Let’s protect the Monarch
butterfly and its habitat
An opportunity for Meltech and the Federal Government to demonstrate their commitment to environmental biodiversity
By Georges Dupras
July 13, 2021
As a long-standing citizen of Saint-Laurent and on behalf of The Animal Alliance of Canada, I wish to convey our opposition to the development of the north part of lot 5 599 104 located on Chemin de l’Aviation, Dorval, Québec.
Meltech Innovation Canada and Medicom Group
Though we understand the economic benefits for the Medicom Group derived from building a facility for the production of materials for surgical masks, we are deeply opposed to their chosen location. The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexipplus) is a species at risk though this in itself is not the only justification for protecting one of the last vital habitats for a variety of species on the island of Montreal.
… we are deeply opposed to their chosen location… one of the last vital habitats for a variety of species on the island of Montreal.
It is odd that though we preach the benefits of prevention in everything we do, we practice the opposite when dealing with wildlife and the environment. Too often, when capital interests are at play and habitat hangs in the balance, we choose immediate economic benefits, placing both species and habitats beyond recovery. So much for pragmatism.
There can be no argument that the best weapon in protecting species at risk is to safeguard their ever-diminishing and fragmented habitats. Governments and industry all claim environmental priorities on their platforms and corporate literature. Here is an opportunity for Meltech and the Federal Government to demonstrate their commitment to environmental biodiversity by protecting not only the Monarch butterfly but all other species not yet listed as “at-risk”.
It takes several generations for the Monarch to complete their migration cycle back to Mexico. It is during this period that Monarchs come to feed, primarily on Milkweed, and reproduce. This they do precisely where Meltech plans to build its production facility. It might also be wise to remember that Monarch butterflies though distinct, are symbolic for a host of other, lesser-known species.
‘… there are so many vacant and decaying buildings that could be used by Meltech to everyone’s benefit… some possibly owned by the Government…’
The truly sad part of this initiative is that there are so many vacant and decaying buildings that could be used by Meltech to everyone’s benefit. These empty buildings, some possibly owned by the Government, should be renovated within a corporate environmental budget, rather than left to decay further at the taxpayer’s expense. This simple option would go a long way in confirming the corporate world’s professed commitment to biodiversity.
One of the things that sadden the Animal Alliance of Canada most is the disregard people show for common species not yet listed as endangered or threatened. Where we wonder, do they think endangered species come from? It is this very mindset that creates the conditions and circumstances which lead the common species to be declared “at-risk”.
We have an opportunity here to demonstrate that we are proactive and that the word biodiversity is much more than simply the flavour of the day.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of WestmountMag.ca or its publishers.
Feature image: Monarch on Milkweed, Chris F from Pexels
Read also: other articles by Georges R. Dupras
Georges R. Dupras has advocated for animals for over fifty years. A member of the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA), a Director of the Animal Alliance of Canada (AAC), Quebec Representative of Zoocheck Canada and past Board member of the Canadian SPCA, he worked on the original Save the Seal campaign in 1966 that culminated in the founding of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in 1969. Georges Dupras has published two books, Values in Conflict and the eBook Ethics, a Human Condition, and currently lives in Montreal, Canada.