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Canadian Projects

Canadian Blog

by Barry Kent MacKay,
Senior Program Associate

Born Free USA's Canadian Representative

Barry is an artist, both with words and with paint. He has been associated with our organization for nearly three decades and is our go-to guy for any wildlife question. He knows his animals — especially birds — and the issues that affect them. His blogs will give you just the tip of his wildlife-knowledge iceberg, so be sure to stay and delve deeper into his Canadian Project articles. If you like wildlife and reading, Barry's your man. (And we're happy to have him as part of our team, too!)

‘On Parade’

Kid’s Book on the Hidden World of Animals in Entertainment

Published 11/29/10

Who knew? I certainly never dreamed that my longtime friend, Rob Laidlaw — spelunker, chartered biologist, world traveller and founder and fellow director of Zoocheck-Canada — had this secret talent: He’s a terrific writer for kids. It’s a talent I learned about just two years ago with the publication of his first book, “Wild Animals in Captivity,” a finalist for the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award for nonfiction, placed on the School Library Journal’s best books of 2008 list and on the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Top 40 list for 2008.

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Can Politicians Actually Think?

Comments in the United States, Actions in Canada Suggest Too Many Can’t

Published 11/22/10

Imagine an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Now imagine a man with an eyedropper and a bottle of black ink, walking around the pool’s edge. At midnight, each day, he puts a single drop of ink into the pool, no matter what part of the parameter he is passing at that exact moment. Two weeks later can we see a difference? No. A year later? Nope. The 365 dissolved drops of ink are miniscule compared to the volume of the water.

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Terrorists Attack the United States

Day By Day, Americans Hurt or Killed Without Taking Much Notice

Published 11/15/10

Sept. 11 is a sad date, when, on both sides of the border, we remember the victims of the greatest act of terrorism ever committed on American soil. And two months later, Nov. 11, is another sad day for many of us as we remember our war dead on what is called Remembrance Day, here in Canada, and Veterans Day in the United States.

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Giant Pandamonium

Should Canada Rent Giant Pandas?

Published 11/12/10

November began with the announcement that after years of international negotiations China would send a “breeding pair” of giant pandas to Canada, for 15 years, with each of three zoos having the pandas for five years each. The zoos are the Calgary Zoo, the Granby Zoo, in Quebec, and the Toronto Zoo.

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Bad News, Good News, Bad News

Restriction on Seal Products to Europe Upheld

Published 11/08/10

Ladies and gentlemen, I would now like to present the International Award for Unintended Irony to Mary Simon, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada’s national Inuit organization.

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Another Kinder Response to a Bear in Canada

Published 11/04/10

In a recent blog (“Soft Landing Bears Witness to Improved Neighborhood Relations”) I reported about the black bear who, hungry as winter was starting to close in, wandered into the mountain town of Whistler, British Columbia, climbed a tree, and was subsequently tranquilized and removed. The cops had tried to just do what would have been better, and let the bear wander off on his own, but curious citizens interfered and finally a conservation officer had to tranquilize the bear. In the old days the poor thing would have been shot dead.

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Fines Raised for Livestock Transport Violations

Canada Takes Step in Right Direction

Published 11/01/10

A few years ago a colleague in Toronto asked me if I could help her process a batch of reports. “Sure,” I said, not realizing the angst they’d cause me as I helped decipher handwritten scrawls.

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Soft Landing Bears Witness to Improved Neighborhood Relations

British Columbia’s Whistler Does (Almost) the Right Thing

Published 10/25/10

Mid-October is betwixt and between weather for the mountain town of Whistler, British Columbia, best known for its ski runs and charming chalets. But it is usually too soon for skiing, with the snow yet to come. For some members of the surrounding countryside, the snow has another role to play. It goads you into committing to a long, deep winter’s sleep — if, that is, you are a bear.

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