March 23, 2020
Dear Member of Parliament:
As you prepare to debate, and hopefully pass COVID-19 assistance legislation this week, the zoo and aquarium industry asks that non-profits and charities be included. By way of example, we believe the proposed 10% wage subsidy to be insufficient.
Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) is the voice of zoos and aquariums in Canada. We are the leading organization in Canadian animal welfare standards development, our accreditation process includes expert standards set by leading researchers, biologists, and academia that ensure we reflect the latest in animal welfare research, organizational management, and public safety protocols.
Our members form an important part of the Canadian cultural fabric and economic engine. Our members welcome 12M visitors each year, impact the economies of local communities of all sizes. Zoo and aquariums are destinations on to themselves attracting local and international visitors to Canada.
Our business realities are not different than any other business; we also have the additional responsibilities of our animals. Operating to the industry’s highest standard of care, members are very focused on ensuring no harm comes to the animals. Our veterinarians and animal care staff are maintaining a high level of care during these very trying days.
The impact on visitations to our member’s institutions will be such that members expect significant monetary losses; some could face the reality of not being viable going forward. Layoffs have already begun.
Should you need more information I can be reached via email, Skype or mobile phone.
Jim Facette, Executive Director
Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums