Editorial: Whale of a win in parliament not the end of the fight

Whales and dolphins are amazing creatures that need to be respected

It’s taken a long time to get here.

Finally this week the federal government banned the captivity of whales and dolphins in Canada, with the passage of Bill S-203 through Parliament.

Cowichan’s own MP Alistair MacGregor was among those who urged a fellow member of parliament to give up his private members bill time in order to make it happen. All of our lawmakers who contributed to this bill becoming law deserve praise.

Whales and dolphins are amazing creatures. It’s long been the practice for large-scale marine tourist attractions to keep them for the pleasure of the viewing public. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been so good for the animals themselves.

No matter how well these facilities have treated the whales and dolphins in their care, it cannot make up for the fact that they are, by necessity, forced to live in spaces that are tiny compared to their natural habitat. Just as damaging, they are taken away from their families — and yes, these animals are highly social creatures that live in groups. At marine park attractions they often have no others of their kind with which to interact. They are also forced to interact with humans to an unnatural degree, day after day. All too often, these captives have come to tragic ends.

While once these things were minor considerations compared to the priority of making money off of the amazement of the public, times have changed, and it’s past time that we change with it.

If you want to view dolphins and whales, do it responsibly, in their natural habitat. Take a whale-watching tour with a reputable company that keeps a respectful distance from these creatures.

But this isn’t the end of the fight. These marine mammals and others desperately need us humans not only to stop kidnapping them, but to stop the degradation of their natural habitat through garbage dumping, incautious marine traffic, climate change and depletion of their food sources.

It’s about respect for nature.

Just Posted

Island community scurrying to ban rat poisons

In-house municipal ban ‘small but important first step’ to protect wildlife, Saanich councillor says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Victoria Clipper suspends services through April 2021

International travel restrictions, COVID-19 uncertainty lead to decision

Vancouver Island family loses everything after house fire next door

Friends of Paula and Clifford Lucas are raising funds to help the young family

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Two taken to hospital after Island Highway crash near Cobble Hill

Vehicles damaged, drivers taken to hospital as incident south of Duncan temporarily snarls traffic

Owner of Langford construction company gets nine months for sexual assault

Kyle Mostowy already spent time in prison for sexually assaulting employees

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Province announces plans for permanent supportive housing at four Nanaimo sites

B.C. ministry and City of Nanaimo partnering on 190 supportive housing units

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Most Read