Nathaniel Erskine-Smith

Your member of parliament for

Beaches-East York

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith

Your member of parliament for

Beaches-East York


Animal Welfare

Animal Protections, Rights, & Welfare

Nate has been vocal in support of improving animal protections, he has introduced legislation to modernize animal protection laws, and he has helped to establish the Liberal animal welfare caucus in Ottawa, of which he is a member.

In 2016, Nate received the Humane Legislator of the Year Award from Animal Justice.

In 2017, he received the Clements Award from the Fur-Bearers for being an Outstanding Politician.

Bill C-246: the Modernizing Animal Protections Act

On February 26, 2016, Nate introduced Bill C-246, The Modernizing Animal Protections Act. The bill would have strengthened our Criminal Code’s animal cruelty provisions, banned the importation of shark fins, and required fur labeling as the US and the EU already require.

Here’s a video of Nate’s last 5 minute speech in support of the bill:

While Bill C-246 was defeated, animal welfare is now on the government’s agenda in a way that it was not before, and the animal welfare caucus was created which will continue its advocacy on the issue.

Here’s a debrief on C-246 written by Nate in the Huffington Post.

Here’s an iPolitics article that explains some more of the background on the bill, and a Policy Options piece written by Professor Peter Sankoff entitled “Canada still an animal welfare laggard.”

Other Animal Welfare/Rights Advocacy

Nate has been a speaker at the Toronto Veg Food Festival and has written an op-ed in Now Magazine about his relationship with veganism and animal activism. He has also been the keynote speaker at the 2016 National Animal Welfare Conference hosted by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies.

He continues to sponsor a number of petitions on issues of animal welfare and animal rights, and to be an advocate for improving animal protection laws.

Nate speaking at the Toronto Veg Food Festival.

Read on to learn more about Nate’s advocacy on various animal welfare topics.

Animal transport regulations

Canada’s animal transportation regulations should be stronger. For example, they currently allow animals to be transported for very long distances without food, water or rest; do not protect animals from extreme weather conditions; and still allow for the use of electric prods.

Nate has contacted the Ministry of Agriculture to advocate for improvements to these regulations, in keeping with the recommendations from Mercy for Animals, and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.

Cruelty free cosmetics

Nate supports Senator Stewart-Olsen’s Bill S-214 “Cruelty Free Canada Act” to end animal testing for cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients. He looks forward to the bill passing the Senate, and has raised this issue with the Ministry of Health.

Ending the captivity of whales and dolphins

Nate supports Senate Bill S-203 to help end the captivity of whales and dolphins. Working in collaboration with Zoocheck Canada, he has already pushed the Ministry of Environment to improve regulations to protect against the importation of wild-caught cetaceans.

Aid for agricultural animals

Nate has met with World Animal Protection specifically on the issue of protecting domestic, farm, and working animals during international emergencies and disasters. At their urging, Nate wrote to the Minister for International Development, encouraging further study of this matter and asking for animal protections to be considered as an element of future disaster relief projects.

The recent fire in Fort McMurray served as a poignant reminder for the need for improvement right here in Canada. Nate has spoken with US Congressman Chris Shays (Republican-Connecticut) about efforts in the US in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina to create a disaster-relief strategy for animals, via the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and about how such a strategy might work in Canada.

On parliamentary travel to Washington in October 2017, Nate also met with one of the US Congressional Animal Welfare Caucus co-chairs, Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer.