|Monday, April 28, 2008|
Canada Fidgets and Fudges on Polar Bear Protection
In a news release today, Canada's Environment Minister John Baird responded to a Status Assessment of Polar Bears the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The Committee announced a status assessment of "special concern," much as it did in 1991, 1999, and 2002.
"Our Government believes that the polar bear is an iconic symbol of Canada," said Baird. "As such, we also believe we have a responsibility to ensure its population is strong and its future is certain."
"Today's assessment by COSEWIC is a first step towards learning all we can about the polar bear," said Baird. "By August of this year, we will learn much more after receiving complete scientific data of all the work of the Committee."
"Let me see," said Captain Paul Watson. "If the special concern for the polar bear was issued in 1991, 1999 and 2002, how can this be considered a first step? What more is needed to be learned before action can be taken? This is just another case of a Minister of the Harper government saying that he does not intend to do anything at all except to spout nonsense in a frail attempt to have Canadians believe something will be done."
After COSEWIC's official report is received in August, the Minister will issue a statement outlining how the Government of Canada will proceed in order to come to a decision on Polar Bear listing.
"As Minister of the Environment, I will be launching an immediate dialogue with a number of groups, from environmentalists, to scientists, and wildlife management boards to get their feedback and advice on this issue as we go forward," said Baird.
"You can bet he won't be talking to me or anyone else who really wants to do something about protecting polar bears," said Captain Watson. "We need more conservation and less conversation if we are going to save this magnificent animal from extinction."
The Minster continued with his charade by saying, "Most importantly, as Minister, I have an obligation to work directly with the Inuit, not only out of a constitutional responsibility, but because so much of their history, culture and way of life are affected by this majestic animal," said Baird. "This Government cares about the future of the polar bear and as Minister of the Environment, I am committed to action."
"What the Minister is saying is that the government will not interfere with the big bucks the Inuit bring in from bringing sadistic foreign hunters in to whack bears for sexual pleasure," said Captain Watson. "I would love to see the day when a Federal government Minister in Canada commits himself to "action."
Management of the approximately 15,000 Polar Bears in Canada falls under the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories. Environment Canada plays an important role by providing scientific expertise on Polar Bears.
COSEWIC is an independent scientific committee comprised of experts from federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as other scientists and Aboriginal experts. COSEWIC assesses the status of the wildlife in Canada, based on the best scientific, community and Aboriginal knowledge available. Certain Environment Canada scientists are members of COSEWIC and provide science expertise for the development of these assessments.
COSEWIC has done an excellent job of assessing this, the problem is that the government has chosen to ignore their findings.
It won't be long until the only polar bears left in Canada will be on the $2 coins that Canadians refer to by the ridiculous name of Toonies.
"I prefer Doubloon myself," said Captain Watson. "After all the dollar is a Loon and two dollars is a Double Loon. But more importantly I prefer the real bears and I would prefer that Canada stop allowing them to be slaughtered by men with issues and inadequacies."
The Ghostly Wraith
Like a ghostly wraith he drifted through the heavy snow and sleet,
Monarch of a whitish kingdom, unblemished and remote
He is living, walking, gleaming, iron, smiling, stoic and enduring,
He is Nanook, Lord of the frozen North.
Those lights that define both polar space and time,
And so it has been for thousands of years but not for a hundred more,
His days are numbered as the ice retreats and the seals move far away,
There are few animals with such majestic flowing grace,
In a fair fight, he would win, yes he would win for sure every time,
I watched him walk and his trail broke through the crusted snow,
I followed his tracks over the chalky waste, seeing sadness in every step
I placed my hand upon his broad savage brow and felt that it was still warm,
The wind blows harsh and silently across the frozen splendour of the North,