Employment Law

MarineLand says rumours of layoffs, closure not true

Three dolphins, similar to those at MarineLand in Niagara Falls, leap out of the water.

Recent reports have sparked speculation that MarineLand, the well-known zoo and amusement park in Niagara Falls, is facing permanent closure and has begun laying off its staff in large numbers. Former MarineLand trainer Phil Demers, who left the park in 2012 and has since been a vocal critic, claimed that the aquatic-themed attraction is shutting down after 63 years of operation, with employees being informed that the park will cease operations.

However, MarineLand has refuted these claims. In response to the widespread rumours and social media posts proclaiming the park’s impending demise, MarineLand issued a statement to the Niagara Falls Review on Monday morning denying any layoffs or closure. The park emphasized that it is often subject to various rumours and stated, “To be clear, MarineLand is not closed.”

The speculation of closure comes shortly after MarineLand was found guilty of animal cruelty charges. Critics of MarineLand, who have long accused the park of animal abuse, had initially celebrated the potential end of the park based on the unconfirmed reports.

Past Speculation

The park’s possible closure has been speculated in the past, with signs pointing to its end, such as the removal of marine mammals earlier in 2023.

MarineLand had also lobbied the Ontario government regarding the sale of its property to real estate developers, with owner Marie Holer stating that the park was seeking a buyer to transition it into a new year-round attraction.

A similar closure rumour in 2021 suggested that MarineLand would not open for the 2022 season, but the park did reopen, dispelling the rumour.

Despite these rumours, MarineLand has faced protests, petitions, animal welfare investigations, and criminal accusations over the years.

The park’s most recent controversy occurred in March when it was found guilty of animal cruelty charges related to the care of three young black bears kept in cramped enclosures with little water for months.”

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Termination of MarineLand Employees

Non-unionized employees working at MarineLand are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or economic difficulties. This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C

Even when a company permanently closes (but does not declare bankruptcy), they still owe their employees full severance packages.

• Severance Pay in Ontario
• Alberta severance packages
• Understanding severance in B.C.

People working “on contract” or as a contractor may also be owed severance pay — given that many employees in Canada are often misclassified as independent contractors.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ paydepending on a number of factors.

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Don’t Sign on the Dotted Line!

Before you accept any severance offer, double-check the amount using our firm’s free Severance Pay Calculator. It has helped millions of Canadians determine their entitlements.

In addition to your salary, make sure to factor in any other elements of your compensation (i.e. bonuses, commission, etc.).

If your employer didn’t provide you with the correct amount, it’s very likely that you have been wrongfully dismissed and should contact an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLPDo not sign any deadline offer from your employer until you have spoken to our team. Once you sign back the offer, you lose your right to negotiate a fair package.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue proper severance pay.

Severance for provincially regulated employees
Rights to severance for tech sector staff
• Severance packages during mass layoffs

Talk To An Employment Lawyer

Lost your job at MarineLand? Contact our team immediately.

The knowledgeable team of employment lawyers at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP has secured proper compensation for tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals across the country.

In addition to severance package negotiations, our lawyers have experience securing solutions for the following legal matters:


If you are a non-unionized employee in Ontario, Alberta, or B.C. who needs help with an employment issue, contact us or call 1-855-821-5900 to get the advice you need, and the compensation you deserve.

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Disclaimer: The materials above are provided as general information about the rights of non-unionized employees in Canada. It is not specific to any one company and should not be read as suggesting any improper conduct on the part of any specific employer.

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Consult with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. We are one of Canada's most experienced and trusted employment, labour and disability law firms. Take advantage of our years of experience and success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

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