Jane Goodall Bill

Bill to Amend--Second Reading--Debate Adjourned

March 24, 2022


Moved second reading of Bill S-241, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (great apes, elephants and certain other animals).

He said: Honourable senators, from Treaty 4 territory and homeland of the Métis Nation, I’m humbled to speak to you as sponsor of the “Jane Goodall Act.” I have taken on this responsibility with the blessing of Dr. Jane Goodall and the Honourable Murray Sinclair. Together they launched an earlier version of the animal protection legislation in late 2020. As you know, the bill protects wild animals in captivity and addresses the unsustainable global wildlife trade.

I am grateful for Dr. Goodall and Senator Sinclair’s guidance and support in preparing this new edition of the bill over the last year. We are very thankful for the valued contributions of a strong and newly announced coalition behind the bill. Supporters include Canada’s leading zoos: the Toronto Zoo, the Calgary Zoo, the Granby Zoo, the Assiniboine Park and Zoo in Winnipeg and the Montréal Biodôme.

Supporters also include Canada’s leading animal advocacy organizations: the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, Humane Canada, Animal Justice, World Animal Protection Canada, Humane Society International Canada and Zoocheck Canada. Perhaps this coalition’s most exciting contributions are new legal protections for captive big cats, bears, wolves, hyenas, seals, sea lions, walruses, certain primates, and dangerous reptiles, such as crocodiles, alligators, giant pythons and venomous snakes. All told, this bill bans over 800 captive, non-domesticated species at roadside zoos.

For context, there are up to 4,000 privately owned big cats in Canada, with reports of poor conditions, safety concerns and lack of oversight. For a sense of the scale of wildlife captivity, there are 100 to 150 wildlife attractions in Canada where animals may receive protection under the act, and an estimated 1.5 million privately owned exotic animals nationwide.

Like the original bill, Bill S-241 would phase out elephant captivity in Canada. The Granby Zoo has announced a transition out of keeping elephants, and I commend Paul Gosselin, CEO of the Granby Zoo, for his leadership in that regard. There are currently over 20 elephants at four locations in Canada.

The Jane Goodall act supports the continuation of Canada’s great ape conservation and science programs at the Toronto, Calgary and Granby Zoos, subject to potential conditions.

As with the original bill, under the “Noah Clause,” the federal cabinet can extend legal protections to additional wild animals, considering factors relating to wild animals’ welfare in captivity. The legislation also establishes limited legal standing for affected species, allowing orders for animals’ best interests, including relocation and costs in sentencing for illegal breeding, performance or conveyance covering elephant rides.

I am grateful that this coalition of superlative voices for animals supports Bill S-241, the Jane Goodall act. In a few minutes, I will share their messages with you. I hope other Canadian organizations will take a close look at this positive and evidence-based legislation and add their support.

We are building a big tent that puts animals first. Teamwork combined with conviction can tip the scales in favour of passing the Jane Goodall act in this Parliament. As you will hear, animals cannot afford to wait. If we work together and move quickly, the Senate — and, moreover, Canada — can lead the way at this pivotal time for animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Dr. Goodall and many others are counting on us.

As former Senator Sinclair noted, the Jane Goodall act builds on the Senate’s great work in recent years to protect animals. Achievements include former senator Willie Moore’s whale and dolphin laws; Senator MacDonald’s shark fin ban; Senator Harder’s extraordinary efforts to enact both those policies; former senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen’s bill to ban cosmetic testing on animals, now the subject of government and opposition election commitments; Senator Boyer’s sponsorship of Bill C-84 to address animal abuse; and Senator Bovey and Senator Christmas’ sponsorship of government bills to protect aquatic habitat.

I also know Senator Dalphond is looking to strengthen Bill S-5 to end chemical testing on animals by 2035, another government election commitment. Pierre, I am with you.

After refreshing the chamber on the bill’s legislative framework, I will explain this new version’s three major changes. My sincere thanks to counsel and the Senate Law Clerk’s office for their incredible work to realize the policy goals of the Jane Goodall act.

The three major changes in this bill are: a legislative framework for animal care organizations that meet five transparent and accessible criteria; new protections for the hundreds of species mentioned earlier, as well as updates on elephant and great ape policies; and increased focus on addressing the unsustainable global wildlife trade.

