In 2012, the Toronto Star investigated Marineland Canada , speaking with many former employees who revealed a wide array of animal neglect, abuse and cruelty at North America's now infamous zoo. Most spoke on the condition of anonimity for fear of legal reprisal, however some bravely elected to reveal their identities. Shortly thereafter, Marineland launched a series of legal assaults and intimidation tactics - threatening and suing media and whistleblowers alike in an attempt to silence the truth.
Philip Demers, former head trainer of Marineland's stadium show revealed details of water quality issues, short staffing and several incidents of animal neglect/cruelty. The deteriorating health of Smooshi the walrus inspired his decision to speak. He is being sued for "plotting to steal a walrus ", a spurious claim to say the least.
The lawsuits are known as SLAPP suits - Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation - and serve only to silence critics and stifle debate around public interest issues. They aren't designed to see a courtroom, as few defendants can afford the lengthy and costly process.
Despite Marineland's abusive assaults, Phil continues his advocacy for Marineland's animals. Orca captivity has been banned in Ontario , new standards of care and animal protection regulations take effect in May of 2018 and Canada is moving to ban dolphin, whale and porpoise captivity nationally.
Whether you're an animal lover, truth advocate or simply believe in freedom of speech - your support in this campaign is integral for the justice of Marineland's animals, and those who continue to sacrifice and fight to be their voice.
We cannot let Marineland get away with this!
Please support the good fight today!
- Carin Bouwmeester
- Stephanie McDonald
- Anita Khanna
- Marilyn Romero