Sir Richard Branson In Toronto Tuesday, March 6 In Support of Protecting Canada's Polar Bears and Other Wildlife

TORONTO, March 2, 2012 /CNW/ - Global entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Richard Branson will be in Toronto on Tuesday, March 6, in support of WildAid Canada, an international wildlife conservation organization.

Following similar recent visits with WildAid to China and India, Branson will call on Canada's business and government leaders to increase efforts towards wildlife conservation.  A special focus will be on calling for increased protection of one of Canada's most iconic - and threatened - species: the polar bear, as well as on commending the municipalities where shark fin bans have recently passed, while urging government at all levels to continue to push forward to protect sharks.

Joining Branson will be representatives of WildAid and a leading polar bear researcher.

WHAT:   WildAid Canada News Conference featuring Sir Richard Branson
DATE:   Tuesday, March 6, 2012
TIME:   2:30 p.m.
LOCATION:  Hart House (Music Room), University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle
DETAILS:  Introduction by Rob Sinclair of WildAid Canada, and remarks by WildAid founder Peter Knights, Sir Richard Branson, and leading polar bear researcher, followed by media Q&A and photo opportunity.
BACKGROUND:  Approximately two-thirds of the world's polar bears live in Canada, with Ontario home to the southernmost population of polar bears in the world.  Loss of polar ice is a major threat, and the extinction of the southernmost populations of polar bears has been predicted for within the next 20 to 30 years unless trends are reversed.  The population of western Hudson Bay polar bears has declined from 1,200 in 1987 to roughly 900 today.
  In the past few months, several municipal shark-fin bans passed: in Toronto, Oakville, Pickerington, London, Newmarket, Brantford and Mississauga - representing 15 % of Canada's population.  In December 2011, MP Fin Donnelly proposed federal legislation to prohibit the importation of shark fins into Canada.

For more information about WildAid Canada visit www.wildaid.org/canada

For further information:

Amanda Gun-Munro, Veritas Communications
416-955-4580
gun-munro@veritascanada.com