Before explaining the details, a few words about values. This legislation expresses the harmony of Western science and Indigenous understandings of nature. This knowledge tells us that action is urgent for wild animals, with many species facing cruelty and extinction right now. It is my hope that many senators will recognize this urgency, with an air of gravity, and be a part of this initiative.

Rooted in scientific evidence, the Jane Goodall act would establish the strongest legal protections in the world for wild animals in captivity, building on Canada’s 2019 whale and dolphin laws as well as enhancing conservation measures.

Society’s eyes are increasingly open to animals’ true natures, through scientific research like Dr. Goodall’s work with chimpanzees, as well as stunning documentaries from Sir David Attenborough and others. It is crystal clear that science, empathy and justice require legal changes for many additional wild species. With this bill, Canada’s laws can respect the biological and ecological characteristics and needs of such animals and their place on our planet.

Senators, I am honoured to share a message from the bill’s namesake, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, world-renowned conservationist, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace.

Today is an important day for animals. So many of them are in desperate need of our help and the Jane Goodall Act establishes protection and support for animals under human care. It is a monumental step forward for animals, people, and the environment. I am honoured to lend my name to this world-leading legislation that is supported by a wonderful coalition of government, conservationists, animal welfare groups and accredited zoos. Together we can and will provide a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves and put an end to the misery that is wildlife trafficking.

Together with science, the Jane Goodall act is based in Indigenous values. The bill’s preamble includes the phrase “All My Relations,” an Indigenous understanding that all life forms of Creation are interconnected and interdependent. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission called on Canadians to reconcile with the earth, through a restoration of reciprocity and mutual respect. That report stated, “Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous laws stress that humans must journey through life in conversation and negotiation with all creation.”

In recent years in this chamber, Indigenous leadership has strengthened animal and environmental protection laws. We have heard powerful speeches from Indigenous senators, guiding the Senate to respect nature and to act as Canada’s Council of Elders; the Jane Goodall act aims for further progress.

The original bill’s author, our former colleague and the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Honourable Murray Sinclair, would like to share his vision for the Jane Goodall act.

This legislation will further reconciliation with the natural world. When we treat animals well, we affirm our relationship with all of Creation and act with both self-respect and mutual respect. It is an honour that Senator Klyne has sponsored this bill, an inspiring continuation of Dr. Goodall’s legendary work for animals.

Senators, as our former colleague noted, the bill’s measures fully respect traditional and sustainable Indigenous harvesting practices and trades. Indigenous peoples have maintained relationships of gratitude and stewardship with animals since time immemorial. To emphasize and communicate our respect for Indigenous inherent rights, the bill contains a section 35 constitutional non-derogation clause.

Before exploring the bill’s three major changes, how does the Jane Goodall act work? Like the whale and dolphin laws, Bill S-241 exercises federal jurisdiction over animal cruelty and international and interprovincial trade. The bill prohibits the acquisition and breeding of affected species, requiring permits from Environment and Climate Change Canada for those activities, as well as permits for transport across national and provincial borders.

The bill grandfathers in current populations, with all animals remaining in place. The federal or relevant provincial government may license new captivity, including for breeding, for animals’ best interests regarding individual welfare and conservation or for non-harmful scientific research.

The reason for dual licensing authorities, in some contexts, is to acknowledge that the subject of captive non-domesticated animals has shared federal and provincial jurisdiction, with respect to animal cruelty and property and civil rights. The bill’s preamble notes this constitutional duality. Canada has had this framework at least since 1892, when Parliament enacted animal cruelty sections of the Criminal Code. Today, Bill S-241 takes the same jurisdictional approach to licensing as the whale and dolphin laws.

In addition, the Jane Goodall act bans the use of affected species in performances for entertainment as well as elephant rides unless licensed by a provincial government. This is relevant to sea lions and walruses at Marineland in Niagara Falls and to elephants at African Lion Safari near Hamilton. The federal government would not be able to grant such licences, to discourage allowing these activities.

Senators, before exploring the changes and updates, I am thrilled to share words from the strong coalition of supporters of the Jane Goodall act, including Canada’s leading zoos and animal advocacy organizations.

