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@leiren-young makes waves with our guests, and shares news about Orcas and oceans. Produced by Rayne Benu.

Elizabeth May on saving orcas, right whales, humans & oceans

Canadian federal Green Party leader, Elizabeth May (@ElizabethMay), talks about saving orcas and right whales; stopping Kinder Morgan and Bilcon and Canada’s toothless endangered species laws.

All whales matter. All cetaceans matter. All life matters.

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The Killer Whale Who Changed the World….

Gwen Barlee Memorial fund….

Check out our YouTube playlist of videos related to this Podcast Episode:

Show Notes:

  • Whale watching and the Canadian economy (1:05)
  • Cape Breton whale watching (3:15)
  • First time May saw a whale (4:00)
  • How the US company Bilcon is endangering right whales (5:40)
  • What we can do to help whales when we’re on the water (7:59)
  • Kinder Morgan and the NEB report (8:39)
  • How ocean acidification from greenhouse gases and damage to the food chains is affecting marine life (10:57)
  • Canada’s toothless endangered species laws (14:10)
  • There are only two people in charge of the recovery of all the endangered species across Canada. (20:18)
  • And much more….

Significant quotes:

“All whales matter. All cetaceans matter. All life matters."

“If you’re looking for charismatic megafauna you really can’t beat the amazing creatures that whales are – for their intelligence, for their intricate communications, for their relationships."

“The most endangered whale species in Canada is the right whale, and what we need to do is stop a company called Bilcon from the United States from getting permission to build a quarry on Digby Neck, Nova Scotia…”

“There are whales at risk all around the world, but our southern resident killer whale population is also extremely endangered. The loss of even one animal could imperil the population as a whole.”

“The number one thing we need to do to protect the southern resident killer whale population is to make sure we don’t see new pipelines that increase the tanker traffic.”

“…the Kinder Morgan proposal particularly was found even by the National Energy Board Environmental Assessment that was woefully inadequate, even they had to take account of Department of Fisheries and Oceans expert testimony that whale strikes from the increase in tanker traffic is a significant risk to the survival of the Southern Resident killer whale population.”

“We need to protect their habitat, we need to protect their food source, which means taking care of our salmon. We need to take care of, and pay attention to, the amount of noise in our marine environment… So we need to pay attention to giving them enough space.”

“…I’ve had some close encounters of the whale kind, just being on the water and being silent, and seeing what happens… When it happens, it’s quite an extraordinary experience and quite powerful, to come eye to eye with a whale.”

“Kinder Morgan’s pipeline is a threat, a direct threat, to the Southern Resident killer whale population.”

“We can’t forget the oceans. The oceans are out of sight and out of mind to those of us land animals. And the multiple threats to our oceans are growing.”

“[Ocean acidification] is a scary threat, and it’s looming, and we don’t know enough about it.”

“They need the three-quarters of this planet that is the ocean. We live on the one-quarter of this planet that’s land. But we can’t live on land without those oceans. Terrestrial species need oceans, and we tend to forget about them.”

“End our addiction to fossil fuels”

“We’re pushing as hard as we can to bring back science and to have Environment Canada have the kind of budget it needs to hire more people, so that we can actually have recovery plans for endangered species that make sense.”

“This generation, humanity now, has an obligation to stop robbing our children.”


Bilcon vs. Right Whales:

  1. Trade Deals vs. ‘Core Community Values’
  2. A remote Nova Scotian strip of land is symbolic of upcoming NAFTA fight
  3. A Nafta Battleground on the Shores of Canada 

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