MP MacGregor helps to prioritize whale captivity ban

Request delays zero waste packaging private members bill

Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen took one for the team this week, agreeing to a request from Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor and their NDP colleagues to press pause on his private members bill to ensure another bill had the time it needed in Parliament to pass into law.

The bill, S-203, bans the captivity of whales and dolphins in Canada. The bill, first introduced in the Senate in 2015, passed this week.

The Vancouver Aquarium and Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont. are the only two facilities in Canada that currently keep captive cetaceans. The animals at those facilities may remain, however no more are to be brought in.

The bill bans the capture of wild cetaceans, captive breeding and the import and export of those animals, with limited exceptions, namely an allowance for the rehabilitation and rescue of cetaceans.

SEE RELATED: Ottawa passes law that bans whale and dolphin captivity

“After years of delay, this bill banning the captivity of whales and dolphins is only one final step away from passing into law. But we are deeply concerned that with Parliament finishing in just a few short weeks and the bill currently scheduled for the final day, there is a very real risk that this bill may not be passed,” MacGregor explained prior to the bill passing.

NDP Fisheries Critic Gord Johns, Laurel Collins, the NDP candidate for Victoria and caucus colleagues Randall Garrison, and Rachel Blaney were also part of the request.

Cullen had to delay his private members bill to fulfill the request, which he noted wouldn’t have had time to be passed into law before Parliament ends anyway.

“I’ve heard from my NDP colleagues just how important this is,” he said. “Unfortunately, delays have left my own bill, the Zero Waste Packaging Act, without the time to pass through Parliament while also threatening a bill to save whales and dolphins from a life in captivity. It became clear that the right thing to do was to act to ensure that this positive step is enacted into law and we end once and for all the captivity of whales and dolphins.”

MacGregor said the scientific consensus is clear and agreed with the fisheries minister that “ethical and useful research” on the marine animals could occur in the wild.

“These are intelligent, social and sensitive animals that shouldn’t be kept in captivity. They should be free to roam the open ocean rather than being kept in tanks,” he said. “We are grateful for the significant advocacy Nathan has done toward cutting the unnecessary waste in consumer packaging, and our New Democrat team hopes to continue to fight for these urgent changes.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Duncan city council declares climate change emergency

“I think sometimes it’s important to start with identifying the fact that something’s real.”

Andrea Rondeau column: Second chance for dogs in Duncan bylaw a good idea

I’m not usually timid around animals, big or small.

Drivesmart column: Electronic monitoring pilot projects already underway

Our current system of trying to change driver behaviour largely consists of traffic tickets

Robert Barron column: Hats off to humanitarian workers

Saurazas didn’t seem to be fazed very much by the peril she was exposed to

Cowichan Valley jazz graduate wins prestigious scholarship

Bassist Brock Meades and drummer Graham Villette get $2,000 Fraser MacPherson Scholarship

Duncan Grande Parade draws a crowd

Entries old and new enjoyed by a big audience

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read