Guest post: Why you need to show support for Bill C-246

Our friends at Fur-Bearer Defenders are working hard for this very important bill. We share their post here (also available at their site, http://thefurbearers.com/blog/why-you-need-show-support-c-246 ) and encourage you to contact your MP and work as hard as you can to help see this bill pass.

Here is the post from Fur-Bearer Defenders:

Bill C-246 is what Canada needs. The legislation, which was written and introduced as a Private Members’ Bill by Liberal MP Nathanial Erskine-Smith as The Modernizing Animal Protections Act, is a vital collection of policy that most Canadians want.

And the animals we all love need your help to make it a reality.

The legislation has three main components:

* Banning the importation and sale of shark fins;
* Banning the importation and sale of dog and cat fur, as well as requiring mandatory labelling of fur products; and,
* Providing common sense updates and closing loopholes within the Criminal Code of Canada as it relates to animal abuse.

It all seems pretty straight-forward – and the truth is, it is straight-forward. This legislation has all been, at some point in recent years, introduced to the House of Commons. In fact, most of it has made it all the way to Third Reading (the final step before being passed to the Senate and the Royal Assent procedure), but due to proroguing or elections, didn’t quite make it into law.

But that’s not stopping some special interest groups from trying to block these reasonable updates – or pushing politicians looking to capitalize on some kind of notoriety for blocking it. And that’s why we – and the animals – desperately need your help.

During the debate of second reading (the vote is coming in the near future), there was a clear attempt from Conservative members – as well as at least one Liberal member – to block this vital legislation. There is some legitimate concern about the language in the bill as it can be confusing, particularly to an average reader. But all of these issues can be ironed out when the bill passes second reading and goes to committee – and today, that’s what we’re asking you to fight for.

During the debate of second reading (the vote is coming in the near future), there was a clear attempt from Conservative members – as well as at least one Liberal member – to block this vital legislation. There is some legitimate concern about the language in the bill as it can be confusing, particularly to an average reader. But all of these issues can be ironed out when the bill passes second reading and goes to committee – and today, that’s what we’re asking you to fight for.

TAKE ACTION

The animals need you to write directly to your own MP (find your MP by clicking here), and copy Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould (Jody.Wilson-Raybould@parl.gc.ca), telling them you want their support to get C-246 to committee. If you’re not a Canadian citizen, please write Minister of Justice Wilson-Raybould directly. Even if you’ve already signed petitions, shared links, or written letters – please do it again. This is a critical time for this legislation, and we need everyone to chip in.
WRITING TIPS

Stay on point: this issue is about the passing of Bill C-246 – not anything else. Keep your comments directed to the facts and provide citations if necessary.

Stay polite and use spell check: if you’re rude, aggressive, misspell words, or use incorrect grammar, readers may become disengaged or dismissive of your points.

Provide solutions: rather than just say what’s wrong, say what’s right. Offer solutions or alternatives to help move forward conversations – we’re recommending getting this legislation to committee so a group of experts can begin addressing the legitimate concerns people may have.

Identify yourself: it’s important to include your address when writing politicians so they know who you are, where you’re from, and that your vote will affect them in the next election.

Use social media: utilize Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms (in addition to a letter) to connect with your MP and the Justice Minister!

Let us know what you hear: if you receive a message back from your representative, or they would like to discuss the issues in greater detail with us, please let us know by emailing info@thefurbearers.com.

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