Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another year...

It's hard to believe that 2009 is coming to a close. This is a busy time of year for many people. And it seems like 2010 is filling up fast too!

Liz and our Chief Agent, Stephen Best, just returned from anther Elections Canada meeting of the Advisory Committee of Political Parties. The committee is chaired by the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Marc Mayrand, and is "a forum to discuss administrative issues, and as an outreach mechanism to political parties." ( At this meeting the very important issues of auditing and identification and vouching rules were discussed.

All parties agreed that existing auditing requirements are excessive and unnecessary for parties with nil accounts. In the last federal election, if you recall, we had four candidates and the amount of reporting we had to do, considering how little we spent, was absolutely ridiculous. There were heaps of paper with zeros on them. Full audits for bank accounts with no money in them - silly is the only (clean) word that describes the current reporting process.

Identification and vouching rules are a more complicated issue. Currently, a voter with proper identification can vouch for only one other person. So, for example, if a family of four eligable voters moves to a new riding, and only one person has acceptable identification, only two out of the four voters can vote! The rules have become complicated because the larger parties are worried about voter fraud - in a country where no voter fraud has ever been recorded! Again, silly is the only (clean) word that describes the current voting process.

On top of these administrative issues, Liz will have to head out to Nova Scotia again to discuss the commercial seal hunt that takes place on Hay Island, a protected wilderness area no less! The seals are killed for their fur, to supply a dying industry. For more information, visit We'll let you know how the issue unfolds.

And Karen had an editorial on farm animal transport printed in the Guelph Mercury. Bill C-468 to amend the transport guidelines has passed first reading but is waiting to be introduced a second time. To read the article, visit And for more information on how you can help, visit the Farm Animal Campaign section at

That's all for now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Great News for Farm Animals!

Thanks to Alexandra Mendès, Liberal Member of Parliament for Brossard - La Prairie, farm animals may soon get some long-overdue respect. On October 28, 2009, Ms Mendès tabled Bill C-468 to amend section 148 of the transportation of animals regulations. The bill was seconded by Frank Valeriote, Liberal Member of Parliament for Guelph, Ontario, and Alexander Atamanenko, NDP Member of Parliament for British Columbia Southern Interior (left, in photo). To date, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has not reduced the transport timelines. Along with the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals, we continue to pressure the federal Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Gerry Ritz, to amend the transport timelines to a maximum of 8 hours (visit the "Farm Animals" campaign section at for more information).

As well, we're still in the middle of an enforcement complaint we submitted in order to protect cormorants on Middle Island, Point Pelee National Park. There will hopefully be a resolution in favour of the cormorants in the months to come.

And we continue to work to end the commercial seal hunt. On a separate but related note, Liz, unexpectedly, had to head out to Halifax to try to stop the commercial grey seal hunting on Hay Island - what is supposed to be a provincially protected wilderness area! Approximately 1,400 seals have been killed for their pelts, bashed on the head with bats and skinned with box-cutters. We believe the government has not met the requirements of the Wilderness Areas Protection Act in order to allow this activity. In spite of submissions from a number of groups, Bill 50 is to receive Royal Assent this week.

So some good news and some not so good news.

On a positive note, our office foster, Alice has gone to a wonderful home - yay! And we now have four FIV kittens tearing the office apart -- it's a wonder how anything gets done here = )

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Hi all, sorry for the long absence. We have been occupied by a number of our ongoing campaigns, including barn fires, cormorants, human / wildlife conflict, and of course, Project Jessie. And we had a major computer problem in July that took weeks to sort out. A stressfull time to say the least! So things were back up and running in August and after playing catch-up, we are finally back into our routine, which is anything BUT routine!

Our relatively new office foster, Alice, has been here for a month and is still adjusting to the life and noises of the office - although Bobby, our other foster is not making it easy for her! That's Picasso in the pic above - a special needs cat who we are trying to rehome. He used to be an outdoor cat who has learned to live indoors but is in desperate need of cat company. He's deaf and has a leg deformity but makes his way around just fine.

