The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
I am writing to inform you Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has made a positive difference for Canada’s 30 accredited zoos and aquariums, thank you.
This is also an open invitation to you and your family to visit any facility in Canada. We want to show you how accredited zoos and aquariums strike a balance between health and safety and the business side of our sector.
Our accreditation program uses the best animal care and operational practices from around the world that position Canada as a world leader. Our accreditation process builds in monitoring rigour, an additional layer of accountability. During this pandemic animal welfare can not be compromised, with the help of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan animals at accredited zoos and aquariums have remained safe and healthy.
As Canadian provinces begin to re-open and the economy comes back to life, it will be more important than ever to be diligent. Our member facilities have begun to re-open using health and safety protocols that build out from provincial guidelines. Accredited zoos and aquariums have been sharing best practices for many weeks to protect the animals, staff and the visiting public.
As an organization, CAZA has joined others in the travel and tourism industry at the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable calling on governments to strike a needed balance between health and business. We believe it can be achieved, Canada’s accredited zoos and aquariums are doing it.
A targeted approach to boarder control from EU countries is an example of balancing health and economics. Many EU countries have achieved COVID-19 safety levels that permit greater travel and economic activity. We accept the caution thus far when it comes to our American neighbours. Canadians need to feel safe, when they do travel this summer, they need to have the confidence health concerns are balanced with economic.
Each year CAZA facilities welcome 12M visitors, they come from all parts of Canada and the world. Our safety plans were written with the knowledge they would only be implemented when authorities felt it was safe to do so. Accredited zoos and aquariums are welcoming back visitors while respecting health protocols. The June through August period is a critical one for the survival of our accredited members, intra-provincial and inter-provincial tourism travel are fundamental to their success.
These are difficult times, through open dialogue, an understanding of perspectives and the need for a balanced approach, we believe there is a path forward for government to promote healthy travel and tourism in 2020.
Again, thank you for the financial support through this unprecedented time. I hope we have an opportunity to show you and your family the level of attention accredited zoos give to achieving a health and economic equilibrium.
Executive Director & CEO
cc: African Lion Safari, Mike Takacs
Aquarium du Québec, Elizabeth Tessier
Assiniboine Park Zoo, Grant Furniss
BC Wildlife Park, Glenn Grant
Biodôme de Montréal, Yves Paris
Bird Kingdom, Marilyn Vann
Calgary Zoo, Clément Lanthier
Polar Bear Habitat, J.P. Bradette
Ecomuseum Zoo, David Rodrigue
Edmonton Valley Zoo, Lindsey Galloway
Granby Zoo, Paul Gosselin
Greater Vancouver Zoo, Serge Lussier
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, Paul Goulet
Magnetic Hill Zoo, Jill Marvin
Parc Omega, Charles deReinach
Parc Safari, Véronique Ranger
Regent Casino, Katie Sheppard
Reptilia, Maddie MacLean
Ripley’s Aquarium Canada, Peter Doyle
Riverview Park and Zoo, Jim Moloney
Safari Niagara, Tim Tykolis
Saskatoon Forestry Farm, Jeff Mitchell
Science North, Angelique Denis
Toronto Zoo, Dolf Dejong
Vancouver Aquarium, Clint Wright
Marine Life, West Edmonton Mall, Kim Walker
Yukon Wildlife Preserve, Jake Paleczny
Zoo Sauvage St. Félicien, Lauraine Gagnon