Canada needs to “go back to basics” and “do something big” to get its wildlife back on the roads, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq says.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Agluky said the federal government is “talking to a lot of provinces and territories” to “get back to the basics.”
She said it’s time for “everybody to do something big.”
Aglukkas remarks come as Canada’s wild animal populations are falling and the province of Ontario is looking to move ahead with plans to build more trails in the province.
Agluky also said the government is looking at using the power of public consultation to encourage the province to consider the benefits of expanding its wild animal programs.
“We need to get out in front of it,” she said.
“We need everyone to get together and say, ‘What’s your vision?
What’s your proposal?'”
The minister said the province has “not done a good job of talking to the public” about its plan for more trails, including one on the Kenora and St. John’s ridings, which could lead to more visitors to the parks.
She said the proposal will be examined by a provincial advisory committee that will make recommendations to help guide future programs.
Agdukkaqu said the “road to nowhere” has left the province’s wildlife systems “very, very vulnerable to extinction” and needs to be addressed.
She added that the government will also be looking at ways to help “rescue” the wildlife from areas of the province where they are “frequently, if not never, seen.”
Agdukaqu is set to attend a conference in Toronto this week to discuss the provinces proposed wildlife plans.
The minister is also expected to visit Ontario on Thursday.
She also is expected to announce the province is setting up a program that will help “sustain the conservation and management of wildlife and plants” in the provinces parks.
The federal government will be attending the conference, along with representatives from Canada, Mexico, Chile and Argentina.
Agulakkaq said the plan is an effort to “reinvent” the province, and that “we can’t just say we’re going to do this one thing.
There’s so many different things that can be done.”