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Animal Protection

Change is needed in the way we think about farm animals in Canada. Transportation is the most alien and stressful experience that a farm animal will have in its lifetime. The longer and harder this experience is, the more risk there is of stress-induced illness, injury and death.
Thanks to the hard work of humane societies and SPCAs across Canada, we have a lot to celebrate this holiday season. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies has just released our annual Animal Shelter Statistics Report, and it is full of great news for companion animals in Canada.
Canada's humane societies and SPCAs have been telling their own individual stories since the 1800s, but we haven't had the chance to tell the collective, Canadian story until now. A new, first-of-its-kind sector report just released by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies gives us that bigger picture view.
When I introduced Bill C-246, I said it would help to bring our animal protection laws into the 21st century, but it was really a basket of modest measures to improve our laws. While Bill C-246 was defeated, citizens across our country spoke loudly in support of improving our animal protection laws. And here is the silver lining: an issue that was not on our government's agenda is now there, thanks to the incredible outreach efforts of compassionate Canadians of all political stripes.
For the most part, Canadians are a kind and polite people. We help each other, we donate to causes, we rally against injustice and we mind our manners. But our weakness is that we often believe things are better than they actually are. For one, we're loathe to admit that bestiality happens in Canada and often coincides with child sexual abuse.
Just imagine how up in arms the public would be if police forces had to fundraise to maintain the safety equipment, training and staff coverage that they need to make sure our communities are safe. Inadequate funding means that enforcement officers are taking unnecessary risks to their personal safety on the job.
The Canadian Act for Animals was written in 1892 -- that's not a typo. We've had some changes through the years, but still have few enforceable laws to protect animals even from extreme neglect and cruelty in this country. It is well known that Canada falls far behind other nations recognizing the sentience and rights of animals.
I'll cut right to the chase: Canada is failing its animals, and it is time for change. Given the chance to modernize the out-dated and woefully inadequate animal cruelty provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada 13 times over the past 16 years, our lawmakers have consistently declined to protect animals. The reasons are as disappointing as you'd imagine.
Canada Goose and Moose Knuckles: Both use fur trim, both charge a hefty price for their luxury jackets ($600 to $1,000), and both are allegedly deceiving consumers about the true nature of the products they're peddling. But the authorities are only taking action against one of them. What gives?
Ontario's Human Rights Code protects people from discrimination based on characteristics like race, age, gender identity, and sex in situations like the provision of services, housing, and employment. People are also protected from discrimination based on their creed. The term "creed" isn't defined in the legislation, but until recently, it was thought to mean the same thing as religion. That is, until now.
Until this law was passed, there was no distinction between a car and a cat in terms of legal rights. Anyone who has ever lived with a pet knows that animals experience emotions and feel both physical and psychological pain, but this is the first time in North America that these basic truths have been entrenched in law.
The situation for animals in Canada remains dire, with hundreds of millions of animals suffering and dying every year on farms, in laboratories, in entertainment and for their fur. Parliament has a tremendous opportunity to improve life for many of these animals, and Canadians are crying out for change. The election results offer many reasons for optimism. It's now time for advocates to roll up our sleeves, start working with the new Parliament, and help MPs pass meaningful legislation for animals.
To date, more than 35 nations have prohibited trade in products of commercial seal hunts. Yet for the third time in the past four years, the Newfoundland government is providing a multimillion-dollar bailout to commercial seal processors in an attempt to prop up the dying sealing industry.
In the wake of a shocking investigation into a fox and mink fur factory farm last August by the Quebec Ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks, the fur industry's PR machine has subjected the public to a slew of spin, hoping to obfuscate and isolate the troubling findings.
This poor juvenile rhesus macaque was found wandering through an IKEA parking lot in Toronto a few days ago, and he quickly became an international Internet sensation. In similar circumstances in recent memory, law enforcement agents have been known to shoot wayward animals, send them to zoos, or return them to their irresponsible human caretakers.