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The Plight of the Western Toad - 2 municipalities - 3 levels of government responsible

Indifference and dereliction of duty all round

by Roslyn Cassells - Canada's first elected Green

Western Toadlet
Western Toadlet
Western Toadlets
Western Toadlets
Western Toads
Western Toads
Toad life cycle
Toad life cycle
July 16, 2018.  Concerned citizens in BC are trying to protect the endangered Western Toad.  Activists are encouraging the Township of Langley to impose a 2 week temporary road closure on a stretch of 20th Ave., originally constructed for local traffic, but now used as a busy shortcut by rushing commuters.  The township has refused to act, instead deciding to place signage about the toads, which will only inform motorists of the damage they will inflict and not save a single toad.  Others recommended placing passages under the road in the migration route so that the newly hatched dime-sized  toadlets can pass under the road safely.  This has not happened either.  Letters from concerned residents to mayor and council go unanswered.  The City of Surrey, on the border of the migration route, and under whose jurisdiction part of the road falls, has also neglected to take any action to protect the toads.
 
The Western Toad is listed provincially and federally, and both levels of government have neglected to enforce their own laws to protect this species - the provincial Wildlife Act, and the federal Species At Risk Act.
 
Volunteers are meeting for live and dead toad counts along the stretch of road they must cross between their hatching place and their terrestrial habitat.  For the next 4 weeks local residents will document the annual carnage of these precious little amphibians and help them across the road if possible.  Unfortunately, due to the callous stance of the Township of Langley, there will be thousands to tens of thousands of dead toads along this stretch of road...a sad indictment on the complete absence of compassion and sense of duty of local elected officials towards our vulnerable animal relations.
 
The lives of animals, those who cannot speak for themselves, should be a primary concern for all decent people...just as the neglect and abuse of children should be.  In fact, the laws require adults to report child abuse or face sanction.  One day there will also be a law protecting animals similarly, and one day we will look back on our treatment of them as we now look back on our treatment of slaves from Africa, the Jews in the Holocaust, and so on.
 
Candidates for the upcoming municipal elections in both jurisdictions trumpet their concern for the environment, but not a single currently elected official has made a move to take a concrete action to save the toads.  Words will not save the toads,and they will die horrible deaths on these roads unless there is IMMEDIATE ACTION permitting TEMPORARY ROAD CLOSURE.
 
Those of us who love all of creation, all of our relations, will bear witness to their lives, deaths, and suffering...and continue to fight for their right to exist.
 
Biodiversity is the most precious gift we can leave for future generations!

Those wanting to help can email mayorcouncil@tol.ca and mayor@surrey.ca to demand a temporary road closure during the two week toadlet migration. Letters to the editor to newsroom@langleytimes.com or your fav rag.

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