Ottawa – Karen Ludwig, Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest today introduced Motion 154, which would mandate the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to undertake a study on the situation of endangered whales in Canada, including right, beluga, and killer whales. Their populations are currently estimated at 450, 900, and 76 respectively.
“Living on the Bay of Fundy, my interests in the protection and recovery of whales was initially based on my experience locally, and what they mean to us from ecological, cultural, and economic standpoint. The dramatic loss of 17 right whales during 2017 heightened my interest, resulting in Motion 154,” said Ludwig. “With two other whale species at risk, the Southern Resident killer whale and the St. Lawrence Estuary beluga, it was clear that it was time for action and Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast are deeply concerned about the long-term protection and recovery of these magnificent mammals.”
This motion will ask that the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans consider, among other things, steps that could be taken to better protect and help the recovery of right, beluga, and killer whales, identify immediate and longer-term improvements limiting the impact of human activities on each of these species, and add to recovery efforts and to recommendations for new or enhanced actions.
This committee of Parliamentarians will strive to look at ways our government can facilitate the preservation of three iconic species of whales. This will be an historic opportunity for parliamentarians to hear from industries, fisherman, environmentalists, and look for a whole of government strategies to help preserve these animals, while balancing the commercial considerations.
Ms. Ludwig’s motion will be up for the first hour of debate, as a Private Members Motion, on April 23.