What does the election mean for animals?

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Photo: My girls, Daisy (left) and Wookie (right).

If you care about animals, social issues and the environment, last night’s federal election results were a big disappointment.

The Conservatives won a majority, making Stephen Harper Prime Minister for another 4 years. However, in a surprising twist, the New Democrats became the official opposition.

We should also mention that because this election was called, all existing bills on the table, including our much prized Bill C-439 and Bill C-618 – both of which would have banned the import and sale of dog and cat fur in Canada – were all wiped clean. Boo.

This means we’re starting from scratch now with a Conservative majority. But what does this mean for the animals?

Let’s start with the good news:

Libby Davies (NDP), staunch supporter of the animals, was once again elected in her riding of Vancouver East. For years, Libby has pushed for stronger laws to protect animals, and in the last Parliament she seconded Bill C-618, an act that would have banned the import and sale of dog and cat fur in Canada. Bill C-618 would have also made it mandatory for companies to label fur products. Unfortunately, because the election was called, this bill never saw the light of day.

Finn Donnelly (NDP) was also re-elected in his riding of New Westminster, Coquitlam and Port Moody, BC. Finn is an environmentalist with a keen interest in banning fish farms. Congrats to MP Donnelly!

Alex Atamanenko (NDP) won his seat representing the Southern Interior of BC. MP Atamanenko made headlines for his work trying to push through a bill that would have banned horse slaughter in Canada.

Our friend, Don Davies (NDP) won his second term in Parliament through his Vancouver-Kingsway riding. MP Davies has worked with our Association on many occasions and is supportive of our efforts to ban dog and cat fur.

And of course, special congratulations to Elizabeth May from the Green Party. She made history by winning the first-ever seat for the Greens in the House in her riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands, BC. The Greens are the only party to oppose the Canadian seal hunt and to have animal issues directly included in their platform. Great stuff, MP May!

And now, the no-so good news……(okay, fine, the BAD news)

After 10 years of service, Liberal party heavyweight Anita Neville lost her seat in Winnipeg South Centre. She conceded victory to Conservative Joyce Bateman. Ouch. This is very troubling as it was Ms. Neville who introduced Bill C-439, that if passed, would have banned the import and sale of dog and cat fur in Canada.

While losing MP Neville is devasting to our campaign work, we can’t stop trying to push for change. Over these next 4 years, we will be working harder than ever to re-introduce important legislation for the animals, and to create massive awareness of various animal issues across Canada.

And with your help and persistence, we will succeed!


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Photo: Daisy smiles in the sun.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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