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

Whales and dolphins are amazing creatures.

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

Review: ‘Mrs. Warren’s Profession’ offers audiences a choice, and a lot to chew on

George Bernard Shaw 19th century morality play still rings true in 2019

Catch Michael Kaeshammer at the Cowichan Theatre on Sept. 26

Vibrant virtuosity and musical excitement is the name of the game when Kaeshammer takes the stage

Players needed to keep Mill Bay hockey league alive

MBRHL is province’s longest running rec league

North Cowichan to consider new report on Quamichan Lake

Report would look at ways to reduce phosphorous into lake

Cowichan players off to lacrosse worlds

Local athletes suiting up for Australia, England and Finland

Shambhala named best music festival in North America

Shambhala Music Festival is held at the Salmo River Ranch in B.C.

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in shooting death of Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

B.C. Interior caribou protection area big enough, minister says

Proposals sparked protest in Kootenays, Williams Lake region

Two B.C. women selected to compete on ABC’s The Bachelor

Mykenna Dorn and Alexis Thind will compete for bachelor Peter Weber’s heart

Most Read