Canada Fidgets and Fudges on Polar Bear Protection

In a news release today, Canada's Environment Minister John Baird responded to a Status Assessment of Polar Bears the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The Committee announced a status assessment of "special concern," much as it did in 1991, 1999, and 2002.

"Our Government believes that the polar bear is an iconic symbol of Canada," said Baird. "As such, we also believe we have a responsibility to ensure its population is strong and its future is certain."

"Today's assessment by COSEWIC is a first step towards learning all we can about the polar bear," said Baird. "By August of this year, we will learn much more after receiving complete scientific data of all the work of the Committee."

"Let me see," said Captain Paul Watson. "If the special concern for the polar bear was issued in 1991, 1999 and 2002, how can this be considered a first step? What more is needed to be learned before action can be taken? This is just another case of a Minister of the Harper government saying that he does not intend to do anything at all except to spout nonsense in a frail attempt to have Canadians believe something will be done."

After COSEWIC's official report is received in August, the Minister will issue a statement outlining how the Government of Canada will proceed in order to come to a decision on Polar Bear listing.

"As Minister of the Environment, I will be launching an immediate dialogue with a number of groups, from environmentalists, to scientists, and wildlife management boards to get their feedback and advice on this issue as we go forward," said Baird.

"You can bet he won't be talking to me or anyone else who really wants to do something about protecting polar bears," said Captain Watson. "We need more conservation and less conversation if we are going to save this magnificent animal from extinction."

The Minster continued with his charade by saying, "Most importantly, as Minister, I have an obligation to work directly with the Inuit, not only out of a constitutional responsibility, but because so much of their history, culture and way of life are affected by this majestic animal," said Baird. "This Government cares about the future of the polar bear and as Minister of the Environment, I am committed to action."

"What the Minister is saying is that the government will not interfere with the big bucks the Inuit bring in from bringing sadistic foreign hunters in to whack bears for sexual pleasure," said Captain Watson. "I would love to see the day when a Federal government Minister in Canada commits himself to "action."

Management of the approximately 15,000 Polar Bears in Canada falls under the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories. Environment Canada plays an important role by providing scientific expertise on Polar Bears.
"So if Environment Canada has all this scientific expertise than what more information and data does the government need to make a decision?" asked Captain Watson.

COSEWIC is an independent scientific committee comprised of experts from federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as other scientists and Aboriginal experts. COSEWIC assesses the status of the wildlife in Canada, based on the best scientific, community and Aboriginal knowledge available. Certain Environment Canada scientists are members of COSEWIC and provide science expertise for the development of these assessments.

COSEWIC has done an excellent job of assessing this, the problem is that the government has chosen to ignore their findings.

It won't be long until the only polar bears left in Canada will be on the $2 coins that Canadians refer to by the ridiculous name of Toonies.

"I prefer Doubloon myself," said Captain Watson. "After all the dollar is a Loon and two dollars is a Double Loon. But more importantly I prefer the real bears and I would prefer that Canada stop allowing them to be slaughtered by men with issues and inadequacies."


The Ghostly Wraith
By Captain Paul Watson

Like a ghostly wraith he drifted through the heavy snow and sleet,
Powerful muscles rippling, eyes taking in every dropping snowflake
Upon the ice he trod quietly on massive padded giant feet,
He lowered his head to lick the ice, his mighty thirst to slake.

Monarch of a whitish kingdom, unblemished and remote
Whiter than the Arctic snow at forty-eight below,
There is no garment on this Earth as warm as his white coat
With razor sharp ebony claws manicured into every toe.

He is living, walking, gleaming, iron, smiling, stoic and enduring,
There is no danger that he dreads, his dire anger strikes deadly fear,
He hides within the powdered snow, unwary seals he's luring.
And men who try to track him often turn to find him to their rear.

He is Nanook, Lord of the frozen North.
His strength doth spread across the top of the entire world,
And all life trembles to see his silhouette as he strides boldly forth
Stalking through flickering darkness with the Northern Lights unfurled.

Those lights that define both polar space and time,
Lights dancing with greenish hues and silvered all ablaze
The Aurora and the bears movements both with nature rhyme.
As the one moves through the shadow of the other in a blinding haze.

And so it has been for thousands of years but not for a hundred more,
For now the ice melts underfoot and the wary seals grow rare,
The ice no longer extends from rocky shore to rocky shore,
And no longer can Nanook stride forth barely without a care.

His days are numbered as the ice retreats and the seals move far away,
Once he moved without fear, a life both noble and free,
But now his fate lies on the scales and there is nothing he can do or say,
For in a hundred years, no more will he walk upon the frozen sea.

There are few animals with such majestic flowing grace,
There are few whose babies are so deceptively cute,
A savage merciless temper masked by an innocent face,
Victim of pathetic men with little dicks that shoot.

In a fair fight, he would win, yes he would win for sure every time,
But little in this time and space is fair for plant or beast,
As mighty rivers grow sick and die and turn to putrid slime,
As species after species fade with the never-ending feast.

I watched him walk and his trail broke through the crusted snow,
His footfalls grew heavy as he searched for ice holes now long gone,
His body was growing lean and still the seals did not show,
In his mind he knew not why, but he knew something was very wrong.

I followed his tracks over the chalky waste, seeing sadness in every step
He was clinging to life as best he could in that vast white domain,
And at nightfall up to his silent unmoving form I cautiously crept,
And saw at once that his breath had ceased and so also had his pain.

I placed my hand upon his broad savage brow and felt that it was still warm,
I saw his eye, blue, and deep open wide in a vacant stare,
And in that eye I saw reflected the face of death upon my human form,
For life goes on each day down south and the fate of bears stirs not a care.

The wind blows harsh and silently across the frozen splendour of the North,
The Northern Lights still blaze in a spectacular symphony so rare,
But Nanook no longer prowls the ice or across the tundra sallies forth,
The Northern winds will mourn forever the passing of the bear.