Canadian senators have a lot of time on their hands, having no real role in the governing of the country. Sometimes they seem to just do silly things to get attention, like Senator Nicole Eaton, who wants to replace Canada's national symbol, the beaver, with a polar bear. Calling the beaver a "dentally defective rat," she claims that the polar bear is more fitting, more grand.
The polar bear, with its strength, courage, resourcefulness and dignity, is perfect for the part. The polar bear is the world's largest terrestrial carnivore and Canada's most majestic and splendid mammal, holding reign over the Arctic for thousands of years.
The issue is polarizing the nation like no other, as people defend the merits of each. The beaver is an important part of Canadian history; the country was opened by the fur traders seeking its pelt, it is industrious, determined, and of course an architect and builder. It has fallen on hard times as a symbol; last Canada's second oldest magazine had to change its name from "The Beaver" to "Canada's History" because internet filters thought it was porn.
But it is possible that if the polar bear was a national symbol, perhaps Canadian politicians might be a little more concerned about its future.
I would like to propose that perhaps a better national animal for Canada might be a dead fish, in response to what is happening downstream from Alberta's oil sands, where scientists and aboriginal fishermen keep finding dead and deformed fish. What do you think?