The Toronto Zoo, the Calgary Zoo, the Granby Zoo, Assiniboine Park Zoo and the Montréal Biodôme have announced their support for the Jane Goodall act. They have also contributed expert advice on the new protections for big cats and other species, and other elements of the bill.

These five leading Canadian zoos are members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or the AZA, the accrediting body with the highest standards in their field in the Americas. These large zoos represent a very high count of Canada’s annual zoo attendance. For example, before the pandemic and with numbers rebounding, the Calgary Zoo had over 100,000 members and close to 1.5 million annual visitors. The Granby Zoo had 42,000 members and 830,000 annual visitors. Pre‑pandemic, the Toronto Zoo welcomed 1.3 million guests annually. Moving out of the pandemic, the Toronto Zoo has a record number of over 37,000 memberships, representing more than 100,000 individuals.

Senators, Dolf DeJong, CEO of the Toronto Zoo, said:

Our zoos have a long history of supporting wildlife conservation in Canada and around the globe. Our commitment to animal welfare, conservation, science and education programs is vital to the survival of many species. . . . The Toronto Zoo is proud to support the Jane Goodall Act as it represents a critical step forward in protecting wild animals.

Dr. Clément Lanthier, President and CEO of the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo and President of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or WAZA, said:

Every day at Canada’s leading zoos, our amazing teams of dedicated specialists work to ensure that the animals we love receive exceptional care. The Jane Goodall Act will ensure the welfare of countless captive animals across Canada.

Within our coalition, I am pleased to report that six leading Canadian animal advocacy organizations also support the bill. These organizations have also contributed their expertise to the bill, such as protections for new species, the relocation of animals from unsuitable conditions to sanctuaries, and the global wildlife trade.

The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada is Dr. Goodall’s team in Canada. They use community-centred conservation to mobilize action on biodiversity, climate change and environmental inequality in Canada, as well as chimpanzee habitat in Africa. A huge thank you to the Jane Goodall Institute team, who have guided the realization of Dr. Goodall’s vision for this bill.

Barbara Cartwright is the CEO of Humane Canada, the national federation of SPCAs and humane societies. She has played a key role in bringing forward the Jane Goodall act. Ms. Cartwright said:

The Jane Goodall Act is a significant evolution in animal welfare in Canada. . . . Protecting animals in captivity and in the wild signals an unprecedented shift in Parliament toward integrated thinking about animals, people and the environment.

Camille Labchuk is a lawyer and the Executive Director of Animal Justice, Canada’s only national animal law advocacy organization. She said:

This Jane Goodall Act is a welcome step toward improving Canada’s outdated animal protection laws. . . . Animal Justice is especially pleased that the bill would offer animals limited legal standing in court—a groundbreaking move toward making sure our legal system prioritizes their well‑being.

Along with the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, World Animal Protection Canada is a leader on issues relating to the global wildlife trade and will be a key partner in developing regulatory recommendations and amendments on this subject. In the words of Melissa Matlow, their Campaign Director:

This is a historic bill that would make Canada a global leader in protecting wildlife and animal welfare. The unsustainable trade in wild animals requires urgent action, to prevent cruelty, extinction and future pandemics.

The Humane Society International/Canada, or HSI/Canada, also has expertise on the global wildlife trade, including elephant ivory and relocating animals to sanctuaries. Rebecca Aldworth, the Executive Director, said:

HSI/Canada has witnessed the suffering and deplorable conditions in roadside zoos, having intervened to rescue hundreds of animals from such facilities. We fully support this landmark Act, to help prevent cruelty and neglect, reflecting Canadians’ desire to protect captive wild animals.

Zoocheck is another voice. They monitor the situations and numbers of wild animals in captivity in Canada and advocate for their protection. Since 1988, this has been Zoocheck’s tireless cause. Rob Laidlaw, a biologist and founder of Zoocheck, provided our coalition with data informing this legislation’s new protections. Mr. Laidlaw is responsible for the inclusion of dozens of species. He said:

Zoocheck is extremely pleased to support the Jane Goodall Act. This thoughtful, proactive and long overdue legislation will make Canada more humane for animals, as well as safer for Canadians, by reducing the number of dangerous animals held by unqualified people.

