Canada Quebec government to let caribou herd die off
Federal Budget 2018: Some (lesser-known) highlights, from Pharmacare to service dogs
Here are some of the most interesting and sometimes-unexpected proposals in Budget 2018 that could affect you and your family. PharmacareObservers were expecting some big potential developments on this file after it was reported that Budget 2018 would include the first small steps toward a national pharmacare program to cover the cost of prescription medications.Those first steps are definitely baby ones.The government will create an advisory council to begin “a national dialogue” on the matter and eventually recommend “options on how to move forward together.
MONTREAL - Quebec's decision to allow a small herd of caribou to die off because it would be too expensive to save them amounts to an abandonment of its reponsibility to protect wildlife, environmental activists said Friday.
The criticism came a day after Forests and Wildlife Minister Luc Blanchette announced it would be too costly to try to save the Val-d'Or caribou herd, whose habitat in northwestern Quebec has been decimated by logging and human activity.
In a video capsule published on his Facebook page, Blanchette estimated it would cost $76 million over 50 years to try to save the herd, which numbered only 18 animals when it was last counted in 2016.
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"These necessary investments are too large (when measured against) the probability of success which turns out to be very weak," he said in the video.
"The situation is sad, but we have to be reasonable. We believe it is better to put our efforts on the other 7,000 caribou of Quebec, where we still have good chances of success."
Blanchette said the government would still take measures to prevent the herd's further decline, including blocking some roads and declaring a moratorium on logging in their habitat for the 2018-2019 season.
But an environmental activist who has fought to save the caribou said the government's decision is tantamount to placing the interests of logging companies above those of wildlife.
"There has never been a will on the part of the government, and especially on the part of Mr. Blanchette, who understands absolutely nothing about the issue and who is playing exactly into the game of the logging companies," said Henri Jacob of Action Boreale.
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In a phone interview, Jacob said the government has a responsibility to try to repair the damage it caused over the last 30 years when it allowed loggers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts to overrun the forest.
He thinks the herd deserves a chance, even as he acknowledges it may be too late.
"We can't honestly say (conservation efforts) would guarantee (the herd) could be saved," he said. "But what is guaranteed is that if we do nothing, they will disappear in the next 10 years."
Greenpeace Canada also accused the government of mismanagement, and suggested Quebec's other remaining caribou herds could meet a similar demise.
"This is what happens when the government does not seriously take the conservation recommendations from scientists or First Nations," said Olivier Kolmel, head of the organization's forestry campaign.
"One wonders if other caribou in Quebec, like those in the Broadback Valley, will suffer the same fate."
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In April 2017, Blanchette drew widespread criticism after he announced the Val-d'Or herd would be transferred to a wildlife zoo in Saint-Felicien, Que.
Six weeks later, the zoo's board finally decided to refuse the transfer "in the face of social acceptability issues."
Premier Philippe Couillard reminded reporters of that plan while on an official visit to France on Friday, pointing out the community had rejected the government's proposal to save the herd.
"We continue to have a plan for the woodland caribou in the longer term, always keeping in mind....that forestry jobs are also important," Couillard said at a news conference in Paris.
Roadblocks could halt NHL playoff reform change as GMs meet .
The people have spoken -- or at least my Breakaway Blog readers -- and they want the NHL to change the playoffs.Thing is, I think the NHL would like the playoff format changed, too. And with the general managers meeting in Boca Raton this week, there may be an appetite for change. Divisional playoff races seem to lack drama at this time of year, and the cross-over wildcard seems to be a needless dud.Folks like that last place in a conference has a chance. But let them beat No. 1 first, not a series of also-rans, on the way to Stanley Cup glory.But here's the thing: Nothing's changing. Not yet. Not for a while.
Caribou conservation in Alberta
David Hervieux, Fisheries and Wildlife Program Manager with the Government of Alberta, discusses Alberta's continued focus on Caribou Recovery. Filmed in Edmonton on March 14, 2013.
CBC NL Here & Now Tuesday January 16, 2018
Here & Now - Every day, around Newfoundland and Labrador, Debbie Cooper, Anthony Germain, Ryan Snoddon, and the entire Here and Now team pull out all the stops to cover your news and weather....