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March 30th - rally against S-203 & for C-373

March 26th, 2008, 09:08 AM
Posted for Chris21711

Friends, we have many issues/animals in need this week that I wanted to forward, however, what comes below is top priority, so here goes:

Peaceable rallies are planned in Montreal, Calgary and Toronto, Sunday March 30th, 2008 approx. 2PM in each city, in defence of C-373 (L) , and in opposition to the currently tabled S-203 (C). We dodged a huge bullet In-House on Friday, Mar.14th, where thankfully, S-203 was not fast-tracked by the Conservatives. However, from March 31st to mid-April, they resume, and their intention is to take S-203 to third and final reading, and push it through, sans opposition.

Toronto & Region rally in opposition to S-203 is being headed by Wild at Heart Canada with support from ARK II and C4P Toronto Location / time TBD. We will be working on nothing but this until then. Ottawa, Vancouver and East Coast advocates are urged to join us - please contact Cyrus at:

There is a lot of confusion over this in the community, a lot of fatigue over it in Parliament, and a recent wave of "uptake" from local media in support of S-203, as everyone thinks, well, it's a start, isn't it? It's better than nothing, isn't it? It isn't. S-203 makes it next to impossible to obtain convictions by having to prove "intent to harm" - convictions for cruelty charges exist in less than 1% of cases that make it through the Canadian system. And we know many cases don't make it through the system...What about farmers, hunters, researchers, etc? C-373 does not negatively impact these groups. It simply targets laws around neglect and abuse. The purpose of this Bill as to update and amend the section of the criminal code which addresses animal cruelty...Over 90% of Canadians want stronger animal cruelty legislation in Canada... and it isn't only animal “activists” who care about this issue. The point of amending the criminal code’s section of animal cruelty is to help us deal with people who either through negligence or willful intent allow their defenceless animals to starve to death... who put a live cat in the microwave and cook her alive... who beat an innocent animal so viciously that it can't survive its injuries... people who kill police dogs and horses... people who train dogs to fight and kill each other in a ring. Please inform yourselves by reviewing below hotlinks, or by calling us with your questions.

The C4P Toronto team is actively supporting the rally, and starting a campaign to personally contact 80 Liberal MPs to ensure they understand the differences between the Bills. We need solid, dedicated advocates to join us from the regions - 905 and north - who can dedicate time to help us contact MPs and media players in person. Please don't hesitate to call me day or night - we need every single advocate we can get to:

- attend the rallies (bring your children, spouses, colleagues, siblings, friends, neighbours, lovers, parents, but pls, not your pets!!!)
- distribute pamphlets locally at vets, dog parks, community events, supermarkets,etc.(we'll issue print versions shortly over internet)
- to contact MPs personally, by telephone to educate and raise awareness and urgency
- to contact print, television and radio outlets in person, to educate them as to why S-203 is NOT going to help animals or respect Canadian voters

We need change. We need a criminal code which actually reflects Canadian values. This isn’t just about animals anymore... by ignoring C-373 and passing S-203, the Canadian government is not only telling us that they dont' care about animals... but that they do not respect the wishes of the Canadian people. This is the only opportunity in the last one hundred years that we have to meaningfully action cruelty laws for animals in Canada. Please don't assume others are doing the critical work that we need you to do. There's only so much this electronic network can accomplish by word of mouth, we need hands on volunteers and coordinated, responsive, consistent, professional effort, and we need it now. If S-203 passes, it'll take another twenty years to get amendments made and thousands of animals will be abused and neglected and die in between now and then, and hundreds of offenders won't make it through the legal system. And the animal advocates will continue to be heartsick, broke and traumatized. This is our opportunity to help us help ourselves, each other, and the animals. Please join our teams,, ARK II, and C4P and commit to some support and action.

A summary of the important notes with links to more detailed information:

CFHS on Federal Animal Cruelty Legislation in Canada

IFAW on Federal Animal Cruelty Legislation in Canada

Bill C-373 (formerly C-50)
An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals) Introduced by MP Mark Holland
first reading, October 16, 2007

Bill S-203 (formerly S-213)
An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals) Introduced by Senator Bryden
first reading November 29, 2007
On March 14, Bill S-203, cleared the House of Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights WITHOUT amendments:
3rd and final reading of the Bill expected to conclude by mid April, at the end of which, the House will vote on the bill.

Transcript of the latest hour of debate on S-203:

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