Colleagues, for all these superlative Canadian voices for animals, this bill is a recognition and continuation of their excellent work. I am very grateful for their contributions and support. If the Senate adopts Bill S-241, I am optimistic that the Jane Goodall act can receive strong support in the House of Commons.

Addressing wildlife trafficking was a 2021 election commitment of the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party and the NDP, setting the table for considerable consensus in the other place.

Furthermore, the mandate letter of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, reflects the government’s election commitments to introduce a bill to protect animals in captivity, and to end the elephant ivory and rhino horn trades in Canada. I appreciate the minister’s kind words following Tuesday’s introduction, and I look forward to any opportunities to collaborate with the government, the Senate government representative team and, indeed, all parliamentarians.

The House of Commons sponsor for the Jane Goodall act, Member of Parliament Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, agrees:

The Jane Goodall Act strengthens Canada’s animal protection laws and fulfills the Government’s mandate to protect animals in captivity. Canadians across the political spectrum care about animal welfare, and I hope to see this bill supported by MP’s from every party.

Senators, I now turn to the details of the three major changes in Bill S-241. The first is a new legislative framework for Jane Goodall act’s animal care organizations, including zoos, aquariums and sanctuaries, to be administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The act’s animal care organizations must continue to meet transparent and accessible criteria, with the first four based on the standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or the AZA. Consultants with animal welfare groups have confirmed that the AZA has the highest standards of accreditation for zoos and aquariums in the Americas, with only seven accreditations in Canada.

The act has five criteria for animal welfare organizations. The first is to administer the highest professionally recognized standards and best practices of animal care. The bill leaves this determination of fact to the minister, who may consider North American, European and other standards.

The second is to provide employees and others with whistle-blower protection in order to be able to report animal welfare issues to the minister without fear of reprisal after taking any appropriate steps internal to the organization.

The third is to refrain from activities that misrepresent or degrade captive wild animals, including use in performance for entertainment such as displays of circus-style tricks or use in TV and film productions. An animal care organization may engage in educational demonstrations with animals, including supervised public observations and interactions involving natural behaviour or practices required for animal care.

The fourth criterion is to acquire wild animals in a manner that does not negatively impact species populations in their habitat or that contributes to a species’ survival or recovery. For example, it would be permissible to take animals into captivity to save the species, as with California condors.

The fifth criterion is to maintain any other standards and best practices established by the minister, on the basis of the best available scientific, veterinary, animal care or animal welfare information, following consultations with experts. This fifth point is important, establishing an evidence-based and consultative process for any improvements needed in the future, to serve and protect animals’ individual and collective interests.

Animal welfare scientist Dr. Jake Veasey has provided helpful advice on the new bill. Dr. Veasey has developed and published peer-reviewed research on an Animal Welfare Priority Identification System, known as AWPIS. The system aims to establish data-driven habitats and management programs for captive species that effectively prioritize their psychological needs and deliver peak animal welfare. This process establishes data on the evolutionary heritage and motivational characteristics of each species, using input from experts, including in and outside the captive management sector.

An insight of Dr. Veasey’s system is that captive habitats for wide-ranging carnivores, such as tigers and polar bears, are not necessarily problematic because they limit the distances these animals walk, with many animals walking as much in zoos as in the wild, but because they remove the purpose from such movement. Dr. Veasey suggests that best practices should help rebuild the connection between movement and meaningful outcomes, where captive animals are empowered to choose how and when they act to secure rewarding opportunities.

Dr. Veasey hopes to apply this methodology in establishing a polar bear refuge in Canada, to care for polar bears who have come into conflict with humans, and to study how we can help them adapt to a warming Arctic.

Once designated, Jane Goodall act “animal care organizations” may continue their animal care, conservation, science and public education programs for most species protected under the act, subject to potential conditions. Canada’s seven AZA zoos and aquariums will be the first to obtain this status through designations in the bill. In addition to the five zoos I have mentioned, these organizations include the Vancouver Aquarium and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto. These designations give weight to AZA accreditation, consultations with animal welfare groups on different accreditations, and Dr. Goodall’s regard for this credential.

The bill’s framework presents the possibility of gaining this status for some members of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums, or CAZA, as well as any other organizations, including sanctuaries. This would very likely require some zoos or sanctuaries to improve or evolve, and Parliament can consider any developments prior to passage.

