Thunder Bay MP works to save monarch butterflies
John Rafferty tables 'kind of funny' motion to stop decline in butterfly population
John Rafferty is using his passion for monarch butterflies to convince others that Canada should contribute to saving them.
The NDP MP for Thunder Bay - Rainy River tabled a motion in Parliament last month asking the government to "address the decline in the monarch butterfly population..."
"I know when I talk to people they say 'oh, that's kind of a funny motion to bring forward for the government of Canada to be on the lookout for monarchs," Rafferty said. "But once you talk about monarchs and their disappearing, people are appalled."
The motion calls on the government to work both domestically and internationally to collect and share scientific data about monarchs and develop policy to protect and enhance their migratory habitats.
Monarchs migrate more than four thousand kilometres from Mexico to Canada. Their population numbers are reaching record lows, according to a recent study by the World Wildlife Fund.
Rafferty said the Conservative government has "assaulted science", but feels his motion is unique because it doesn't require substantial new research.
"It's something we can work on with our North American partners," he said. "It's a project that can see success and help cement relationships with the United States and Mexico."
Next week Rafferty will head to a legislators conference in Omaha, Nebraska to speak with his American counterparts about the importance of protecting monarch habitat.