VANCOUVER, Oct. 19 1998 - Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister David Anderson broke the law when he issued a licence to a U.S. group to kill gray whales in Canadian waters, The Humane Society of Canada charged today.

 

The licence granted by Anderson -- with no public consultation, and which his department refused to release to The Humane Society of Canada -- gives the Makah native band of Washington State permission to chase wounded gray whales into Canadian territory. The Makah have said they plan to use a .50 calibre anti-tank gun to kill any whales they target.

"And that is where David Anderson, and the federal government, have broken their own laws," said Michael O'Sullivan, Executive Director of The Humane Society of Canada. "Fifty calibre guns, the last time I checked, were illegal in Canada. So what was David Anderson thinking when he gave a group of non-Canadians permission to use such a dangerous weapon in our country against these gentle marine mammals? We won't stand for it, and neither will Canadians," he said.

"To prevent the loss of any human or animal life, The Humane Society of Canada today made a formal complaint with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and with Immigration & Citizenship," said Al Hickey, The Humane Society of Canada's Western Regional Director. The complaint which is being distributed to the media, states that Anderson violated a key section of the federal Immigration Act, which prohibits the admission into Canada persons who are likely to "commit one or more indictable offences punishable by way of indictment under any Act of Parliament." Transporting, possessing or using a .50 calibre anti-tank gun in Canada is an indictable offence under numerous sections of the Criminal Code, O'Sullivan said, adding that the RCMP have stated that they are very "concerned" about the use of the .50 calibre weapon.

Accompanied by Al Hickey, Western Regional Director for the organization, O'Sullivan will make The Humane Society of Canada's criminal complaint against Anderson and the Makah at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, 19 October 1998 at the RCMP "E" Division located at 657 West 37th Street, following which he will meet with the media outside the front entrance to the building.

He will then proceed to file a complaint with Immigration & Citizenship located at 1800, 1188 West Georgia Street and then finally deliver a copy of both complaints to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans located at 555 West Hastings Street.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

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