Many wildlife attractions in Canada may not receive the act’s status, at least in the near term, as this bill’s priority is animal protection at the highest standards. Such organizations or individuals would still be able to apply for licences for new captivity of individual species and can continue to acquire species not named in the initial designations.

Our goal, senators, is a race to the top in a positive and forward-looking spirit. Jane Goodall act “animal care organization” status can become the ultimate standard in Canada, established in law for the benefit of wild animals. Other countries will take note and may follow Canada’s lead.

One of Dr. Goodall’s priorities is that excellent zoos, aquariums and sanctuaries will be able to flourish under the legislation, a goal that this bill achieves. The world is not getting any better for animals, and these organizations play critically important roles in saving animals from unsuitable conditions and extinction.

In 2019, the Toronto Zoo assisted in relocating animals seized from a roadside zoo in Quebec. This past summer, the Toronto Zoo was prepared to provide a temporary home for some lions and tigers in private ownership in Maynooth, Ontario, following provincial animal welfare charges against the owners. Many staff volunteered to move to the area for an extended period to care for the animals. Unfortunately, the current law allowed for the private relocation of these animals without oversight.

An exciting development at the Toronto Zoo is their master plan to create a dedicated “saving species sanctuary” over the next several years, a sanctuary that could accept animals in need from all over Canada.

Canada’s leading zoos also play vital roles in wildlife conservation and research. Worldwide, captive breeding has played a role in over half of the cases where extinction has been prevented for birds and mammals.

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is the Global Secretariat for the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission Translocation Specialist Group, within this global authority on the status of the natural world with over 1,400 member organizations, as well as experts in over 40 countries. This body guides the re-introduction and movement of animals to re-establish wild populations.

The Calgary Zoo also leads or contributes to conservation and research programs relating to endangered Canadian species like black-footed ferrets, whooping cranes, burrowing owls, greater sage-grouse, the half-moon hairstreak butterfly, northern leopard frogs and Vancouver Island marmots.

The Toronto Zoo is studying and helping to restore Canadian populations of wood bison, eastern loggerhead shrikes, Blanding’s turtles, and rattlesnakes. The Toronto Zoo also maintains one of the few reproductive physiology labs in North America, biobanks that preserve wildlife by freezing reproductive materials.

Of note, the five Canadian zoos I have highlighted are all participants in AZA Species Survival Plans, designed to protect genetically healthy captive populations of endangered species as safeguards from extinction.

By establishing a legal status for credible “animal care organizations,” this bill can be good for animals and for attracting visitors, instilling confidence in quality animal care, safety, conservation, science and education. The “animal care organization” framework in the Jane Goodall act will be a win‑win for wild animals and animal care professionals.

The coalition behind this bill has led efforts to establish new legal protections for over 800 species of what the act calls “designated animals.” The species of “designated animals” can be added to or removed from the act’s application by orders of the federal cabinet, through the “Noah Clause.” In determining these priority species, based on welfare and safety concerns, zoo and NGO input has been valuable, along with the advice of Dr. Lori Marino. She is the animal neuroscientist who proved that dolphins are self-aware and who leads the whale sanctuary planned in Nova Scotia.

Initial Jane Goodall act designations focus on large, far‑ranging predators, certain primates and dangerous reptiles. Notably, some designations have a delayed coming into force of up to six months to allow owners to navigate social dynamics and reproductive issues among the animals. The following bans are all subject to licensing.

First — this being the Year of the Tiger — are the big cats. Close to 40 zoos keep big cats in Canada, and estimates for private ownership range between 3,600 and over 7,000 animals. Of course, reliable data is a problem.

In 2009, B.C. banned private ownership after a fatal attack. Ontario’s laws are notoriously lax, with no licensing requirement for ownership, breeding or trade in big cats. Last year, an Ontario couple was able to relocate big cats without government oversight after their lions dug a hole under their enclosure and ate a tiger. The bill bans all seven big cat species, including lions and tigers, as well as multiple species of medium-sized cats, such as lynx and bobcats.

Next are bears. Over 25 zoos keep bears in captivity in Canada, and this bill bans all species kept in Canada, including grizzlies and polar bears.

