Ontario Wants to Weaken the Endangered Species Act

By Don Kerr

What the Ministry of Natural Resources is proposing:

  • A five-year exemption for all logging operations, affecting a 45 million hectare area
  • Permanent exemptions for existing pits and quarries and hydro operations
  • Exemption across many industrial sectors (pits, quarries, housing development, electricity, waste management, renewable energy, hydro, roads and other infrastructure, and more) for planned or approved activities that harm newly listed species, newly discovered species at a site, and newly protected habitat.
  • Protection undermined for 65 species scheduled for habitat protection this coming summer that have already waited an average of 19 years for better protections.

What MNR  is ignoring:

  • Species protection and development can co-exist. For example, Highway 26 along Georgian Bay has recently been twinned, but because of new wildlife crossings and fencing, the highway is now safer for wildlife and people.
  • There are ways to ensure that planning activities can incorporate the requirements of the ESA so that the process is efficient and cost-effective. For example, Forest Management Plans could be used to develop plans to protect caribou.
  • Developers and industries could help pay for government plans to help species where they are proposing new projects. Other government agencies charge a reasonable fee for project approvals and so could MNR.
  • Species extinction is irreversible and a sign that development is not sustainable.

Take Action

Please go to the shared website http://www.protectendangeredspecies.ca/ – and send a quick email message to the Premier. The above information is copied from the website. More information is available from Ontario Nature.