OTTAWA (May 28, 2021) –
Dear Minister Elliott,
Ontario’s accredited zoos and aquariums understand the current pandemic is a health crisis, we also believe it is one we can safely operate in. In 2020, accredited zoos and aquariums across Ontario, 11 in all, led the way in providing visitors with a safe experience. We did it then, we can do it again.
Ontario’s capacity to administer vaccinations has demonstrated it can handle whatever quantity of vaccines are supplied. Government data illustrates we are ahead of schedule, this hopefully will result in an earlier implementation of phase one of the Government’s Roadmap to Reopen.
In Step One, limited retail and stores in Malls that have a street facing entrance are permitted to open. All 6 CAZA members in Ontario who are currently not permitted to open until phase three, have street facing entrances and are prepared to operate at limited capacity. Our members just want to open, we can, and have done it safely.
Minister, we respectfully request the following:
- That Step One be moved-up, and beginning as soon as possible; and
- that all of Ontario’s accredited zoos and aquariums be included in Step One.
CAZA members want to help your Government have a “great July” (to quote Premier Ford), waiting until July 26th will not do that.
Thank you for your consideration.
cc: The Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
The Hon. Sylvia Jones, MPP – Solicitor General
The Hon. Lisa MacLeod, MPP – Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
Mr. Dolf Dejong, CEO – Toronto Zoo
Mr. Peter Doyle, General Manager – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Mr. Mike Takacs, President – African Lion Safari
Mr. Paul Goulet, Founder & CEO, Little Ray’s Nature Centres
Mr. Kevin Dungey, Zoo Director – Little Ray’s Hamilton
Mr. Paul Buhay, Acting Manager – Polar Bear Habitat
Mr. Jim Moloney, Manager and Curator – Riverview Park and Zoo
Mr. Travis Small, COO – Reptilia
Mr. Tim Tykolis, Owner – Safari Niagara
Ms. Marilyn Vann, Owner, Manager – Bird Kingdom
Ms. Meghan Mitchell, Staff Scientist – Science North