This bill also bans wolves and other large, wild canines, including wolf-dog hybrids, coyotes, jackals and raccoon dogs, which pose an invasive species risk. Over 30 Canadian zoos keep wolves, a highly intelligent, social and extremely wide-ranging species. In addition, the bill bans hyenas, another top predator that we believe is kept at only three locations in Canada.

The Jane Goodall act prohibits captivity of all seals, sea lions and walruses, subject to licensing. Nine locations in Canada keep these species. Of note, the 2021 CBC “The Nature of Things” episode The Last Walrus documents that some walrus captivity in Canada may have scientific merit for helping wild populations.

However, Marineland has been known to house seals indoors for extended periods and uses sea lions and walruses in performances for entertainment. The Jane Goodall act designates walruses in consideration of Marineland’s two walruses, Smooshi and her calf Koyuk, as profiled by director Nathalie Bibeau.

Of concern, a photo posted on social media in late 2021 shows Koyuk suffering from what appeared to be skin lesions. If passed, the bill will prohibit using Koyuk and his mother in circus-style tricks and impose government oversight on their potential relocation.

In designating walruses, I acknowledge years of determined advocacy from former Marineland head trainer Phil Demers. In a remarkable story, Mr. Demers previously imprinted on Smooshi, becoming her mother in Smooshi’s mind. Since becoming an animal welfare whistle-blower in 2012, Mr. Demers has advocated for Smooshi and Marineland’s other animals, dedicating much of his life to this cause. From Mr. Demers:

It’s my dream to reunite with Smooshi and for her and Koyuk to go to a better home. I will never give up.

Senators, I hope this dream will come true.

Bill S-241 protects over 100 species of primates, including gibbons, baboons, bush babies and certain monkeys. Like great apes, we are members of this order of mammals, characterized by intelligence and sociability. In selecting priority species, our coalition considered their occurrence in captivity and welfare concerns for tree-dwelling species. We have refrained from designating any species used in biomedical research in Canada, according to information from the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

Finally, with new designations, the Jane Goodall act prohibits many dangerous reptiles. This includes all members of the crocodile and alligator family; twelve species of anacondas, pythons and boa constrictors; and all venomous reptiles, including over 600 species of snakes and lizards. These designations are understandably prioritized on public safety grounds. Senators recall the tragic attack by a nearly four-metre python in New Brunswick in 2013, taking the lives of two young boys.

As I mentioned, the Jane Goodall act would phase-out elephant captivity in Canada, similar to our country’s whale and dolphin laws. The primary reason is that our climate is unsuitable, requiring these huge, far-ranging, intelligent and social creatures to spend winters indoors.

As well, African Lion Safari’s 16 elephants have been used for performance for entertainment purposes and for rides, resulting in an attack in 2019. CAZA banned elephant rides last year. Also last year, CBC reported that a Texas zoo cancelled a $2 million deal to buy two elephants from African Lion Safari, a deal that would have separated mother-daughter elephants who normally stay together for life.

I commend the Granby Zoo’s CEO, Paul Gosselin, for his leadership to transition from elephant captivity. For details on elephant policies, please see former Senator Sinclair’s speech of November 19, 2020.

As to great apes, the focus of much of Dr. Goodall’s life’s work, this bill supports the continuation of the Toronto, Calgary and Granby Zoos’ gorilla and orangutan conservation and science programs, subject to potential conditions. Interrelated AZA programs are keeping genetically healthy populations of these endangered species safe with viable captive breeding and supporting conservation in the field through funding and training.

Since 2011, the Toronto Zoo has participated in 60 gorilla and orangutan studies with universities, including York University, the University of Toronto and Laurentian University. Calgary Zoo veterinarians have presented their findings on gorilla medical conditions at veterinary conferences.

The continuation of captive ape conservation and science programs at high-welfare standards is important to Dr. Goodall as her team continues to work with local communities to save apes in the wild. I am inspired by the thought that the Toronto Zoo’s new orangutan habitat is anticipated to open this summer. I commend CEO Dolf DeJong for his leadership.

The third major change is Bill S-241’s increased focus on the unsustainable global trade in wildlife through a call for regulatory action in the preamble. This is a priority for Dr. Goodall. Subjects of concern include elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn, invasive species, the spread of a fungus wiping out frogs and poaching for bear gallbladders in Canada.

