canada bans whale captivity

Canada makes it illegal for dolphins and whales to be held in captivity

Canada is about to take a huge step forward in the world of animal welfare. 

After a several-year process, Bill S-203 finally passed in the House of Commons yesterday. Referred to as the "Free Willy Bill," the new legislation bans all whale and dolphin captivity country-wide. 

The bill was tabled by Wilfred Moore in December 2015, and sponsored by Green Party leader Elizabeth May. It faced heavy opposition from the Conservatives for a long time, but finally passed yesterday. 

Under the new law, once it becomes official, anyone keeping cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and some other types of aquatic animals) will be fined up to $200,000. 

The only exceptions to this will be animals that are being treated for injuries or being used for scientific research. 

Strangely, the law does not apply to those animals currently in captivity. 

However, as of now, only the Vancouver Aquarium and Marineland in Niagara Falls have whales in captivity.

But, the Vancouver Aquarium is currently in the process of ending its whale captivity, as Vancouver passed a similar law. 

The bill now awaits Royal assent before becoming full law. 

Lead photo by

Mathew Ingram


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

No Name brand has taken over the side of a building in Toronto

Illegal cannabis stores are starting to reopen in Toronto

Toronto residents are fighting back against illegal election signs

This is why monarch butterflies are everywhere in Toronto this year

Wild temperature swings expected in Toronto this fall

Police seize $2 million of cannabis during traffic stop near Toronto

Deadly shooting in Mississauga linked to rap music video

Toronto neighbourhood upset favourite community space to be replaced by condo