NIAGARA FALLS, ON, June 17, 2015 /CNW/ - At the press conference introducing Bill S-230, Senator Moore stated:
"I also want to commend you to the CNN distributed documentary, Blackfish, for drawing attention to this issue. I'm pleased that the director of that film, Gabriella Cowperthwaite is supporting this initiative and I would invite anyone who disagrees with this proposal to please view that film."
When you do, please remember that not one single frame of that film is about Marineland, the Vancouver Aquarium or any other zoo or aquarium in Canada.
The "star" of Blackfish is Sea World – whatever issues that film depicts - Canadians, Ontarians, people of the Niagara Region, people of Niagara Falls, employees of Marineland, past or present, had absolutely nothing to do with what took place at Sea World.
"Blackfish", is a commercial film:
a) featuring events that occurred only at Sea World facilities in the United States
b) which depicts events that zoos and aquariums in Canada never participated in
About a United States corporation, Sea World which:
a) does not operate in Canada
b) is governed by United States laws and regulations
Sea World is also Marineland's largest single competitor in North America, drawing tourists from Canada and the Niagara Region to Florida and Sea World.
This Bill will force Marineland to close, throwing thousands out of work, while Sea World is under no such threat and will only benefit from the loss of direct competition.
Why should "Blackfish", through this Bill, directly benefit Sea World at the expense of the Niagara Region, our tourism industry, Marineland, our employees, and thousands of related jobs?
To make matters more bizarre, leading U.S. activist Naomi Rose – who lobbies to close all zoos and aquariums, has also publicly called for the forced movement of Marineland's Killer Whale, Kiska, from Canada to the United States to, of all places – Sea World!
She told Ontario's Legislative Committee a few weeks ago:
"I think she [Kiska] needs to be moved entirely to a separate, well-run facility in another place. Ideally, closest to her would be Orlando or San Antonio, Texas. There are two Orca facilities in those locations. [SEA WORLD]"
Why does the leading anti-captivity activist in the United States want to force Marineland to move its Killer Whale to a facility in the United States that she and every other activist in the United States condemns for its treatment of Killer Whales?
Why would Senator Moore want to punish Canadian zoos and aquariums for the conduct of Sea World and, perversely, force the movement of Kiska to Sea World?
This Bill is misdirected and does not assist in improving marine mammal welfare in Canada.
As you consider this Bill we ask you to keep in mind the following:
A) Not a single frame in "BLACKFISH" is set in Canada
- Not one single frame in Blackfish includes footage from or about Marineland
- Not one single frame in Blackfish includes footage from or about the Vancouver Aquarium
- Not one single frame in Blackfish includes footage from or about any zoo or aquarium in Canada
- Not one single frame in Blackfish is about any conduct governed by any Canadian laws or regulations
B) Changing the Canadian Criminal Code can't and won't change the conduct of Sea World
C) Blackfish is not an "investigation" by any competent reliable or independent authority: Ms. Cowperthwaite, Blackfish's director, stated it best, "I never started out thinking I wanted to shut Sea World down. I'm not an activist. I am a storyteller." Blackfish is a story about Sea World.
D) On the other hand, Marineland is the most thoroughly investigated marine mammal facility in the world and one of the world's finest:
- After two years of multiple independent investigations by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA), the College of Veterinarians, the Government of Ontario, Independent Water System Experts, the Niagara Falls Humane Society (NFHS), the Ministry of the Environment, activists, all the while remaining fully open to the public, not one single charge has been laid against Marineland.
- All the animals have been found to be healthy and well cared for.
- Multiple independent unannounced and thorough inspections by the OSPCA Zoo Inspection team have found nothing wrong at Marineland.
- Kiska the Killer Whale (cared for at Marineland) is now among one of the oldest living Killer Whales on the planet due to the excellent care, treatment and enrichment she receives at Marineland.
- Kiska lives in the largest pool housing a Killer whale in the world. The pool is at least four times the size of any pool housing a Killer Whale at Sea World (and Sea World holds multiple Killer Whales in their pools).
- All the water in her pool, all of it, is thoroughly filtered, cleaned, and reintroduced every three hours, through a complex, modern, computerized multi-million dollar water filtration system.
- Kiska receives daily care and enrichment and is medically examined constantly. All her behaviour is recorded meticulously and all the records of her health and treatment have been reviewed by numerous independent and highly qualified trained investigators.
Bill S-230 will have as its primary effect, throwing thousands out of work in Ontario and across the country.
As a secondary effect, this Bill will benefit the very corporation that Blackfish seeks to censure, Sea World.
Marineland trusts that our Senate, and our elected representatives, will see this Bill for what it is, poor policy, harmful to Canadians, damaging to our economy, and unfairly critical of tens of thousands of Canadians who work directly for or with our amazing zoos and aquariums.
For further information: Ann Marie Rondinelli, Marineland Marketing, Telephone: 905-356-2142, Email: [email protected]