The Canadian Endangered Species Protection Act

WHEREAS, it is a well-known fact that the Earth's biodiversity is becoming increasingly threatened; and

WHEREAS, the problem of extinction is so universal and important to humans that cooperation between countries and even continent- wide efforts are essential; and

WHEREAS, Canada is a crucial component in the preservation of North America's wild animals and plants; and

WHEREAS, the governments of Canada and the United States recently signed a Framework for Cooperation between Environment Canada and the U.S. Department of the Interior in the Protection and Recovery of Wild Species at Risk, under which the two countries have agreed to work together to protect populations of shared wildlife species; and

WHEREAS, the federal legislation regarding the protection of endangered species is not complementary between the two countries; and

WHEREAS, Canada was one of the first nations to ratify the Biodiversity Convention at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June, 1992, and has made a formal commitment to introduce a federal endangered species protection act, and did so in good faith in October 1996; and

WHEREAS, Canada currently is the host nation to the Secretariat of the aforementioned Convention; and

WHEREAS, the Standing Committee on Environment amended the newly introduced Canadian Endangered Species Protection Act (Bill C-65), following a thorough public review process including hearings and submissions by members of all possible stakeholders; and

WHEREAS, the amended Bill C-65 is a healthy step in the right direction towards federal protection of Canada's endangered and threatened wildlife, but falls far short of providing for the preservation of the habitats of species at risk; and

WHEREAS, the listing process must be based on objective scientific information and not subject to lobbying by political interest groups; and

WHEREAS, Canada is well-represented by highly trained and educated biologists in the membership of the American Society of Mammalogists;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the American Society of Mammalogists, meeting at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 14-18 June 1997, requests the Prime Minister of Canada (1) to firmly commit to the reintroduction of an Endangered Species Protection Act that is more protective of endangered and threatened species and their habitats than the current form, (2) not to undermine the improvements made to the Bill by the Standing Committee after its original tabling, (3) seek to strengthen it in the areas of habitat protection and make the listing process as scientifically-based as possible, and (4) pledge to see it through its passage in the next session of the new Parliament.