International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

October 26, 2005 15:18 ET

IFAW recognizes distinguished Canadians

with Animal Action Awards Attention: City Editor, Environment Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 26, 2005) - Minister of Environment Stéphane Dion was one of 10 distinguished Canadians who were honoured tonight at the 2005 IFAW Animal Action Awards. Featured recipient Minister Dion was recognized for his dedication to protecting Canada's seabirds through his leadership in passing Bill C-15, a crucial Bill that expands Government enforcement powers and increases fines against ship operators who deliberately dump bilge oil into Canadian waters - a practice that kills as many as 300,000 seabirds off the coast of Newfoundland every year.

"I am proud of the work that we did to protect Canadian seabirds and Canada's marine environment through Bill C-15, which is a ground-breaking piece of legislation." Mr. Dion said. "Canada's coast and waters are home to an abundance of seabirds and we are determined to do a better job of protecting them. Receiving this award is an honour, but also a testament to the federal government's hard work and dedication to protecting our natural environment."

Beloved media figure Vicki Gabereau was also among IFAW's 2005 award recipients for her ongoing commitment to companion animals. Nine-year-old Celina Dawdy from Spruce Grove, Alta., was presented with an IFAW Action Award for raising nearly $10,000 in 14 months to purchase bullet-proof vests for eight police dogs in Alberta.

IFAW's Animal Action Awards are part of IFAW's Animal Action Week, an annual event that invites people around the world to play a valuable role in saving and protecting animals.

"The Animal Action Awards is IFAW's chance to recognize people all across Canada who work tirelessly for animals. We get hundreds of nominations each year," said Barb Cartwright, IFAW's Animal Action Week Coordinator. "Each year the awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate those special individuals who do outstanding work for animals."

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) works to promote animal welfare and conservation policies that advance the well being of both animals and people around the world. IFAW is dedicated to reducing commercial exploitation of wildlife, protecting habitats and assisting animals in distress.

BACKGROUNDER

IFAW 2005 Action Award Recipients

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Environment
As the Minister of Environment, Stéphane Dion has demonstrated his commitment and dedication to protecting Canada's Seabirds and Canada's marine environment through his leadership in passing Bill C-15. This important Bill, which amended the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, was passed into law in May 2005. It will hold shipping companies and their officers accountable if they illegally dump bilge oil into Canadian waters - a practice that kills 300,000 seabirds off the coast of Newfoundland every year.

Bob Mills MP Red Deer, Alberta
As the Environment Critic for the Conservative Party of Canada, Mr. Mills was instrumental in the passing of improved legislation to protect Canada's seabirds from the deliberate dumping of bilge oil from ships. The need to protect Canada's seabirds was identified by Mr. Mills nine years ago, and he has dedicated significant time and efforts to Bill C-15 and its predecessor Bill C-34.

Vicki Gabereau
Beloved media figure, Ms.Gabereau has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to companion animals by making them an integral part of her programming and elevating their status through the media. Ms. Gabereau's TV show highlights companion animal issues ranging from adopt-a-pet segments to critical issues involving companion animals.

Constable Pierre Schelling and Benny
Cst. Pierre Schelling of the Edmundston City Police and an Animal Protection Officer for the New Brunswick SPCA has developed a unique dog bite prevention education program. With the help of his partner 'Benny', a German Shepard, Cst. Schelling has educated over 40,000 children and 10,000 adults about why dogs bite and how to prevent attacks.

Guy Fitzgerald
Guy Fitzgerald is a veterinarian dedicated to improving the care of raptors (birds of prey) in Quebec. He is the founder of the Raptor Centre at the University of Montreal and the UQROP- the non-profit organization that runs the Raptor Centre, which rehabilitates and releases of approximately 350 raptors each year.

Celina Dawdy
At nine years old, Celina set herself a lofty goal to purchase bulletproof vests for all the remaining unvested RCMP police dogs in the province of Alberta. By May 2005, she achieved her goal by raising nearly $10,000 to purchase protective vests for eight police dogs. Celina says that although all of Alberta's RCMP dogs are now safe, she will continue to accept donations to outfit all of Canada's RCMP dogs.

Julia Axenroth
Seventeen-year-old Julia has already achieved an impressive list of animal welfare achievements. She is the president of her local Roots & Shoots group - the Jane Goodall Institute youth action program. Through this group and her own initiatives Julia has mobilized others into action to improve animal welfare. Julia also sits as Director of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition, gives talks to the public and in her school about animal welfare, and raises money to donate to IFAW.

Andrea Lempher's
Andrea has dedicated her career to animal welfare in the Yukon. Andrea's passion and dedication to animal welfare and education were instrumental in the opening of the Humane Society Yukon and the Yukon's first shelter. Her efforts also brought about amendments to the Yukon Animal Protection Act in 1998. Andrea has tirelessly advocated compassionate treatment of animals, while educating others on the link between human and animal cruelty.

Friends of Abandoned Pets
For the past 25 years, Friends of Abandoned Pets (FOAP) has provided an important and life saving service to abandoned animals in the Ottawa area. As an independent, volunteer-driven, non-profit organization, FOAP places abandoned cats and dogs in permanent, caring homes. FOAP also works to eradicate dog and cat over-population by spaying or neutering abandoned pets - approximately 300 animals a year.

/For further information: Contact: Barbara Cartwright (IFAW) Tel: 1 (613) 241-8996; Email: bcartwright@ifaw.org/ IN: ENVIRONMENT, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Barbara Cartwright, Campaigner
    Primary Phone: 613-241-8996
    Toll-Free: 888-500-4329
    E-mail: bcartwright@ifaw.org