Elizabeth May is an environmentalist, writer, activist, lawyer, and leader of the Green Party of Canada. Elizabeth became active in the environmental movement in the 1970s. She is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School and was admitted to the Bar in both Nova Scotia and Ontario. She held the position of Associate General Council for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre prior to becoming Senior Policy Advisor to the federal minister of the Environment from 1986 until 1988. Elizabeth became Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada in 1989, a position she held until March 2006, when she stepped down to run for leadership of the Green Party of Canada.
Elizabeth is the author of seven books, including her most recent Losing Confidence: Power, Politics and the Crisis in Canadian Democracy. She has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the International Institute for Sustainable Development and as Vice-Chair of the National Round Table on Environment and Economy and is currently a Commissioner of the Earth Charter International Council. Elizabeth became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005. In November, 2010, Newsweek magazine named her one of the worlds most influential women. In the 2011 Election, Elizabeth made history by being the first Green Party candidate to be elected to the House of Commons. She is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands. In 2012, Elizabeth won Macleans Parliamentarian of the Year award, voted on by her fellow MPs.
This is a letter from Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, in response to a letter a Unpublished.ca contributor submitted. In it she expresses her party's opposition to Bill 275...
Thank you for copying me on your excellent letter about Bill C-275. I truly agree. This bill is redundant in its current form, and it infringes on current provincial legislation. It would act to penalize protesters, rather than protect the animals themselves.
Current animal welfare in animal agriculture is highly insufficient. Animals are treated poorly, and depending on the animal, can go days without food, water or rest during travel. This bill seeks to quell the efforts of protesters who are against this maltreatment.
To advance biosecurity on farms, which is what the bill says is its intention, the animals should be kept in clean, safe conditions. Instead, too many animals are packed into spaces with not enough room, the spaces are not cleaned properly, and the animals are not genetically diverse. Having a species too genetically similar means that all animals or plants of that type are susceptible to the same diseases, which means that the diseases spread faster, and the species is less immune.
By improving conditions for animals in farms, such as giving them adequate, clean space, nutritious food, water, rest and exercise, the animals would be far healthier. Humane treatment should not be an option, it should be mandatory.
The right to peaceful assembly under section 2(c) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms must be upheld. Peaceful assembly allows protesters to share their messages and advocate for their beliefs. I will closely watch bill C-275 as it progresses to ensure these factors are taken into account.
Thank you again for writing. I will continue to advocate for human and animal rights. It is an honour to serve as Member of Parliament.