Many people have been asking for our position on the OSPCA regulation proposed today by Liberal Community Minister Madeleine Meilleur and as many have seen this as a cause for celebration we feel the need to post our comprehensive position.
First off, these proposed changes are NOT cause for celebration. Wild capture and the ability to close parks were two things which were central to a motion being crafted by NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo - who planned on tabling that motion this week. Both of these things are missing from Minister Madeleine Meilleur’s proposed (vague) changes. This is not coincidence. In political terms Minister Madeleine Meilleur has outflanked Cheri DiNovo with proposed regulations that have no teeth and which would actually work to strengthen parts like Marineland. The sacrifice is the bottom end roadside zoo industry, as parks and animals are being played off of each other so that the OSPCA and Minister Madeleine Meilleur can safe face. The substantive change that was asked for would have needed party support outside of the NDP to pass, however, as it stands now the NDP will be forced to pass a watered down regulation or nothing at all. It is more than likely that with the current make up of the Ontario Government that these proposed regulations will not make it out of consultation stage before the next election - meaning the Liberal Party is intentionally stalling this issue while attempting to appear progressive. We find the announcement today to be just a further continuation of the “crocodile tears” that Minister Madeleine Meilleur has been crying from the beginning. Do not mistake her supposed anguish for serious conviction. In her press conference Minister Madeleine Meilleur repeated that parks like Marineland are educational and that, “we all like to go to places like Marineland” - a absurd statement made even more outrageous after more people demonstrated against the park this Sunday than entered.
When hundreds of demonstrators entered Marineland this last weekend and shut down a dolphin show they were not chanting - “We Need Reform” or “Legislation Now” - they chanted “SHUT IT DOWN!” They chanted it over and over again in a loud chorus. This is something Minister Madeleine Meilleur should remember as she blatantly attempts regulation which is intent on wedging the issue and separating liberationist and welfarist perspectives. We are united. Our call is clear.
To ensure that Minister Madeleine Meilleur understands this we will be organizing a demonstration at her office - address below - to remind her. Stay tuned for details of that date.
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
18th Floor, George Drew Building
25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Y6
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