Randall Garrison's Statement on Southern Resident Killer Whales - 04/22/2016

Call On The Government of Canada To Implement an Action Plan

Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt - Saanich - Sooke, NDP): Madam Speaker, I rise once again today to call for action to save the southern resident killer whales. These whales have great spiritual significance for first nations. They are an icon for Vancouver Island and an important part of our local tourism economy.

Despite the recent baby boom they remain on the edge, especially as newborn orcas have a mortality rate exceeding 50%. The whales are doing their part but our Canadian government not so much. The sourth residents were listed as endangered in 2003 and so the Species at Risk Act requires the Government of Canada to implement an action plan for their recovery. Thirteen years and three governments later we still have no plan in place.

In 2013, I introduced a motion laying out the elements necessary for an effective recovery plan. In 2014, the Conservative government put forward a draft plan missing most of those elements, but even that weak plan is still sitting on the shelf.

I call on the Minister of the Environment to act quickly to adopt an action plan for the sourthern resident killer whales which has real action in it and the funding necessary to make sure that these orcas will continue to be here to inspire generations to come.