Is Canada trying its best to protect species at risk?

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A piping plover recently photographed on the shores of a Floridian beach, weeks after Hurricane Irma. Origins in Sauble Beach, Ontario. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE AFTERNOON BIRDER)
A piping plover recently photographed on the shores of a Floridian beach, weeks after Hurricane Irma. Origin: Sauble Beach, Ontario. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE AFTERNOON BIRDER)

The process of species profiling occurs for a diverse range of purposes. From research and diagnostic initiatives, to threat detection and conservation analysis, profiling wildlife species is an ever-growing phenomenon worldwide which works to strengthen biological diversity and ecological study of a nation. Without such practice, native ecosystems, and related ecological significance, would deteriorate. It is a country’s duty to recognize species at risk and educate its citizens accordingly on the broad impacts of dwindling species in their homeland.

However, one must question whether the governments, or other political parties, share the same mindset. For Canada, protecting species at risk has not always been a priority in parliament. While Canada and its government continue to correct their malicious past, efforts in effectively establishing collaborative relations with environmental affairs remains weak. Of course, the term “environment” carries a much better connotation today than it may have a couple of decades ago. It is important to realize that the environmental industry is quickly growing, but are we as a nation really adapting to accept its significance?

In June of 2017, the PC Conservative party reaped criticism over the Liberal’s decision to fund a $200,000-dollar attraction, which saw a six-storey tall duck float around in six Ontario port-side communities. Whilst such division was occurring in parliament, provincial and federal politicians stood completely oblivious to flooding events that unfortunately contributed to billions of litres of raw sewage entering the Lake Ontario basin. This obviously proves that the Government of Canada is still naïve when it comes to environmental concerns within the country. Perhaps the time wasted debating over a duck would have been better spent analysing Toronto’s storm water and waste diversion infrastructure, or discussing the possibility of expanding the Species at Risk Act—accounting for the substantial amount of species still not classified within the act.

When it comes to the question of doing more in protecting species at risk, there certainly can be lots of improvements to the current system. Personally, I believe that the environmental sector is one of the brightest sectors to date. Continuing to educate youth on the importance of wildlife protection—be it at risk species or not—will play a vital role in expanding Canada’s environmental protection pursuit. The government also has a significant role ahead: they must prioritize, or simply get their “ducks in a row”, shall the Citizens wish for a better and brighter ecological future. Citizens drive the core values of Parliament, so stand up for what you believe in.

Joseph Gentile – Editor and freelancer of environmental affairs,