Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sable Island Seals

On September 22, Liz and a number of others met with Parks Canada staff to discuss Sable Island. Present at the meeting were Barry Kent-McKay (Born Free Foundation), Rebecca Aldworth (Humane Society International Canada), David Lavigne (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and Bridget Curran (Atlantic Canadian Anti-Sealing Coalition).

After reviewing a number of documents, Animal Alliance presented a report to Parks Canada, all of which is available on-line at http://www.environmentvoters.org/Resources.html.

If you haven't already, please send a letter to the Honourable Gail Shea - we must make our elected officials understand that Sable Island must be left untouched. Personal letters are best but a sign-on letter is available to download, also at the above link.

From the Parks Canada website:

The following steps give an overview and outline of the expected sequence of events for Sable Island:

• Public consultations to secure public comment on the conservation, management and operational issues associated with the designation of Sable Island as a national park;

• Consultations with the Mi’kmaq and other key stakeholders;

• The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia would then negotiate any required park
establishment agreement;

• The federal government would then introduce legislation resulting in the legal designation of Sable Island as a national park of Canada;

• Parks Canada would then prepare a management plan, outlining key strategies and detailed objectives regarding ecological integrity, visitor experience and public education.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Elk Under Fire

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) is proposing a hunt of a tiny population of 467 elk in the Bancroft/North Hastings area, not far from Algonquin Park.

Historically, elk were widespread across North America. But by the 1800s, human settlement and overhunting caused the eastern elk to be totally wiped out. The OMNR undertook an elk restoration programme and 10 years ago released 443 western elk from Elk Island National Park in Alberta to four locations in Ontario.

Of the 443, 104 were released in Lake of the Woods, 47 in Lake Huron North Shore, 172in Nipissing/French River and 120 in Bancroft/North Hastings. Only the Bancroft/North Hastings herds which have increased from 120 in 2000 to 467 in 2010 are under fire.

Because of intense pressure from hunting and agricultural interests, the OMNR staff are proposing a hunt of the tiny Bancroft/North Hastings elk population. OMNR staff argue that the Bancroft/North Hastings population can sustain a hunt, even though under any other circumstances these elk would be considered endangered. In addition, OMNR staff will consider allowing farmers to hire agents to shoot any elk who are damaging agricultural property.

Six notices, all pertaining to the management of these elk, are posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry. The deadline for comment on all six postings is October 14, 2010.

We need your help to stop this proposed hunt. Please click here for a sign-on letter to Minister Jeffrey and mail it as quickly as possible. The OMNR must protect the elk from the hunting lobby. The letter includes the EBR Numbers that apply to this issue. They need to be referenced so that your comments are taken into consideration by OMNR staff. If you wish to send in a hand written letter, please be sure to include all the EBR numbers.

Thank you for helping!

Liz, Lia and the AAEVPC crew

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sable Island Seals

Well, things have been chugging along.

Our financial statements were submitted and have been accepted by Elections Canada. Statements for all federal parties can be viewed on-line on the Elections Canada website.

Liz (and representatives from a number of other animal protection groups) is in Halifax today, meeting with Parks Canada to discuss Sable Island. Sable Island is a beautiful crescent-shaped sandbar in the Atlantic Ocean, home to the largest grey seal population in the world and the renowned ‘Sable Island Ponies’, among other species.

The Federal government’s decision earlier this year to declare the island a National Park gives us the unique opportunity to ensure our input, regarding the Park’s policies, is heard. Policies must be progressive, allowing nature to evolve naturally, as it has for hundreds of years.

We have much work to do to protect the Island from Parks Canada’s recent history of killing as one of their primary means to parks management. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to read the October 2009 document prepared for Fisheries and Oceans Canada entitled "Logistical Evaluation of Options to Manage the Grey Seal Population on Sable Island". We must make our elected officials understand that Sable Island must be left untouched.