Proposal To Change National Symbol Has Canadians Up In Arms

October 29, 2011 by staff 

Proposal To Change National Symbol Has Canadians Up In Arms, A proposal to replace the beaver – described by one senator as a “rat accidentally defective” – ??with a polar bear as a national symbol of Canada provoked rebukes from around the country on Friday.

Senator Nicole Eaton called for the adoption of cold-loving polar bear, the world’s largest carnivore on foot, as a new symbol of Canada.

“It is time that the beaver step aside as an emblem of Canada, or at least share the honor with the majestic polar bear,” he told the Senate on Thursday.

The legislator praised the polar bear “strength, courage, ingenuity and dignity,” calling it “magnificent and splendid mammal of Canada, holding reign over the Arctic for thousands of years.”

Canadians, however, reacted angrily to the proposal.

“The beaver is a proud emblem that is present throughout Canada,” said a blog. “Why would anyone want to replace it with a carnivore that lives only in areas that are almost uninhabitable for humans and could soon become extinct?”

Glynnis Hood, University of Alberta and author of “The Beaver Manifesto,” published last month, also defended the beaver as a symbol of Canada, says the National Post newspaper that the buck-toothed rodent “represents the tenacity, intelligence and ability survive even the harshest climates. ”

As a symbol, the beaver first appeared in a coat of arms in 1621 in what is now the province of Nova Scotia, as well as on the crests of the Society of Hudson Bay, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, the first Canadian brand and elsewhere.

Today, a beaver is stone above the entrance to the Parliament of Canada, and appears on the back of Canadian nickels.

The polar bear, its supporters say, appears in two million Canadian currency, “making it a value of 40 beavers.”

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