And with all this talk about polls and elections, we're preparing for the possibility of running candidates again, should our elected officials decide an election is necessary. We're hoping to run more candidates, so if you or anyone you know would be interested in representing AAEVPC, give us a call (416-462-9541).

That's it in a nutshell. I won't rant this time!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Great News for Seals!

Thank goodness the European Union (EU) has more smarts and guts than their Canadian counterparts. For years, Canadians have demanded the commercial seal hunt end and for years we've been ignored. Not only has the EU listened to European constituents, but they've also dismissed Canada's efforts to make the commercial hunt appear humane. On July 27th, the EU voted in favour of banning the import of seal products.

Now the Canadian goverment wants to waste more tax dollars and more time appealing the EU vote to the World Trade Organization. I think they will find that the EU has dotted their 'i's and crossed their 't's. But in an effort to look good for their East Coast supporters, EVERY politician (save for the Honourable Senator Mac Harb) will continue to defend the hunt, in spite of economic analyses indicating that it would actually SAVE the government money simply to buy out the sealers' licences. But no, the government continues to ask its coastal citizens to risk their lives in dangerous weather conditions so they earn a few bucks.

It's time the goverment provide people with a real solution to East Coast unemployment.

It's time the goverment realize that times (and values) have changed.

It's time the goverment start listening to the majority of Canadians and end, once and for all, the Canadian Commercial Seal Hunt.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Over the next little while...

We'll be continuing our fight for the cormorants. The killing is over for the year at Point Pelee National Park, with thousands of lives taken and thousands of birds disturbed by the shooting and human presence. Over and over we say it is so unfortunate that this magnificent native bird, which is just starting to rebound after decades of persecution by humans and death by DDT poisoning, is vilified instead of being celebrated. It is disappointing that our government feels the need to "manage" natural processes instead of sitting back and letting Mother Nature do what She does best.

I could go on, but I'll leave my rant at that and mention that we're preparing for a possible Fall Election. Yes, it's hard to believe but when one round of elections and reporting is over, we have to begin preparing for the next round! And our audits from last year haven't even been finalized by Elections Canada! Oh well, that's just how it is. In this next possible election, we'd like run 10 candidates -- 5 in B.C. and 5 in Southern Ontario. So anyone out there reading this, if you're in one of those areas and you think you might like to be a candidate, give us a call = )

On a sad note, our little office foster kitty, Shelly, had to be euthanized on the 19th. She had FIV AND mammary cancer. Her tumours grew rapidly, and on Friday one began to bleed. We had no choice but to spare her pain and discomfort and send her off to a better place. It was a really crappy way to end the week!

Rest in peace, baby girl.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Let the Cormorants Live!

The Peaceful Parks Coalition launched their billboard campaign in Windsor, Ontario throughout the months of May and June as part of their ongoing public outreach campaign to protect the Double-crested Cormorant.

The billboard is located on Walker Road, just south of E.C. Row expressway, facing south onto northbound traffic. Windsor Ontario was chosen as the site of the first billboard because of its proximity to Point Pelee National Park, the site of a brutal killing program aimed at shooting thousands of nesting cormorants at Middle Island.

Middle Island is located in the middle of Lake Erie almost to the Ohio border, and is part of the greater Lake Erie Archipelago Islands. It is managed by Parks Canada, and is part of Point Pelee National Park.

East Sister Island, also located in the archipelago islands, is a nature reserve managed provincially by Ontario Parks. It too hosts a colony of nesting cormorants of national significance. In May, 2009 Ontario Parks announced they too are considering a killing program of nesting cormorants on East Sister Island through the release of the new East Sister Island Park Management Plan.

Ontario Parks has already shot over ten thousands nesting cormorants at High Bluff Island, Presqu’ile Provincial Park on Lake Ontario, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority applies harassment techniques to discourage any further expansion of the cormorant colony at Tommy Thompson Park, Toronto – currently the largest colonial water bird colony on the Great Lakes.

