Who knew that being Santa was part of the job description at CPAWS Wildlands League?

by Evan Ferrari

In 2006 we began our ‘Caribou the Untold Story’ campaign to highlight the plight of woodland caribou.  It was evident that few if any MPPs in Ontario had ever seen one, let alone understand their importance in the boreal.  Getting a politician’s attention can be difficult.  But show up as Santa at Queens Park, with bags of cuddly caribou stuffed animals and even the OPP take notice!  In the years I spent campaigning at the legislature, this was the only time that everyone paid attention as I walked the halls, especially the public school children on a tour.

Technically being in the building in a ‘disguise’ is not permitted and may even be illegal.  In the end, the OPP were very co-operative.  So much so, that they had to send the 117 stuffed caribou - one for each MPP - through the security x-ray machine.  Eventually we got that protection under a new Endangered Species Act.  Unfortunately the province has since watered down species protection significantly.

Perhaps Santa needs to make another visit to Queens Park.