As you may know, I have worked extensively in the past with the Humane Society and am a strong advocate against animal cruelty. Canada has laws against animal cruelty, but they often prove insufficient to properly deter and punish those who engage in such deplorable behaviour.
In addition, I am also a strong supporter of our agricultural sectors and recognize the important role that hunting and fishing play in both conservation management and cultural activities.
I have reviewed the proposed legislation and see many positive changes being proposed. I have also spoken several times with the Member of Parliament from Beaches-East York who has brought forward this Private Member’s Bill. Mr. Nataniel Erskine-Smith has admitted his legislation is in need of a significant number of amendments, which he will be proposing himself, before it could possibly receive the required level of support from the majority of Parliamentarians.
Therefore, I will be supporting this Bill at Second Reading to allow it to go to a Parliamentary Committee for proper scrutiny and revision. It is my hope that once it returns from this process for Third Reading and a final vote, it will be in a form that addresses the numerous concerns and strengthens Canada’s laws against animal cruelty. Should it return to the House of Commons for a final vote as currently written, I will not be able to support it.