Polar bear worries


Polar bears and their future in a world threatened by global warming came up during the first day of the current sitting of the Nunavut legislature.

Quttiktuq MLA Levi Barnabas told the assembly that he is concerned about a possible U.S. import ban on polar bear trophies.

“If the U.S. government were to prohibit the importation of polar bear trophies into the U.S., this would have a potentially serious economic impact,” Barnabas said.

Hudson Bay MLA Peter Kattuk also shared his concern over climate change’s impacts on polar bears.

“You can see the polar bears are a lot skinnier now and they’re not as healthy as before,” Kattuk said.

However, environment minister Olayuk Akesuk did not directly answer questions from Barnabas about what the GN is doing to respond to the U.S. during its 60-day status review of polar bears (after this period the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency will consider listing polar bears an endangered species, a move which would likely lead to a ban of polar bear trophies).

And Akesuk didn’t have a clear answer either for Kattuk on a question about polar bears and climate change.

“Once our government has a closer understanding, then they will consult with the communities,” Akesuk said.

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