Conservative Senator Nicole Eaton doesn’t like Beavers
Posted by Ethan Clow on October 31, 2011
In the category of “are they seriously talking about this?” is the news that for Conservative Senator Nicole Eaton, Canada’s national emblem the beaver, simply doesn’t cut it and should be replaced by with the Polar Bear.
And yes, just so everyone is aware, I realize that the term beaver is sometimes used as immature euphemism for the female genital area. We at Radio Freethinker are far to mature for such slang and there will be no such jokes along those lines. Let’s move on.
We are serious about the news story. The Globe and Mail reports that Senator Eaton, who was appointed by Stephen Harper in 2009 doesn’t consider the beaver a worthy emblem. She is quoted in the article as saying:
“Many accuse the dentally defective rat of being a nuisance that wreaks havoc on farmlands, roads, lakes, streams and tree plantations,”
Apparently she’s a fan of the north and believes that the polar bear is a more potent symbol of Canada, quoted in the same article:
“A country’s symbols are not constant and can change over time as long as they reflect the ethos of the people and the spirit of the nation.”
The senator said the polar bear is more noble and rugged.
“The polar bear is the world’s largest terrestrial carnivore and Canada’s most majestic and splendid mammal,” she said, noting it “survives in the harshest climate and terrain in the world.”
The irony of course is that polar bear may not survive much longer to be an emblem of Canada if the threat of climate change continues to go unheeded. According to the World Wildlife Foundation polar bears face a number of major challenges thanks to the changing climate. Further:
In the southern range of polar bears, the shorter sea ice season has decreased the amount of time bears can hunt for their prey. Sea ice break-up keeps these bears on shore. This forces them to spend the summer without significant feeding, relying on their fat stores from the previous summer to survive.
Many polar bears now suffer from malnutrition and others face starvation, especially females with cubs. Polar bear populations in Canada’s Hudson Bay have declined by 22 percent since the 1990s and researchers predict up to 73 percent of pregnant females in this population could fail to bring their cubs to term, given current and anticipated sea ice conditions.
Perhaps if Senator Eaton is so impressed with polar bears she would endorse some significant climate change legislation to help improve their lot in life. Not only did the Harper government dump the 1998 Kyoto Accord (we’re 31% above target on reducing green house gases) but Canada is in danger of failing to live up to the most recent climate change accord, the Copenhagen Accord, which calls for a 17 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Senator Eaton may think this is a cute way to get some press (I’m just guessing about that, I don’t know her true motives) but at the very least I’d recommend a thorough history lesson on the role beavers played in Canada’s history and since she loves polar bears so much, an ecological lesson on what’s going to happen to them if we don’t do something about climate change in Canada.
Here’s her email address.