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Council to vote on shark fin ban today

(Image: Robert S. Donovan)

City council is set to vote later today on whether to ban shark fin products in Toronto, an issue that came to our attention when Brantford blazed ahead as the first Canadian city to prohibit the sale of the product. CBC News reports that as many as 300 people took part in a protest at city hall yesterday to oppose the proposed bylaw. Councillor Doug Ford is also in staunch opposition to the ban. “I won’t be voting for it,” he told the Globe and Mail. “I’m a big supporter of the Chinese community; if that’s part of their culture then we shouldn’t interfere in that.”

Barbara Chiu, executive director of the Toronto Chinese Business Association, feels that a ban could drive Chinese wedding parties out of Toronto, but Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker (who proposed the ban) maintains removing shark fin products from Toronto markets won’t hurt local business. “The reality is that we are going to ban it and all of those restaurants who have concerns today will all be here in a year from now,” De Baeremaeker told the Globe. Karen Sun, former executive director of the Toronto chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council, is also in favour of the ban. All of this seems to indicate that this is more than a purely environmental issue (shark fin is the largest illegal trade concerning wildlife, inhumanely killing millions of sharks per year); as the Globe’s Greg McArthur argues, there’s also a generational divide at play among Chinese Canadians. Council is already in session now.

• Toronto shark fin ban draws mounting opposition ahead of vote [Globe and Mail]
• Proposed ban on sale of shark fin soup reveals generational divide [Globe and Mail]
• Toronto shark fin ban protest draws 300 [CBC News]

  • parkdaleeater

    again one of the fords goes against the tide. cultural history is not an accepted excuse against disprespect for another species such as this, dog fighting, bull fighting and the like.

    yes we eat meat, and yes it isn’t fair (to the animals or peta) but to hunt an animal for one part and ‘throw away’ the remainder is not the same.

  • Roger

    Come on people, how is this even a debate? There is no justification for the mass slaughter of sharks for their fins. There will be no more sharks to support this industry if this keeps up for much longer since they will be driven to extinction. Either way the outcome for this shameful industry will be the same. The outcome for our oceans and an entire species could be disastrous.

  • Kate

    What a surprise,- Doug Ford aka one half of the brothers moron – doesn’t like the idea of trying to help an edible endangered species.

    The Chinese people in Toronto should be outraged at how their culture is being represented by the 1% of the population who can afford to buy this idiotic and inhumane soup.

    It’s a status symbol issue, not a heritage issue and it needs to stop because it’s harming our oceans and the environment. Sorry Barbara Chiu but no one cares about a few Chinese wedding appetizers being being switched over to wonton soup. F*#king moron.

  • Sandra

    @Kate – Preach it!

  • Charlotte Ritman

    Do the right thing Toronto…ban ban ban

  • Lucas

    There are lot of inhumane foods, such as foie gras, caviar, seal meat, crab legs, etc… yet those foods are all “OK” because they’re “Canadian”.


    October 13th I was at the deputation I too was suppose to do a deputation but it was cancelled Sad day that was How it was more important to save the sharks then to save children I was there for licensing with criminal background checks clowns,Santa Claus ,magicians costume characters and it was put aside and I was told case closed I had brought 600 names Meanwhile there have been convicted sex offenders working as entertainers such as magician Google Stephen Lynn Mr Magic Are sex offenders working as clown or Santa Claus ? There are no regulations Children are vulnerable and we must protect them Many cases news video at BE A VOICE FOR CHILDREN – JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST CHILD ABUSE LOG ON

  • Sunny

    If you use sun tan lotion, sunscreen, wood sealer, lotion, ointments, energy drinks and hundreds of other products, you’ve contributed to the shark fishing.

  • Sunny

    Also, that’s not shark fin soup in the picture, is it? Looks like a dumpling to me.

  • the milky way

    Ban it. its a small step in the right direction. Yes there are other problems and other things that should not be mass produced and killed so we can have the luxuries but this isn’t about that. BAN BAN BAN BAN BAN BAN. The shark is an extremely important predator. Its a no brainer.