Department Of Fisheries And Oceans
The war on wild salmon escalated during the Harper years as wild salmon were viewed as mere complications to environmental assessments of resource development projects. A year into the Trudeau Liberal government, it appears little has changed.
It has been 14 years since Southern Resident killer whales were listed as endangered under Canada's Species at Risk Act. Today, less than 85 of these whales remain. Despite their legal obligation to act, the federal government has failed to take measures to further recovery of the Southern Residents. As one of Canada's most endangered group of animals, actions for their survival cannot wait any longer.
In British Columbia, salmon are sacred. For centuries, they have nourished First Nations and settlers alike, and continue to sustain virtually all of the wildlife we cherish in B.C.: orcas, eagles, bears, seals and sea lions, wolves and even our forests. Wild salmon make life possible on the West Coast. So why are our federal and provincial governments trying to kill them? I do not speak of simple neglect. I mean actively working towards the destruction of wild salmon.
Scientists are calling it "libricide." Seven of the nine world-famous Department of Fisheries and Oceans [DFO] libraries were closed by autumn 2013, ostensibly to digitize the materials and reduce costs. But sources told the independent Tyee in December that a fraction of the 600,000-volume collection had been digitized. Irreplaceable documents like the 50 volumes produced by the H.M.S. Challenger expedition of the late 1800s that discovered thousands of new sea creatures, are now moldering in landfills.
And where's the "humanity" in defending animal rights? Like me, devout animal lovers and environmentalists (often one and the same) betray an underlying misanthropy, a profound disgust and disillusion with humanity. We can love animals because they aren't our competitors; they're dumb and easily used to serve our ends.
While Harper is cutting funds to scientific research, the government doesn't actually understand how it works. Science should feed into policy discussions, but in and of itself science cannot and should not dictate what policy directions should be taken.
I was shocked by this week's news that the Harper Tories were closing Environment Canada's Experimental Lakes Area, cutting a smokestack emissions research group and a Department of Fisheries and Oceans contaminants program. Where are the real Tories willing to put the word "conserve" back into the Conservative Party of Canada?