A very successful ‘trade’ mission to China for the “Harper” canadian government…
CHONGQING, China — The pandas are coming, the pandas are coming!
Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially confirmed Saturday that China has agreed to loan two giant pandas to zoos in Toronto and Calgary for a period of five years each — beginning next year — at a cost of $10 million.
In what had become the worst-kept secret of his trade mission to the Middle Kingdom, Harper visited a zoo in Chongqing to announce that Canada has secured a pair of pandas on loan from China for consecutive five-year periods, beginning with the Toronto Zoo in 2013 and then Calgary in 2018.
Male bear ErShun (which translates into Two/Smooth) is from the Chongqing zoo and female Ji Li (Pretty/Achievement) is from a Chengdu facility. The five-year-old bears are expected to arrive in Toronto by March or April next year.
“The pandas’ visit to Canada represents an important step forward in the blossoming relationship between our two peoples.”
Officials from the two zoos said they have agreed to pay $1 million a year for the bamboo-munchers, for a total of $10 million U.S. over the decade that will go toward panda conservation.
Millions of dollars more will be spent to prepare the zoos and care for the animals, including about $200,000 or so a year in bamboo costs to feed the bears and additional fees to train Canadian panda handlers with help from the Chinese.
However, they expect to fully recover the costs from new sponsorship and an estimated one million or more additional visitors each year when the pandas arrive.
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I’m not sure I fully understand…
I don’t think the Canadian government is necessarily on the hook for the $10 million plus for the pandas… but let’s get this straight:
John Tracogna, CEO of the Toronto Zoo, noted pandas often live in cooler climates in the mountains of China, so chilly Canadian weather shouldn’t be a problem. Zoo exhibits will also be climatized to help meet the needs of the bears, he said.
Ummm… so what are the pandas going to do (the wild ones that is) when China guzzles down the world’s oil, coal, and other resources (including Canada’s) and the climate warms by 5 degrees?
Not all pandas (or wild salmon) for that fact can live in “climatized” zoo exhibits…
And what if we could get “sponsorship” to visit wild salmon spawning in their natural habitat? and in turn put that into wild salmon conservation efforts? or habitat rehabilitation?
Gee, maybe the Pattisson line of companies that own most of the salmon fishing fleet could retire the licenses and do that…? (Sponsored by the “Harper” government…)
Still doubting that marketing is everything and everything is marketing…?
Panda diplomacy has become an integral part of the People’s Republic of China’s relationship with the international community, representing a national symbol of goodwill and the country’s desire for better relations.
Trading bears is a sign of goodwill and peace… wow… what a planet. (wondering if China and Syria ever traded panda bears…?)
I’ve heard of ‘green-washing’; but i’m not sure I’ve heard of ‘panda-washing’… (oh right, that’s the world wildlife fund…)