November 29, 2013 4:42 pm
Updated: November 29, 2013 4:50 pm

Vancouver Island MP launches petition to save endangered orcas

Offshore killer whales are off the west coast of Vancouver Island in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ HO- Brian Gellis

File photo/THE CANADIAN PRESS/
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A Vancouver Island MP has launched a petition to protect B.C.’s last remaining 81 endangered southern resident killer whales.

Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison is gathering signatures in support of a motion he says addresses key threats to the survival of orcas.

Garrison hopes to bring the petition to the House of Commons when it resumes sitting in January.

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Motion M-460 calls for federal support for research and programs, measures to decrease noise and chemical pollution in the Salish Sea and measures to increase Chinook salmon stocks, Harrison wrote in the Sooke News Mirror.

“While Vancouver Islanders recognize the importance of this majestic species to our local economy and local cultures, the Conservatives continue to cut funding for orca research and monitoring programs, to cut jobs for DFO scientists who monitor Chinook stocks, noise pollution and chemical pollution in the Pacific Ocean, and to ignore their legal obligation to protect species that have been designated as endangered under the Species At Risk Act,” Garrison said.

The petition will be available at high schools, MLA community offices, the Cetus Research and Conservation Society and the Vancouver Island Anglers Association.

Garrison said the government needs to act now to protect the orcas, which were designated endangered in 10 years ago.

“Time is running out to save the southern resident killer whales and we will not give up the fight to preserve these orcas along with local jobs and a sustainable environment, not only for whales, but also for our children and families,” Garrison said.

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