Recent scientific reports by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services recognizes wildlife trade as a top driver of pandemic risk and biodiversity loss.

This is a global problem, and Canada has an important role to play. Canadian demand for wild animals and related products fuels the unsustainable trade globally. Research conducted by World Animal Protection Canada found more than 1.8 million wild animals were imported into Canada between 2014 and 2019 for a variety of purposes, including for pets and luxury products. Most of these animals were not subject to any permits or pathogen screening. Improving data collection should be a priority.

There is good news. An accomplishment to celebrate was Canada’s leadership role in building global consensus to see this month’s first ever animal welfare resolution passed at the United Nations. Congratulations to Minister Guilbeault and his team on that milestone.

My office will work with the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, World Animal Protection Canada and other partners to develop regulatory recommendations and amendments relating to the global wildlife trade and illegal trafficking. Notably, the Toronto Zoo has done award-winning work with Crime Stoppers to raise awareness of the illegal wildlife trade in Canada, focusing on the harvest and trade of turtles and the poaching of black bears, particularly for their gallbladders. Like elephant ivory and rhino horns, black bears taken from the wild are part of a global illegal wildlife trade estimated to be worth as much as $23 billion annually.

I welcome any opportunities to collaborate with Environment and Climate Change Canada, and congratulate them on completing public consultations around elephant ivory last year, hopefully towards regulations.

Honourable senators, I would like to speak to you about another small but important change in the bill. The Jane Goodall act’s preamble now makes an observation relating to Canada’s last captive orca, Kiska, known as “the world’s loneliest orca.” I, too, want to support efforts to help Kiska live a better life, a shared goal of former Senators Moore and Sinclair.

Kiska was captured in Iceland in 1979 before being purchased by Marineland. Her five calves have died, and she has lived alone since 2011. This past year there have been reports of multiple whale deaths at Marineland, as well as a broken water system, subject to provincial animal welfare orders.

In her concrete tank, Kiska swims in repetitive, counter-clockwise circles and exhibits atypical behaviour like floating motionless or thrashing her head at the poolside. Senators, this is not right. Kiska should not have to die alone, and if she can safely be moved, options need to be considered.

For this reason, the Jane Goodall act’s preamble observes that the Ontario Government has jurisdiction to grant civil standing to Kiska. This would allow for a court order in her best interests by her own right, such as relocation to the whale sanctuary planned at Port Hilford, Nova Scotia.

Great apes in situations of concern have received similar rights in Argentina. I do hope the Ontario Government finds its way to help Kiska. I also hope Marineland will consider working with the whale sanctuary’s scientist-led team to evaluate Kiska’s options. Indigenous values recognize our connection to other beings, and we must not turn a blind eye or abandon Kiska to a sad life.

We must also remember the approximately 40 belugas and five bottlenose dolphins at Marineland who deserve our concern as well. In the great nation of Canada, we must speak and act for the voiceless. That is what the Jane Goodall act is all about.

To conclude, senators, I am grateful for your attention and I thank you. I invite you to join debate and to be a part of the Jane Goodall act hopefully becoming law this Parliament. With that, I close with a passage from the Honourable Murray Sinclair’s speech on the bill:

Senators, we live in a time of great challenge, with the natural world in peril. However, we also live in a time of great hope, with social values increasingly reflecting a moral and spiritual awakening. We can yet save this beautiful planet, along with Indigenous cultures and knowledge and the sacred and innocent animals who deserve our compassion.

In moving this bill forward, Jane Goodall and I believe that the most powerful advocates eventually will be youth, including her Roots and Shoots organization. Disrespect for animals is taught behaviour, and we may find that children have a lesson to teach us. My grandchildren, quite frankly, are excited about this bill, and I hope yours will be, too. For any parents and teachers listening across the country, we want to hear from your kids as we look to rediscover their forgotten wisdom about animals.

Thank you. Hiy kitatamîhin.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore [ + ]

Senator Richards, I understand you have a question, but there’s only 12 seconds left.

Hon. David Richards [ + ]

I’ll just get the question out and he doesn’t have to answer it. I was going to ask him if he thinks that all zoos must be permanently closed within the next few years. What does he think of that? That was one of my questions.

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