African trophy-hunting show in GTA sparks protest

Roughly two dozen demonstrators stopped traffic outside a convention centre in Vaughan, Ont., on Saturday to protest an African trophy-hunting show.

See Full Article

African Events Canada hosted The Africa Show at the Premier Place Banquet Venue, which was expected to draw hundreds of hunters from across the globe.

But Saturday's demonstrations weren't the event's first hurdle.

The gathering was originally supposed to be held at the Borgata Wedding and Event Venue, also in Vaughan, but it cancelled the booking on Friday, citing "threats" from animal activists.

"We arrived yesterday to start setting up, and the owners came and said, 'We can't host your event’," one of The Africa Show's organizers told CTV Toronto.

At the time, nearly 30 of the exhibitors had been in the process of setting up their booths after flying in from Africa.

Protests by Animal Justice -- a non-profit that advocates for the humane treatment of animals -- also resulted in the cancellation of a booking at a Holiday Inn near Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, where the show was originally scheduled to take place.

The Africa Show -- which has been in operation since 2009 and offers attendees a chance to book trips to Africa to hunt animals such as lions, leopards, elephants and hippopotamuses -- has never attracted protests before.

But organizers say this year's show has been targeted because of the death of Cecil the lion last summer, which incited a worldwide uproar. The famous animal was killed by an American, after it was lured out of a national park.

But attendees of Saturday's event said there are positives to legally sanctioned hunting in Africa.

"Absolutely no part of (an) animal is wasted,” said one attendee.

"I've personally hunted in Zambia. I've hunted a buffalo … and that buffalo got put in a vehicle and we delivered it to a village that was all but starving."

Big-game hunting is estimated to be a $1-billion industry in Africa. And supporters say a lot of that money goes towards conservation.

"We use the funds we get in Tanzania, for instance, to do a lot of anti-poaching," said Helga Zeinali, an exhibitor at the show.

"The poaching there is a huge problem and the funds that come into the government for the hunting, which is all legal, goes towards that."

Birgit Johnstone, the owner of African Events Canada, said that she used to be against hunting, but living in the countryside for 30 years changed her mind.

"You're entitled to your opinion, but understand and educate yourself on the importance of the value of hunting, (and) the economic contribution towards these African countries.

Protesters said money isn't the issue, and people can contribute to African nations in ways that don't involve hunting.

"If they wanted to contribute to the economies of Africa, then they should just be paying out amounts, or go visit there and be tourists, and act ethically when they're there," said Remington Latanville, a member of Ban African Trophy Hunting.

Despite the protests, The Africa Show is expected to continue to run on Sunday. The event is also scheduled to make stops in Saskatoon on Jan. 23-24, and Calgary on Jan. 30-31.

The Saskatoon show was also forced to find a new venue after a petition by Animal Justice prompted a cancellation by the Saskatoon Inn.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Scott Lightfoot and files from The Canadian Press



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Could you receive a missile text alert on your phone? In B.C., not yet

    Canada News CBC News
    It was a terrifying morning in Hawaii last Saturday when thousands of people woke up to TV broadcasts, radio messages and a text alert on their smartphones warning them of an incoming ballistic missile. Of course, it turned out to be a false alarm. Source
  • Woman known for sneaking onto planes arrested again in Chicago

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO -- A woman with a history of sneaking aboard planes slipped past security at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport this week and was flying to London when the airline realized she didn't have a ticket. Source
  • Family of Toronto man who disappeared near Toronto's Gay Village 'want the details' of how he died

    Canada News CBC News
    Andrew Kinsman's family is still searching for answers a day after a Toronto man was charged with first-degree murder in his disappearance and that of another man near the city's Gay Village last spring. "I want the details. Source
  • Company investigating after wind turbine collapses in Chatham-Kent, Ont.

    Canada News CTV News
    CHATHAM-KENT, Ont. -- A Maryland-based renewable energy company is investigating after one of its wind turbines collapsed in southwestern Ontario. Chad Reed, a spokesman for Terraform Power, said it happened late Thursday or early Friday at the company's Raleigh project in Chatham-Kent. Source
  • Conservatives question pope's airborne, shotgun nuptials

    World News CTV News
    LIMA, Peru -- The honeymoon, as it were, is apparently over. A day after Pope Francis grabbed headlines by pronouncing two flight attendants man and wife while flying 36,000 feet over Chile, the conservative Catholic commentariat on Friday questioned the legitimacy of the shotgun sacrament and warned it could cheapen the church's marriage preparation down the line. Source
  • Hawaii Gov. knew missile alert was false 15 minutes before he told public

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- The Hawaii National Guard's top commander said Friday he told Gov. David Ige that a missile alert was a false alarm two minutes after it went out statewide. But the governor didn't tell the public until 15 minutes later. Source
  • Sikh man gets apology after a P.E.I. Legion told him to remove his turban

    Canada News CBC News
    A Sikh man says he was asked to remove his turban by staff at the Royal Canadian Legion in Tignish, P.E.I., on Wednesday night and along with his friend, was subject to racist remarks from patrons. Source
  • Quebec teen says smartphone rules are too tough in letter to school board

    Canada News CBC News
    A Quebec teen thinks his school's policy of seizing smartphones belonging to students caught using them in class goes too far. Vincent Duguay, 15, challenged his school's cellphone policy with a cease-and-desist letter sent to the local school board this week. Source
  • Timeline of Lac-Megantic events

    Canada News CTV News
    SHERBROOKE, Que. -- Three men were found not guilty Friday in connection with the Lac-Megantic train disaster in July 2013. Here is a timeline of key moments related to the the derailment: JULY 6, 2013: An unattended train with five locomotives and more than 70 tank cars carrying crude oil rolls down an incline before coming off the tracks in Lac-Megantic, Que. Source
  • Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, family says

    World News CBC News
    Tom Petty's family says an autopsy found his death last year was due to an accidental drug overdose. (Chris Pizello/Associated Press) Tom Petty's family and the Los Angeles coroner say his death last year was due to an accidental drug overdose. Source