Interests and expectations of the federal Parties
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) works with all political parties and parliamentarians to achieve our wetland conservation mission. The policies and actions of the federal government, implemented through a variety of federal agencies, have significant impacts on Canada’s landscapes and the environment.
In recent federal budgets, the federal government’s focus has been on spending control and promoting measured economic growth. As a result, no significant new money has been earmarked for conservation activities. When new funding is limited, we need to assess how the government is investing its current resources, applying its policies, and what it is developing as future initiatives.
That’s why at DUC we focus our resources on influencing policy at the federal level in four key areas that will serve the best interests of Canada’s wetlands:
1. Maintain and increase Environment Canada (EC) – Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) involvement in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). This includes annual funding contributions through grants and contributions agreements to DUC at the provincial and national levels:
- The Government of Canada must maintain and enhance its direct investments in NAWMP and in critical activities such as waterfowl population and habitat surveys conducted by the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Science and Technology Branch of Environment Canada.
- Additional resources are required as Canada’s fiscal situation improves to expand habitat conservation throughout Southern Canada. This is fundamental to the health of our citizens and our economy.
2. Ensure the federal government continues to partner with conservation groups like DUC on conservation programs that address habitat securement and restoration on private lands in Canada, such as the Natural Areas Conservation Program NACP.
- The federal government will support the development of conservation plans and funding mechanisms to support science-based conservation activities, which address the needs of waterfowl and migratory birds.
- These plans would integrate the activities of multiple federal departments and their implementation will help position Canada as a world leader in the conservation and restoration of natural landscapes.
3. Ensure that federal agriculture policy includes the recognition of wetland values by providing incentives to producers to implement management and land use practices that retain or augment the inherent natural capital of wetlands located on these landscapes. This can happen through the continuation and expansion of programs like the Environmental Farm Plan that includes beneficial management practices (BMPs) for wetland retention and restoration, as a new forage conversion program (support for the conversion of tilled land to hay and pasture) for the prairies:
- The federal government will continue to support wetland conservation and wetland restoration best management practices and provide funding to support BMP implementation.
- The federal government will implement a new forage conversion program to support the conversion of 500,000 acres per year.
4. Encourage the development of market-based incentives for habitat conservation that engage private landowners and industry.