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

  • Texas Republican won't cast electoral college vote for Trump

    World News CBC News
    A Republican member of the Electoral College from Texas said Monday that he won't cast one of his state's 38 electoral votes for Donald Trump because "I am here to elect a president, not a king. Source
  • Could Dakota Access pipeline move after permit denial?

    World News CTV News
    OMAHA, Neb. - The Army's refusal to grant a permit for the Dakota Access oil pipeline to cross beneath the Missouri River has focused more attention on alternative routes, but several other options already have been considered and rejected as being more risky and expensive. Source
  • Cuba starts return to normal as mourning for Castro ends

    World News CTV News
    HAVANA -- Music is playing in the streets again. Tourists are sipping mojitos at sidewalk cafes. Flags are flapping at full staff. After nine days of national mourning for Fidel Castro, Cuba is slowly returning to noisy, boisterous normality. Source
  • Canada needs 'defined model' of universal pharmacare, citizen panel urges

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada needs a comprehensive system of universal drug coverage to eliminate variations between the provinces and territories, a citizen-driven panel looking at the idea of national pharmacare recommends. The Citizens' Reference Panel on Pharmacare in Canada — comprised of 35 volunteers randomly selected from across Canada, similar to a coroner's jury — met in Ottawa for five days and heard from 20 experts to produce a report on the issue. Source
  • Man beat girl to death with rock

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A Manitoba man convicted of murdering a cognitively challenged girl while still a teen has been ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence in prison. The now 22-year-old man was just 16 when he bludgeoned the 14-year-old Wabowden girl to death. Source
  • 11 trapped in China's latest coal mine accident

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING - A gas explosion has trapped 11 Chinese coal miners underground, in the latest in a string of deadly accidents striking the industry after 53 miners were killed in two similar blasts last week. Source
  • Families could pay up to $420 more for food in 2017, report finds

    Canada News CBC News
    The average Canadian family may need to dish out as much as $420 more for food next year — and consumers could have president-elect Donald Trump to thank for part of the price bump, the lead author of a new report says. Source
  • Trump's Taiwan call could disrupt 'very calibrated dance' between U.S., China

    World News CBC News
    A phone call and a diplomatic reset? It's not ever quite that simple when it comes to relations between America, China and Taiwan. Handled the wrong way and it can get downright hostile. More than two decades before U.S. Source
  • Trump signals tougher China policy, possibly by accident

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Whether by accident or design, President-elect Donald Trump is signalling a tougher American policy toward China, sparking warnings from both the outgoing Obama administration and Beijing. On Monday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said progress with the Chinese could be "undermined" by a flare-up over the sovereignty of Taiwan, the self-governing island the U.S. Source
  • Edmonton dog breeding operation shut down

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A man and woman are charged after dozens of dogs at a local breeding operation were found suffering in horrific conditions, says the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS). “I’ve been here six years now in the animal protection department and this is the worst one I’ve seen for the number of animals confined to these spaces,” said peace officer B.Grey, supervisor of Animal Protection Services with the Edmonton Humane Society. Source