Fin in the House: Calling for the an emergency order to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales

Mr. Fin Donnelly (Port Moody—Coquitlam, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, with just 76 southern resident killer whales remaining, people are worried they will be extinct unless the government takes immediate action. Increased tanker traffic from Kinder Morgan, ocean pollution, and drastically low Chinook numbers pose serious threats to this iconic species and its recovery. Canadians are demanding the ministers of environment and fisheries issue an emergency order under the Species at Risk Act to protect southern resident killer whales.

    Will the government do the right thing and immediately issue an emergency order to keep these whales from being wiped from the face of this planet?


Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, we share our colleague's concern about the importance of protecting the southern resident killer whale population in British Columbia. This is an iconic species for all Canadians. That is why our government announced an ambitious $1.5 billion oceans protection plan, with significant investments in science, in partnerships with indigenous communities up and down the coast, to do what is necessary to ensure that these iconic mammals are in fact protected and the species recovers. I am going to be making management decisions around Chinook salmon, for example, that will be part of a solution to ensure the recovery of these whales.