Wise-users kill Canadian ESA, anti-cruelty bill

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2002:

OTTAWA–Canadian Alliance leader John Reynolds gloated on
April 30 that the third attempt of the Liberal government to pass a
national endangered species act appeared to be dead. The current
Parliament is to adjourn on June 21. Liberal house leader Ralphe
Goodale–insisting that the currently introduced Species-at-Risk Act
will “get to the finish line by mid-June”–had by May 28 made no new
move to push it. The Liberals are strongest in Quebec and Atlantic
Canada; the Canadian Alliance dominates the west.

Liberal Rural Caucus chair Murray Calder, aligning himself
with the Canadian Alliance, meanwhile appeared to have doomed the
first major update to Canadian national anti-cruelty legislation
since 1895 by demanding that the words “without lawful excuse” be
inserted in a manner that would exempt any offense which the
perpetrator claimed to have done for a legal purpose. Pushed since
1998 by former Justice Minister Anne McLellan, who reintroduced it
in 2000, the update lost momentum when in January 2002 McLellan was
shifted to become Health Minister. First-time cabinet member Martin
Cauchon took the Justice portfolio.
The Progressive-Conservative government of Ontario in late
May resumed efforts to pass Bill 135, the “Heritage Hunting &
Fishing Act,” which would redefine hunting as a right in Ontario
rather than a conditional privilege. “Chris Hodgson, avid hunter and
Municipal Affairs Minister, tried to ram Bill 135 through in late
December 2001 without debate,” said Aviva Patel, Ph.D., policy
analyst for the Sierra Club Eastern Canada chapter Forest & Wildlife
Campaign. Patel pointed out that only 3% of Ontarians hunt.
International Fund for Animal Welfare representative Rob Sinclair
released survey findings that while about half of Ontarians are
“generally supportive of hunting,” 81% believe hunted animals should
have a fair chance of escape, 84% believe conservation should take
precedence in settng hunting policy, and 86% “consider humane
treatment of those hunted to be very important.”

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