Species at risk delay litigation
May 13, 2013 04:23 PM
Status: In Progress
We're challenging the federal government to start living up to its own law and protect Canada's species at risk.
The Species at Risk Act (SARA) is one of Canada’s key federal environmental laws. Its passage into law in 2002 represented an important step forward in protecting Canada’s endangered wildlife and the habitat they need to survive. The Act came into full effect in 2004.
On paper, SARA is a good law that — if implemented to its fullest extent — has to potential to help endangered species survive and and recover. In practice though, the federal government's implementation efforts have been characterized by chronic delays in producing recovery strategies, identifying critical habitat and protecting that habitation once it has been identified.
Meanwhile, drastic changes to important Canadian environmental laws, like the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, have tipped the scales even more in favour of industry.
The result? Species and habitat protection falling by the wayside as major industrial projects, like Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, speed through regulatory review without a full understanding of how they might impact long-term health of the forests, rivers and oceans wildlife need to survive.
This litigation challenges the federal government’s unlawful delays in producing recovery strategies for four species that would be affected by the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline: Pacific humpback whales, Nechako White Sturgeon, Marbled Murrelet and Southern Mountain Caribou.
With the recovery strategies for these species (and many more across Canada) years overdue, taking the matter before the Court is the most powerful way to ensure that the federal government follows its own law.
Images for media use:
- Map (JPEG) of Pacific Humpback Whale habitat and proposed Northern Gateway tanker route
- Google Earth (KMZ) file of Pacific Humpback Whale habitat and proposed Northern Gateway tanker route
- Pacific humpback whale 1 (Credit Ursus Photography)
- Pacific humpback whale 2 (Credit Art Wolfe)
- Southern Mountain Caribou 1 (Credit John E. Marriott)
- Southern Mountain Caribou 2 (Credit John E. Marriott)
- Southern Mountain Caribou 3 (Credit John E. Marriott)
- Southern Mountain Caribou 4 (Credit John E. Marriott)
- Nechako White Sturgeon (Credit Barry Kovish)
- *For hi-res photo/b-roll requests, please contact: Alexis Stoymenoff (604.683.8220 | firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photo credit: Ursus Photograhy