émard—Verdun)
- Paul Manly, Green (Nanaimo—Ladysmith)
- Brian Masse, NDP (Windsor West)
- Elizabeth May, Green (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
- Alexandra Mendes, Liberal (Brossard—Saint-Lambert)
- Monique Pauzé, Bloc Québecois (Repentigny)
- Michelle Rempel, Conservative (Calgary Nose Hill)
- Jagmeet Singh, NDP (Burnaby North)
- Anita Vandenbeld, Liberal (Ottawa—West Nepean)
- Arif Virani, Liberal (Parkdale—High Park)
- Jonathan Wilkinson, Liberal (North Vancouver)
Improving Canada’s outdated animal laws depends on having supportive politicians in office, ready to champion stronger laws. As well as working with the MPs we endorsed, we’ll continue building relationships with new and returning MPs, as well as Senators, to let them know that Canadians want to see improved legal protections for animals in this country. Animals need us to speak up for them. And, more than anything, they need legislators to speak up for them. We’re proud to welcome so many animal defenders to Parliament Hill and we look forward to making real legal change for animals in Canada.
Want to help? Take a moment to call, email, or meet with your newly-elected Member of Parliament, and let them know that animals matter to you!
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