The law to protect endangered species, our most sensitive plants and animals, is under attack by developers who want to build in the places these species live.
The world is facing a biodiversity crisis, as habitat loss and climate change drive over a million species closer to extinction. At a time when we should be working to help and restore endangered species, the Ontario government is changing the law to make it easier for developers to pave over their habitats.
Ontario’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of the best in the world, based on scientific research and evidence-based solutions to create recovery plans for species-at-risk in the province. The changes to the ESA which the Ontario government is proposing in Bill 108 will gut the law completely, leaving it practically useless at actually protecting endangered animals and plants.
We ask the government to:
- Reverse the changes to the ESA
- To ensure that we don’t lose even more of our precious wildlife, the government must reverse the changes to the Endangered Species Act. We must remove Schedule 5 of Bill 108 immediately.
- Enforce the ESA properly
- Even before these changes, businesses could apply for exemptions to allow potentially harmful activities to continue, and these were almost always granted. If we want to be truly effective at protecting endangered species, the ESA must be applied and enforced more effectively.
- Remove sweeping exemptions for major industries
- Under a previous government, sweeping exemptions were introduced for some major industries, including aggregate mining, forestry and hydroelectric power stations, making it much easier for them to avoid complying with the Act. But these are exactly the kinds of industries which often threaten the habitats of endangered species.