Demers has brought a lot of attention to Marineland, and Marineland has brought a lot of attention to Demers. In 2012 he was SLAPPed with a $1.5 million suit lawsuit accusing him trespassing and of plotting to steal Smooshi. Demers denies any such plot as well as trespassing, stating that he stayed outside in front of the park during a Save Smooshi protest.
Marineland is suing him and two other former employees.
The Toronto Star
The Star began its investigation into Marineland in 2012. In a series of scathing articles, the story behind the scenes at Marineland began to unfold. Protests were held, there was involvement from the OSPCA, the government, and now there are measures being put into place to create a better standard of living for captive animals in Canada.
The Star is also facing legal action from Marineland.
One of the major concerns for the animals brought forth via The Star investigation was the condition of the water at Marineland. In various articles and interviews, the water has been described as "caustic", causing blindness to the animals (as well as pain and suffering), causing harm to the staff, and even causing Smooshi to have chemical burns. According to a source of The Star's, "Six of the park's seven seals are blind, have impaired vision or have had serious eye problems because of exposure to unhealthy water..." The issue, it has been alleged, was due to filtration problems and ozone leaks. Ozone exposure is extremely hazardous to human and nonhuman animal health.