The fight for endangered species continues. On November 15, a petition was tabled in the Ontario legislature calling on all members to re-affirm their support for stopping threats to habitat and protecting threatened wildlife.
And our work for caribou is gaining steam again both federally and provincially.
While our application to the Supreme Court of Canada was dismissed, it doesn’t change the fact that MNR made a regulation that exempts major industries from protecting endangered & threatened species and their habitat in Ontario. It’s up to all of us now to work even harder to scrutinize resource development projects and find ways to protect habitat. We’ll be calling on Ontario to uphold its own Endangered Species Act and asking the federal government to step in, under federal species law, to protect habitat that Ontario is refusing to protect under provincial law.
When Ontario’s new Endangered Species Act was ushered in in 2007, we applauded it as the gold standard in North America. It’s something we worked really hard on. Protecting endangered species and their habitat is part of our core mandate at CPAWS Wildlands League.
Just six short years later, it turned out that the law to protect endangered species in Ontario was in just as much jeopardy as the species it is designed to protect. That’s when the Ontario government gutted the ESA with sweeping exemptions for major industries. When a government turns its back on its own legislation and on its endangered and threatened species, is when you can count on CPAWS Wildlands League to jump into action.
We are standing up for species that don’t have a voice. We won’t allow the Ontario government to gut protections for species just to save a few bucks and to make life easier for business.
The Ontario government always has a choice when it comes to species protection. It could withdraw this regulation and fulfill its promise to protect at-risk species by enforcing the Endangered Species Act as intended. That means preventing industrial development, resource extraction or other activities from wiping out vulnerable species.
Fate of Ontario’s Endangered Plants and Animals Hang in Balance (April 18, 2016)
Environmental Groups Win Right to Appeal Endangered Species Decision (September 14, 2015)
Ontario guts Endangered Species legislation (June 3, 2013)