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Mississippi River at Pakenham

Endangered Species Act Action Alert from Ontario Nature

SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR SPECIES AT RISK BY GETTING INFORMED ABOUT ONTARIO NATURE’S CHALLENGE TO THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT.

On April 19th the Ontario Court of Appeal will hear Ontario Nature’s case challenging a lower court ruling that puts already endangered species at further risk of extinction. The appeal challenges the Ontario Divisional Court’s decision to uphold a provincial regulation that exempts major industrial activities— including forestry, mining, energy, and residential development — from the strict protection standards outlined in the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In many instances, these exemptions give industries a free pass to kill endangered or threatened species and destroy their habitat, as long as this harm is “minimized.”

The following link is a reminder from Ontario Nature to speak out about this issue: https://ontarionature.thankyou4caring.org/showyourlove

Background from Ontario Nature website: http://www.ontarionature.org/protect/campaigns/lawsuit.php

  • 2007: The Ontario government passes the ESA, considered the gold standard law for species protection in North America.
  • July 1, 2013: The provincial Cabinet regulation under the ESA that dramatically weakens protection for Ontario’s at-risk wildlife came into effect. The regulation exempts many major industrial activities from the ESA, allowing them to dodge crucial protection measures. It also significantly reduces government oversight of harmful activities.
  • September, 2013: Ontario Nature joins forces with the Wildlands League to sue the government over the regulation.
  • May 29, 2015: Ontario’s Divisional Court upholds the provincial regulation.
  • September 2015: Ontario Nature and Wildlands League win the right to appeal this very disappointing decision.
  • April 19, 2016: The appeal will be heard in Toronto.

Why does it matter?

The survival of Ontario’s most vulnerable wildlife is now weighed against competing industrial interests, which may tip the scale towards extinction. Every single endangered and threatened species in the province is deprived of the full protection of the law.

Who else cares?

Click here to read the letter that Ontario Nature, and more than 50 other organizations, sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne asking that the Endangered Species Act be upheld. Nothing beats these words of wisdom from Ontario Nature’s Youth Council imploring the Premier to stand up for endangered species.

The Messenger

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