After gutting environmental protection under the federal Fisheries Act and cutting budgets at Parks Canada, Canada’s national parks service, the Stephen Harper government has released a five-year, $252-million conservation plan that has nothing to say about parks or wilderness. By focusing on private lands, largely through grants to the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited, the government “is trying to divest itself of the responsibility, and accountability, of conserving Canada’s environment and biodiversity,” said University of Winnipeg ecologist Diane Orihel. “A national conservation plan, in our view, would not exclude 90% of the landscape of Canada,” said Éric Hébert-Daly, Executive Director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
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