OTTAWA — Canadian legal advocacy group Animal Justice is welcoming the victories of 25 animal-friendly Members of Parliament in Monday’s federal election. The cohort of MPs all have proven track records of supporting improvements to Canada’s notoriously weak animal protection laws, and were endorsed by Humane Voters Canada, an Animal Justice election-time initiative, before Canadians headed to the polls.
The MPs represent all five parties in the House of Commons and were endorsed based on their history of supporting animal protection legislation and their stated personal commitment to helping animals.
Canada has some of the weakest animal protection laws in the developed world. Recent victories have begun to reverse decades of inaction, however, laws that affect the highest numbers of animals—those covering animals used for food fur, and experiments—and the most significant federal law affecting animals, the Criminal Code, remain woefully lax.
“Poll after poll shows that Canadians want to see stronger legal protections for animals in this country. For too long, industry groups have lobbied to block meaningful updates to animal protection legislation. We were proud to endorse this strong group of MPs from all parties to speak up for animals,” said Camille Labchuk, lawyer executive director of Animal Justice. “In the last parliament, animal-friendly legislators won significant victories on a national level, enacting bans on whale and dolphin captivity, and the trade in cruel shark fin products. A real cross-party consensus is emerging that it’s time to catch our laws up to our values. With the election of these animal champions, we now have the most animal-friendly Parliament in Canadian history, and we’re thrilled that more MPs than ever will be ready to push for reform to Canada’s outdated animal protection laws.”
Ahead of the 2015 federal election, Humane Voters endorsed eight candidates, seven of whom won a seat in the House of Commons. These cross-party MPs and others worked to successfully pass a ban on keeping whales and dolphins in captivity, to end the trade in shark fins, and to close loopholes in animal fighting and bestiality laws, marking the first substantial improvements to Canadian animal protection legislation since the 1800s.
Animal Justice and other animal protection groups have long called on the federal government to pass meaningful reforms to the animal cruelty section of the Criminal Code of Canada, update farmed animal transport regulations, regulate 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 elected MPs include:
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)
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