Last Monday, we issued the first Broadview Report on Public Affairs and chose the topic of private zoos and aquaria in Ontario after seeing a firestorm of media attention on the issue. For the most part, media coverage focused on conditions at Marineland Canada, in Niagara Falls where former employees had expressed concern with the treatment of animals at the facility.

On Thursday August 30, 2012 NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo was making news on Toronto’s Global Television calling on the provincial government to implement stronger regulations for zoos and aquariums in our province.

Below is a section of from the online article covering the story:

“The U.S. has legislated protection of marine mammals since the 1970s. When will the government finally protect marine mammals in Ontario?” DiNovo said, in a press release Thursday. “Zoos and aquariums need licenses to keep chipmunks or raccoons but not for whales or dolphins or lions or elephants. When will the government finally put forward legislation to protect sea mammals and exotic animals in Ontario?”

DiNovo, the MPP for Parkdale – High Park, is responding to recent allegations of abuse and substandard conditions at Marineland in Niagara Falls and a poll that shows the majority of Ontario residents want stronger regulations at zoos and aquariums.

The poll by Forum Research, commissioned by Broadview Strategy Group, found 82 per cent of Ontarians believe the government should regulate standards for private zoos and aquaria. The survey sampled 1,029 Ontarians aged 18 and up and has a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent, 19 out of 20 times.

You can read the whole article on the Global News website: Global Toronto | NDP MP calls for tighter rules for zoos and aquariums

The outcome of Thursday’s by-elections in Kitchener-Waterloo and Vaughan will impact how much power opposition MPPs like DiNovo have, but it is likely regardless of whether the Government or opposition parties hold the majority in the Legislative Assembly, this issue will continue to be a live one during the fall session.