Kelowna MP votes against party to improve animal anti-cruelty laws

Stephen Fuhr says he voted for a failed private member's bill in a bid to further the debate over stronger animal welfare laws in Canada.

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr says he voted in favour of a private member’s bill aimed at strengthening Canada’s animal welfare laws, despite the leadership and a majority of MPs in his own party being against it, because he felt the bill could help inform the debate over how to better protect animals in this country.

“Today I supported C-246 at second reading so that it can be sent to committee for review,” said Fuhr in a Facebook post Wednesday just before the bill was defeated 198 to 84.

“Even if it does not pass, the opportunity to examine the bill’s objectives will inform the debate about the best way forward on tougher animal cruelty laws,” added Fuhr from Ottawa.

The rookie MP said while the federal Liberal cabinet decided not to support the bill—proposed by  Ontario MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith—individual Liberal MPs were free to vote for it if they wanted too.

Fuhr said the cabinet was opposed because, despite the proposed legislation’s “good intentions,” it contained a number of parts that could inadvertently hurt legitimate hunting and fishing activities.

“For instance, the new offence of brutally or viciously killing an animal could capture normal hunting or fishing activities, or animal food industry practice, and the creation of a new part in the Criminal Code for animal cruelty offences could compromise property rights associated with animals,” he said.

Other measures contained in the bill, such as those related to shark “finning” cover practices already prohibited in Canada.

The local MP said Justice Minister Judy Wilson-Raybould believes such large-scale changes to the Criminal Code should require broader consultation with affected Canadians.

Despite that, he believes tougher laws regarding animal cruelty are a necessity in this country.

As for Erskine-Smith, he said while he was aware the chance of a private member’s bill passing was slim, he remains confident the government will act to improve animal protection laws.

And that’s better in the end, he told the media, adding government action as a result of consultation would garner the support of more MPs.


Just Posted

RE/MAX Kelowna helps kids in need

The real estate company donated $5,000 to the YMCA of Okanagan

Seniors need to plan ahead for healthcare wishes

BC Notaries is advising seniors for National Seniors Day, Oct. 1.

Vehicle bursts into flames following crash in Kelowna

The two-vehicle collision happened at Banks Road and Harvey Avenue.

Kelowna’s strategy to address homelessness making headway says city

More than $830,000 of the $2.7 million needed to get the strategy going has now been raised

Demolish it or we will, City of Kelowna staff tell owners of derelict former motel

Former Ponderosa Motel is unsafe and used by squatters, drug users and the homeless says city

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Premier John Horgan ponders debate on voting system changes

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wants one-on-one, no Green

Thieves rip ATM out of Sun Peaks Resort

Kamloops Rural RCMP are investigating after an ATM was stolen from the Day Lodge at Sun Peaks.

Saganash drops F-bomb in Commons over federal approach to Trans Mountain

NDP’s reconciliation critic accused federal government of ‘wilfully’ violating constitutional duties

Okanagan Fall Wine Festival tastier than ever

Festival celebrating 38 years

VIDEO: B.C. dairy farmer says Trump doesn’t understand the industry

‘They need supply management just as bad as we need to keep it’: sixth generation farmer Devan Toop

VIDEO: Death threat, racist comments spewed over empty seat on B.C. bus

Transit Police are investigating the incident, shared online by fellow passengers on Vancouver bus

Sister of plane crash victim that went missing in B.C. starting support network

Tammy Neron wants to help families who are searching for missing people

‘Hello, 911? There’s a horse in my living room’

Sproat Lake firefighters called to ‘rescue’ quarter-horse from Alberni Valley house

Most Read