This week the Provincial Government in Ontario unveiled recommendations from two reports, and signalled that they will be tabling a bill to ban the sale and acquisition of Orcas. These announcements came out of a two and a half year process – a process that began on October 9, 2012, immediately after advocates stormed Marineland on Closing Day in October 2012.
The 20+ demonstrations and events since, the countless emails, faxes and phone calls, and the endless conversations at kitchen tables, parent/teacher meetings, and at work have paid off – Marineland will never be the same and they will never have another Orca. On top of that, if passed, recommendations from the Rosen Report will severely restrict their ability to import ANY new wild caught animals. This is good news.
The only caution? It will take another committee and at least 6 months for these recommendations to be added to the OSPCA Act and for this bill to pass. In that time, Marineland has at least two registered lobbyists with close connections to the Liberal Party who we believe will be working hard. We have to keep the pressure up to counter that influence.
We’ve been doing media all week, including this spot on CTV News, but we wanted to take the time to share this news with everyone and also let you in on what the next couple of months will look like.
When this announcement came down this week an 8 month period of relative legal calm was broken by a flood of threats and actions by Marineland’s corporate lawyers. This is typical of how they use the legal system to try and scare us into not speaking out publicly. Thanks to your support we have already survived 770 days of litigation and managed to continue to organize with a $1.5 million dollar SLAPP suit hanging over head. We couldn’t do this alone and we can’t continue to do with this without support. We need your help.
Beyond that, it is the off season, but we are still busy with speaking events at Universities, tabling and doing outreach, and preparing for the upcoming season. Today a call for submissions went out for the 2nd Annual March on Marineland. This year the March will be led by children and families and we are compiling a zine to encourage children to express themselves and their passion to see the animals at Marineland set free. On top of this, we will now begin in earnest a three month fundraising campaign to rebuild our legal fund, design and mass produce new leaflets and outreach materials, and also build up our event equipment so we don’t have to keep renting – generator, PA system, editing equipment. If we shatter the goals we have set for ourselves – who wouldn’t love to see a billboard shaming Marineland right in Niagara Falls?
We just got a massive policy win this week. Marineland has operated for 54 years without regulation and that just ended. Everything will get tougher for them, but this also means they are going to give us their best punch. All the effort, all the passion, we have to channel it and stay focused. We are one step closer to a day where captive animal facilities like Marineland no longer exist. Let’s keep going!
Marineland Animal Defense