At a meeting this week, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee expressed serious concern about the continued deterioration of Wood Buffalo National Park and warned Canada the site could be added to the List of World Heritage in Danger, Wayne Stetski, MP for Kootenay-Columbia said in a media release.
Stetski added the NDP is once again calling on the Liberal government to better protect Canada’s largest national park.
“UNESCO’s findings should be a wake-up call for the Liberal government. Continued expansion of the oilsands threatens our natural heritage and the climate,” Stetski explained.
“We must protect both for our future generations. It would be an international embarrassment if Wood Buffalo National Park loses its World Heritage Status because of this Liberal government’s inaction.”
Wood Buffalo National Park is located in northeastern Alberta and the southern Northwest Territories. It is the second-largest national park in the world, larger than the country of Switzerland.
Stetski said UNESCO has been reviewing the state of the park following a request by the Mikisew Cree First Nation.
The park is home to the world’s largest herd of free-ranging bison, as well as the only nesting ground of endangered whooping cranes. The Committee has given Canada until December 2020 to provide risk assessments of the Site C Dam and adjacent oilsands development.
“As Canada seeks World Heritage Site designation for additional deserving sites, including Writing On Stone Provincial Park in southern Alberta, UNESCO will understandably be querying the credibility of this government to commit the resources needed to genuinely protect a world heritage site,” said Stetski, the NDP Deputy Critic for Environment and Climate Change Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona).
Stetski said unlike Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, a New Democrat government will protect 30% of our land, freshwater, and oceans by 2030 and back those protections with funding and enforcement.
Stetski is gearing up for the upcoming Federal Election is set for Monday, October 21.
The Kootenay Columbia MP, who won the riding in 2015 by a narrow margin, is being challenged by Rob Morrison of the Conservative Party and Rick Stewart of the newly formed People’s Party of Canada.
Currently Abra Brynne of Nelson and Kerri Wall of Fernie are running to represent the Green Party Kootenay-Columbia riding. Both candidates are in Revelstoke Sunday to meet with party members before a vote on July 14th.
The Liberal party has yet to name its candidate for the fall election.