Members of Parliament have the opportunity to be champions for species at risk in Canada.
Last night, Nature Canada - along with the All Party International Conservation Caucus, conservation partners Ecojustice, David Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Defence, and industry partners Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) - hosted MPs on Parliament Hill for a Species At Risk reception and awareness event. The event was supported by the Ivey Foundation, MAC and FPAC.
Dubbed "Help Make SARA Work," this joint event highlighted the consensus among environmental groups and industry associations that Canada needs a strong Species At Risk Act (SARA) to protect our at-risk species and their habitats. Strong legislation is good for business and for conservation initiatives.
The mandatory five-year review of SARA started this Spring in the House of Commons Environment Committee and needs to resume as soon as possible; endangered species can't afford to wait any longer for the law to protect them. This review is the time for MPs to get involved, assess the Act, and ensure that it lives up to its potential as potent legislation to conserve the biodiversity of our forests, lakes, grasslands, rivers, mountains and oceans.
To encourage them to learn more about species at risk and SARA, each MP was presented with a trading card showing a species from their constituency. A highlight of the evening occurred when Justin Trudeau offered to trade his Olive-sided Flycatcher for Linda Duncan's Woodland Caribou.
We appreciate everyone who came to the event and encourage them to get involved and help make SARA work. Together, we can protect Canada's species and habitats today and for the future.
Photo: Canada Warbler by Jeff Nadler. The Canada Warbler is listed as "Threatened" under the Species At Risk Act.