Government of Canada

Government of Canada

May 16, 2013 12:36 ET

Harper Government Welcomes Opening of Giant Panda Exhibit

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 16, 2013) - The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for York-Simcoe attended the Giant Panda exhibit opening ceremony at the Toronto Zoo. The exhibit features two pandas - female Er Shun and male Da Mao - who will be staying in Canada for the next 10 years and will be splitting their time between the Toronto Zoo, who will host them first, and the Calgary Zoo. He was joined by Zhang Junsai, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Canada.

"It has been over 20 years since Canadians have had the opportunity to see giant pandas in our zoos. I'm glad to say that the wait is over," said Minister Van Loan. "The presence of Er Shun and Da Mao in Canada will delight the many Canadians who will visit the zoos to see them."

The agreement between the Toronto and Calgary zoos and the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, which was facilitated by the Government of Canada, will see both giant pandas live in each facility for two subsequent five-year periods. Included in the agreement is a commitment by each of the zoos to contribute to research and the conservation of the species.

Giant pandas are unique to China and serve as unofficial national mascots. They are seen as symbols of peace, friendship and good fortune.

"Being entrusted with the care of these pandas for the next ten years is a sign of the strong people-to-people ties and active economic relationship between Canada and China," continued Minister Van Loan. "Over the coming years, these pandas will help us learn more about one another, while serving as a reminder of our deepening relationship based on mutual respect and growing collaboration."

Contact Information

  • Fraser Malcolm
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Leader of the Government in the
    House of Commons
    (613) 947-7619