Here is a Child’s Story to Consider While Ford Government Moves Forward With Plans to Gut Endangered Species Act

Old Storybook Tells Tale Of Children’s Concern For Caribou  

Students Created The Book To Express Their Fear That Coastal Caribou Could Disappear

A News Release from Ontario Nature, a province-wide advocacy group for protecting and preserving Ontario’s natural heritage

Posted May 17, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Thunder Bay, Ontario – The Recent Discovery Of A Children’s Storybook About Saving Caribou Shows That Fear For The Animal’s Future Is Not New.

A Woodland caribou. Photo courtesy of Paul Tessier and Ontario Nature.

Nearly 20 Years Ago, Elementary Students At Schreiber Public School Wrote The Book To Voice Their Concern That Caribou On The Slate Islands Off The Northern Coast Of Lake Superior Could Disappear.

Mirabai Alexander Was One Of Those Students. Growing Up In Rossport, And Now An Ecologist Working For A Conservation Organization In Thunder Bay, She Reflects On A Time When There Were More Than One Hundred Caribou Estimated To Live On The Slate Islands.

Under The Guidance Of Staff And Teachers, The Students Wrote Stories That Highlighted Threats Faced By The Island’s Caribou. They Also Created Pictures To Illustrate Their Fascination With This Iconic Animal Of Northern Ontario.

Unfortunately, The Warning The Storybook Gave Was Ignored.

The Population Of Caribou Along The Lake Superior Coast And Its Islands Has Plummeted In Recent Years. Caribou Populations On The Mainland Are Also Declining.

“It’s Shocking To Witness Caribou Virtually Disappear From This Area In My Lifetime,” Says Mirabai Alexander, Who Runs Ontario Nature’s Nature-Based Tourism Program. “Working For Several Summers Supporting A Tourism Outfitter In Rossport, I Saw How Caribou Contribute To Tourism In Northwestern Ontario – The Buzz Word Was Always ‘Caribou’ When Kayakers Came Back From A Trip To The Slates, That’s What Made Their Eyes Light Up.”

When Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007 (Esa) Was Drafted A Dozen Years Ago, It Was Heralded As A Gold Standard Of Environmental Legislation. Since Then, The Provincial Government Has Enacted Widespread Exemptions And Proposed Changes To The Esa That Further Threaten The Species The Act Is Meant To Protect. The Current Government Is Considering Additional Changes Which Would Undermine Caribou Protection.

Roads, Logging, Mining And Other Industrial Activities Are Fragmenting The Animal’s Habitat And Disrupting Predator-Prey Systems. Some Caribou Populations Have Declined To The Point That Their Future Survival Is In Doubt.

 The Book Can Be Seen And Downloaded From: View.Publitas.Com/On-Nature/Hope-For-The-Caribou.

Ontario Nature Protects Wild Species And Wild Spaces Through Conservation, Education And Public Engagement. Ontario Nature Is A Charitable Organization Representing More Than 30,000 Members And Supporters, And 150 Member Groups Across Ontario.

Through Its Office In Thunder Bay, Ontario Nature Promotes Conservation In Northern Ontario By Supporting Grassroots Groups To Protect The Places They Love, Ensuring Habitat Protection Through Forest Certification, And Promoting Sustainable Development That Safeguards Ecosystems And Long-Term Prosperity.

For More Information, Visit Ontarionature.Org.

A Brief Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

If you think things are bad now with Doug Ford in charge in Ontario, can you imagine how much worse it will be if federal Tory leader Andrew Scheer is elected prime minister of Canada this fall? We can kiss what is left of Canada’s natural heritage goodbye. The president to the south of us would love it though.

If you care about the health of our environment and natural world around us, don’t let the destructive “open for business” agendas of the Ford Conservatives in Ontario and the Andrew Scheer Conservatives at the federal level put what are left of our green places and the creatures who inhabit them on the chopping block.

Contact your MPP in Ontario and your MP at the federal level and let them know you care about our natural heritage, and get involved in environmental groups and nature clubs in your area, and support their efforts to protect and preserve the nature around us.

If there are no environmental groups or nature clubs in your community, consider getting together with your friends and neighbours and organizing one.

Don’t sit back let the likes of Ford and Scheer plunder what is left of our natural heritage. Once it is gone, there is no getting it back.

To read a related story on the Ford government’s war on our environment, click on – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/doug-ford-climate-change-environment-plan-1.5104740 .

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

 A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at http://www.niagaraatlarge.com .

“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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