These government agencies work in tangent to ensure that all colonies of nesting cormorants across the southern Great Lakes are controlled leaving no place safe for these birds to nest and raise their young.

Please Take Action: visit and learn how you can help protect Double-crested Cormorants in Ontario.

Peaceful Parks Coalition
P.O. 326, Station B
Toronto, Ontario M5T 2W2

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

EU bans seal product imports!

We did it! On behalf of the seals, thank you so much for speaking out for them in the global effort to end the Canadian commercial seal hunt.

With the European Union banning the importation of seal products (with an exemption for the Inuit), this signals the beginning of the end for Canada’s commercial seal hunt. This is a major victory for the seals and the animal protection movement, but our work isn’t over yet. As many of you know, Liberal Senator Mac Harb made history by introducing a private members bill on March 3rd calling for an end to the Canadian commercial seal hunt. Senator Harb has asked for help to flood Canada's Senate with messages of support. We need another senator to second his bill so that the issue may be discussed in the House. Please, call and write the Senators, and urge them to do everything in their power to end the Canadian commercial seal hunt. Letters to the Senate may be mailed postage-free.

We continue to work hard on the Canadian Seafood Boycott, an additional important campaign to force our government to end the slaughter. The Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Protection Institute, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals are just some of the American organizations who have already joined the boycott. Now groups in Europe are also participating. Both American and European animal protection groups are important because the greatest economic impact of the boycott will be delivered in these two jurisdictions.

Thank you again for helping the seals!

Liz White, Director

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Hello everyone, sorry for the delay in writing! We have been busy with our audit (yes, it's STILL not finished) and with a number of other animal issues, which have been incredibly occupying.

Karen and I returned last night from an Elections Canada (EC) meeting held in Gatineau.

During the last federal election, Karen was excluded from a number of "all-candidates" debates. We sent in a complaint to EC that excluding a party from a debate was contrary to the law. EC disagreed. Once Karen raised the issue we learned we were not alone -- the other smaller parties had the same problem. We (the smaller parties) are all upset about this, all want change, and all want access to the public. I think it is evident, judging from increasing voter apathy, that people want more options. We're here! There are over 15 federally registered political parties! We just need to be allowed to be included. (This will be an on-going issue.)

We also met with the Broadcasting Arbitrator. All smaller parties voiced our concerns about the free airtime we receive during elections. Hopefully we will receive more airtime but will not know for a few weeks.

All in all, a good discussion but hopefully more productive next time.

Karen and I went to the EC meeting in place of Liz, who was in Point Pelee, documenting the cormorant killing by the park. Staff will be killing the native birds over the next few weeks, in the hopes of "protecting" the "species at risk on Middle Island". Protecting the cormorants has been a struggle for animal protection groups and incredibly disappointing since the species' population is now returning to natural numbers after years of persecution and death from DDT. Killing of native species is routine for the Ministry of Natural Resources, insisting that species must be "managed" (I guess Mother Nature isn't doing her job).

If anyone has made plans to visit Point Pelee, please consider boycotting the park until they allow native species to live unmanaged by humans!

For more information, visit

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Progress for the Animals Being Made

Below is an e-mail we received the other day with good news from Tel-Aviv -- the animals now have a voice in their municipal council! We have been in touch with Julian of Letet Lihyot for some time now, helping in any way we can. Their results are to be applauded. We must remember that when things seem bleak for the animals, there are good people out there, doing all that can be done to make this world more compassionate.


Dear Liz,

Pursuant to our discussion last Thursday, please send me any pertinent information you may have with regard to Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Projects. Additionally, please find a short summary of the recent success achieved by “Latet Lihyot” in the Tel Aviv municipal elections held on the 11th of November 2008:

The founder of “Latet Lihyot” is advocate Reuven Ladianski, who up until recently served as the CEO and legal counsel for “Let the Animals Live”, the biggest and most well known non profit animal welfare society in Israel. Following years of imperviousness on the part of the authorities, Reuven decided that the time had come to try and make a change from within the system, since it has become clear that only that route of action will we able to make a significant improvement in animal rights issues in Israel. Therefore, he resigned his post at "Let the Animals Live", and founded the “Latet Lihyot” organization (* translated into Hebrew “Let Live” - written in Hebrew, it could also mean “Give to the Animals”), with the purpose of running in the 2008 Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipal elections.

