Bill C-571 – CHDC Recognizes Supporters And Highlights A “Rogues Gallery” Of Turncoats

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” Jack Layton, in memoriam

Now that a little time has passed after the reading of Bill C-571 and the Ontario election, we’ve had some time to reflect on the various party politics that both supported and failed us in our quest to stop horse slaughter in Canada. Unfortunately, we found that on occasion, some politicians told us they supported our goals, and they bombarded us with platitudes about Bills tabled by MP Alex Atamanenko – C-544, C-322, and ultimately C-571, but those platitudes turned out to be insincere.

Liberal Health Critic

Dr. Hedy Fry – Strong Supporter of the Bill

Most voters probably hold the opinion politicians should make very clear what they stand for before they are elected and stick to that for the duration of their term. The public listens to the candidates and reads about them before voting in an attempt to learn what that person will agree to after being elected. The voting public has the right to expect the elected official to be honest and maintain the same standards he or she was elected for. Many of us believe that Canada’s ideologies should be shaped by the voice of citizens, not party conventions.

kyle seeback

Kyle Seeback – MP Brampton West – listened to his constituents and did not vote consistent with his party position. CHDC thanks him.

Most of the time MPs vote in accordance with their party’s line – some cannot be relied upon to speak up for their individual ridings, lest it offends the leaders. Sometimes, though, there is no party line on a particular issue, and the party allows its members the freedom to vote how they wish, a so-called “conscience” vote. Sometimes MPs might look only to their own sense of right and wrong and vote according to their own consciences. Kyle Seeback is with the Conservative Party, whose members largely voted against Bill C-571. MP Seeback however, voted in favour of the Bill. He told the CHDC in a conversation on June 25th that he found the evidence presented by his constituents to be compelling and fact-based. He listened to his constituents who asked him to support the Bill and he did. He took a different stance from that of his party Whip and the Conservative party in general. And we find that pretty admirable. If all MPs focused on what they perceived to be the wishes of the majority of their constituents (according to the Ipsos-Reid poll, 64% of Canadians are opposed to horse slaughter) perhaps they would have more readily supported the Bill. We hope that the provincial MPPs who support greater protection for animals stand by their word, unlike the fickle MPs who switched against Bill C-571.

One of the greatest frustrations many of us had when lobbying our MPs was countering the often factually incoherent “stats” they churned out to defend horse slaughter. You may have seen statements asserting that the horse slaughter industry was a “2 billion a year industry” or that the CFIA sampled and weeded-out all evidence of residual prohibited drugs consistently. If you wonder why your MP spits out the same factually questionable information about horse slaughter as all other members of the party, it’s due to the information pushed out by the party liaison. MPs often request further information on a Bill from the party liaison, so if information is inaccurately gathered, it is largely attributable to this one individual. Unfortunately, many MPs are not susceptible to prevailing logic or solid evidence of government malfeasance uncovered by journalists such as Mary Ormsby, Dale Brazao and the producers of the Global television expose 16X9, as examples.

On a final note, Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund has released the results of a survey of the candidates for the four major provincial political parties in the Ontario provincial election. Although the survey didn’t mention horses or horse slaughter, it did ask candidates questions on animal issues including their position on oversight of the OSPCA, the prohibition of shark fin, the reintroduction of the Spring bear hunt and keeping cetaceans in captivity, amongst others.
The election scorecard shows the number of ‘yes’ answers for each question in favour of animal protection policies from the candidates that responded to the survey. The Green Party had the most ‘yes’ responses, followed by the Liberals, the NDP and the PC Party.

The score card can be read below and can be downloaded HERE.

Here are the MPs that NEVER WAVERED IN THEIR SUPPORT some going back to C-544, some going back to C-322 – all going back years.

Alex Atamanenko (author of the Bills)

Dennis Bevington

Chris Charlton

Sylvain Chicoine

Irwin Cotler

Jean Crowder

Libby Davies

Paul Dewar

Hedy Fry

Bruce Hyer

Brian Masse

Irene Mathyssen

Elizabeth May

Frances Scarpaleggia


Here are the results of the voting on Bill C-571.

C-571 An Act to amend the Meat Inspection Act and the Safe Food for Canadians Act (slaughter of equines for human consumption)

Vote topic

That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Health.

See context in the Debates.


  • Yes 102
  • No 155







 Rogues GalleryMPs who initially pledged their support,  but failed to follow-through


One comment

  1. Thankyou for the updated vote of MP. I wrote a letter to MP Freeman who represents the Quebec riding where the slaughter of Horses is taking place.” I WAS BLUNT” Most shocking was the fact I have written Thomas Mulcair over this issue , and he responded by asserting he was opposed to Horse slaughter and supported MP Atamanenko. Now that I know he can not be trusted I have stopped donations to the Federal NDP, and await the 2015 election, where unlike Mulcair I can be trusted to not support the NDP. This is a voting issue for me.

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