May 4, 2011
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - The fifth place finisher for the Western Arctic seat has mixed reactions to this week's federal election.
Bonnie Dawson of the Animal Alliance Environment Voters' Party got 87 votes at the polls in the NWT, garnering 0.6 per cent of the vote -- more than she and likely many others expected.
"I'm quite happy with the number of votes I got. I'm rather surprised. I knew there were going to be people voting for me, but I was surprised. So I'm happy about that. But I would've liked to have seen a better outcome as far as change in government and leadership."
Dawson said even on election day she was getting emails from people asking her position on topics like animal research and the commercial seal hunt on the East Coast.
She believes that by running in the election, she's had a better opportunity to speak about animal and environmental rights and hopes more people will be aware and educated on the issues.
One such issue, Conservative tax breaks for big business, ignores the reality of how the oil sands are affecting the entire food chain, she said.
"They're not worried about people dying in Fort Chip dying of these cancers. They're not worried about the land and vegetation that is contaminated and the wildlife that eats that contaminated vegetation. In turn, the people eat that contaminated meat. They're not worried about that."
Dawson, from Hay River, is known for lobbying the Government of Northwest Territories for improved animal rights legislation, which resulted in a recently updated Dog Act.
She said she'll continue pushing for a comprehensive animal protection bill to include more than dogs.
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