The manifest of the “Latet Lihyot” organization contains various provisions based on, inter alia, the following principles: (1) the Promotion and enforcement of Animal Rights and welfare in Tel Aviv- Jaffa; (2) Educating people to love animals and protect the environment, with the emphasis on enlightening people as to the positive affects animals, and caring for animals, has on the lives of those that do so; and (3) Environmental issues and urban planning. With scarce funds, “Latet Lihyot” based its election efforts mainly on numerous volunteers who were willing to donate their time and expertise in an effort to raise awareness amongst animal lovers vis-à-vis the new party and what it stands for.

The campaign effort was promoted via numerous means such as distributing fliers all over Tel Aviv and utilizing the internet as much as possible, and also included various original methods of campaigning such as setting up “Latet Lihyot” water/food stands in and around the coffee shops of Tel Aviv for street cats and dogs and posters stuck upon the inside of trash bins but to name a few. Concurrently, Reuven assembled a list of well known, highly talented and experienced animal lovers from various walks of life who were willing to join him in the “Latet Lihyot” candidate list for the elections, including Prof. Orzion Bretna, amongst other things a university professor and prize winning author, Dr. Ronny Redo, an experienced zoologist and initiator of numerous animal related projects, Dafna Rechter, a well known actress and others. The willingness of those volunteers and candidates, along with the tireless efforts of Reuven and his close assistants, Jonathan Shpigel and Nofar Nohi, amongst others, were to pay great dividends.

The Tel Aviv municipal elections were held on the 11th of November, 2008 and after a massive effort by “Latet Lihyot” activists on the election day itself, the results were received with great excitement – “Latet Lihyot” had achieved its goal of making history – the first animal rights party in Israel to be elected to municipal government! Latet Lihyot received no less than 6,263 votes, constituting 4.51% of the total votes (!!!), and by doing so obtained one (1) of the thirty one (31) seats available on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipal Counsel, therefore enabling Reuven to take his place on the city counsel. Indeed, “Latet Lihyot” were just 326 votes (!!!) short of obtaining a second seat. Since then, Reuven has joined the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipal coalition and, in doing so, obtained numerous groundbreaking commitments from the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Mr. Ron Holdai, in connection with the promotion of animal welfare projects in the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Reuven has begun representing the animals of Tel Aviv-Jaffa on the city counsel and is currently exploring the feasibility of a number of potential projects that shall no doubt be initiated in the very near future.

On behalf of “latet Lihyot”, I wish to thank you for all your help during the election period and hope to cooperate with you further in the future.

Best regards,


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Guelph by-law approved!!!

Wow, it's been a long time since we've posted an's been unbelieveable busy and time has just flown by.

We've been occupied with preparing receipts for our monthly donors; approximately 800 receipts have to be entered then checked and double-checked before being mailed out. Liz is busily writing personal "thank you" notes, something which is time-consuming but necessary nonetheless. It's nice for all of us to sit around our big work table and chat while getting this mailing out the door. It doesn't happen often that we work like that so we're enjoying it.

We're still waiting for our audits to be approved by Elections Canada. So far they have approved our General Election Campaign submissions for Simon, Karen, and Liz. We're still waiting for approval for Marie's campaign and for Karen's by-election campaign. And we're gearing up for our annual party audit, which should take place in March or April.

The trapping by-law that went before Guelph council on December 22nd was unanimously approved. Guelph is the first city in Canada to have approved a by-law that will ban trapping within city limits! Thanks to Liz and Karen humans and non-humans alike are much safer in Guelph.

And more good news: the kittens, Coco (see pic below) and Cleo, were adopted! Yay!