Hope after bill C-246’s demise

Bill C-246, the Modernizing Animal Protections Act, which shone a light on Canada's terrible animal welfare legislation, was voted down 198 to 84.Bill C-246 is dead.

But the animal welfare movement is stronger than ever.

It’s Thanksgiving weekend, and I’ve been reflecting on what I can be thankful for after a very disappointing week.

On Wednesday night, Bill C-246, the Modernizing Animal Protections Act was voted down 198 to 84. Across the country animal lovers like me are feeling let down by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.

But I am also very thankful for all of the hard work we have all done to put animal welfare issues on the legislative agenda. I’m thankful that so many IFAW supporters took time to call and email their Member of Parliament to urge them to vote in favour of the bill. I’m thankful for Nathaniel Erskine-Smith for putting the bill forward in the first place. And I’m thankful that 84 MPs stood up for animals in the House of Commons last Wednesday night.

Bill C-246 was a wide ranging bill that shone a spotlight on Canada’s terrible animal legislation. From our outdated approach to negligence, the lack of protection from cruelty for stray animals and wildlife, to the loopholes in our laws and regulations that allow the importation of cat and dog fur and shark fins, Bill C-246 would have made a huge difference for animals.

Even though the bill is dead, we have gained a commitment from Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould to revise and update the Criminal Code to bring animal cruelty laws in Canada into the 21st century.

Now it’s up to us to keep up the pressure and ensure that Minister Wilson-Raybould keeps her promise. In the next few days we will be rolling out a new action asking Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Wilson-Raybould, and local MPs to follow through on this promise. Please check back soon and sign the letter.

In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys Thanksgiving. And remember those 84 MPs who stood up for animals!

--PZ

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