An MP’s support of Bill C-246

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May
9

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This is a historic time for Canada as Bill C-246 Modernizing Animal Protections Act makes it way through Parliament. For the first time in a very long time, many Canadians are feeling optimistic that the archaic federal anti-cruelty laws will get an overall and become more in line with modern day values, and will create some “commonsense improvements to the animal cruelty section of the Criminal Code.”

Let your voice be heard

Now is the time for us to let our MPs know that this Bill matters. Now is the time to email your MP and ask them to bring your voice to parliament by supporting Bill C-246.
Thanks to modern technology, this is very easy. Don’t know who your MP is? Here is a full list, including their email addresses.

No sure what to say? Here is an example of the email I sent to my MP, Peter Julian. Feel free to copy and paste!

Dear Mr. Julian

I am resident in your riding. I am writing to let you know that Bill C-246, to improve Canada’s animal welfare laws is a very important one to me and my family, and we ask the you support this bill as it moves through parliament.

Canada’s animal welfare laws are archaic and have changed very little since they were first enacted, and while we have advance as a humane Canada in so many ways our response to animal welfare is lagging behind many Westerns countries, particularly those in Europe. Animal welfare laws can ensure that farmers are able to continue to to operate, research can continue and that companion animals are provided with adequate protection.

Thank you in advance.

Kathy Powelson
{include your full address}
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Share the response

Mr. Julian did send a response, and I have shared it below. My hope is that more and more people will send emails and letters to their MPs and will share the responses they receive with us. By sharing, we will encourage MPs to not only support the Bill in parliament but to speak out in support of it. I am very pleased to report Mr. Julian’s support of the Bill-246.

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Dear Kathy,

Thank you for your email concerning Bill C-246, the Modernizing Animal Protections Act. First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to write me and for bringing your concerns to my attention. Citizen activism is so important for holding the government to account, and ensuring we do everything we can to promote the humane treatment of animals, and I thank you for your engagement in this regard.

New Democrats have worked hard in Parliament to strengthen Canada’s legal protections against cruelty and abuse of animals, and we welcome the introduction of this latest bill. In fact, three of this bill’s four sections—those dealing with banning the import, export and
sale of dog and cat fur, shark finning and offences for cruelty and neglect—advance measures previously introduced by New Democrat MPs Fin Donnelly and Peggy Nash, and myself, respectively, in past sessions of Parliament.

Here’s a copy of my Private Member’s Motion, which was re-submitted today to the House of Commons:
Peter Julian (MP, New Westminster-Burnaby, BC) – That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) ban the import, export and sale of dog, and cat fur; (b) impose penalties on individuals and businesses who deal with unlabeled and falsely labelled dog and cat fur products; and (c) work with provincial counterparts and the international community to advance support for the implementation of a complete ban of the trade in all dog and cat fur products worldwide.

Although my colleagues’ early bills were defeated by the Conservative government at that time, some of their provisions have already been reintroduced by New Democrats in the current Parliament. We are pleased to see the work of thousands of Canadians who have long advocated for these reforms—from students, to community leaders, to fellow parliamentarians—reflected in this bill, as well.

New Democrats believe in bringing Canada’s animal welfare laws into the 21st century and closing loopholes that for too long have allowed those who willfully abuse animals to escape penalties. At the same time, New Democrats will continue to push the government to stand up for the humane treatment of animals through international trade rules as well as our own laws, ensuring that Canada promotes sustainability and the protection and recovery of endangered species around the globe.

Lastly, we have heard and studied the concerns raised by those who fear that provisions in this bill could inadvertently affect normal, lawful activities such as hunting and fishing. After thorough review, we are satisfied that these concerns do not stand on a solid legal foundation, as the Department of Justice has stated repeatedly and in no uncertain terms when identical provisions came before previous parliaments. However, it is important that law-abiding Canadians who fish or hunt continue to enjoy these lawful pursuits without fear or stigma. That’s why we will continue working with any concerned Canadians and organizations to ensure that this bill remains properly and solely focused on criminal conduct.

I look forward to working on this bill as it moves through Parliament. During that process, please don’t hesitate to contact me again if you have any further questions or suggestions.

Canadians are committed to protecting animal welfare and preventing cruelty against animals in all forms. The NDP will continue to resolutely defend animals’ rights. New Democrats will continue to call on the federal government to advance policies that preserve biodiversity and protect animals from abuse and torture.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any future concerns related to animals’ rights. I hope to see you at events in our community soon.

Best wishes,
Peter Julian, MP
New Westminster-Burnaby

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Paws for Hope Animal Foundation is a BC animal welfare charity dedicated to creating sustainable animal welfare and purposeful animal protection in British Columbia.
Our work is possible because of your support. Your donations make a difference in lives of companion animals.

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