TELL THE PREMIER TO PROTECT ENDANGERED WILDLIFE

Ontario Nature:

Action Alert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
URGENT: TELL THE PREMIER TO PROTECT ENDANGERED WILDLIFE
Right now, crucial decisions are being made on the provincial budget 2012.
The Ontario government has introduced a new budget bill called Bill 55 (Strong Action for Ontario Act).
This is no ordinary bill. Buried in this hefty document, hundreds of pages in length, are a series of changes (or amendments) that strike at the heart of Ontario ’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other vital environmental legislation. Such changes threaten protection for the province’s biodiversity as well as our most vulnerable plants, animals and ecosystems.
You can make a difference by asking Premier McGuinty to withdraw these amendments. Premier McGuinty’s government must stand by the core values of the ESA and must ensure that our parks truly protect wildlife and their habitats.
The most damaging of the proposed changes are:
  • The introduction of a new list of exemptions to the protection of endangered species, in addition to giving sweeping new powers to the government to exempt private landowners from protecting endangered wildlife on their property as is currently required.
  • The creation of a loophole for a broad range of activities, including industrial and commercial operations, so that requirements that were specifically designed to compensate for damage or loss of endangered wildlife or habitat can be circumvented.
  • The removal of the 2013 deadline to complete plans outlining the recovery of dozens of endangered and threatened species.
  • Taking out deadlines for park management plans, which make sure that habitat and wildlife within park boundaries are not destroyed by roads, commercial operations or other damaging activities that jeopardize biodiversity.
Normally, all of these amendments would appear on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry so that you and any other member of the public could comment on them. But the government has by-passed this by putting the changes in a huge omnibus bill that is not subject to public input.
We find these amendments unacceptable. What’s being proposed will greatly increase the risk of Ontario ’s endangered species disappearing entirely from the province – in some cases, the country.
Please ask Premier McGuinty to remove the amendments to the Endangered Species Act and the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act from Bill 55 by sending an e-mail to Premier Dalton McGuinty [dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org], Michael Gravelle, Minister of Natural Resources [mgravelle.mpp@liberal.ola.org] and Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance [dduncan.mpp@liberal.ola.org].
Thank you for standing up for Ontario ’s parks and wildlife,
Caroline Schultz
Executive Director
P.S. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization. Because of your financial and spirited support, we can make sure that nature’s voice is loud and clear at Queen’s Park. Thank you.
To see the full listing of the proposed ESA amendments (Schedule 19), with an explanation of their implications, click here: http://www.ontarionature.org/protect/campaigns/PDFs/Budget_Schedule_19.pdf
To read the Environmental Commissioner’s post on the proposed amendments to the ESA and other environmental legislation, click here: http://www.eco.on.ca/blog/2012/04/02/the-omni-budget-surprise/
To read environmental lawyer Laura Bowman’s post on the proposed amendments to the ESA and other environmental legislation, click here: http://www.ilercampbell.com/blog/2012/04/important-environmental-law-amendments-in-the-ontario-2012-budget-bill/
To read an op ed in the Toronto Star by Clayton Ruby, a prominent member of the environmental community, click here: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1166667–anti-environment-measures-tucked-into-liberal-budget-bill.
Sample e-mail:
Subject line: Please don’t take away endangered species protection!
I am writing to ask you to remove the proposed amendments to the Ontario Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act from Bill 55, Strong Action for Ontario Act.
I look to this government to stand up for species at risk and protected areas and to conserve the rich yet fragile web of plant and animal life in this province.
The proposed amendments strike at the heart of the ESA and the legislation that ensures our provincial parks truly are protected areas. The most damaging ones are:
  • The introduction of a new list of exemptions to the protection of endangered species, in addition to giving sweeping new powers to the government to exempt private landowners from protecting endangered wildlife on their property as is currently required.
  • The creation of a loophole for a broad range of activities, including industrial and commercial operations, so that requirements that were specifically designed to compensate for damage or loss of endangered wildlife or habitat can be circumvented.
  • The removal of the 2013 deadline to complete plans outlining how the recovery of dozens of endangered and threatened species should proceed.
  • Taking out deadlines for park management plans, which make sure habitat and wildlife within park boundaries are not destroyed by roads, commercial operations and other damaging activities that jeopardize biodiversity.
What’s being proposed will greatly increase the risk of Ontario ’s endangered species disappearing entirely from the province – in some cases, the country.
Please stand by the existing Endangered Species Act – legislation that your government proudly enacted only five years ago. Amend Bill 55 to take out the proposed changes to the ESA and reinstate the requirements for protected areas to have the management plans they need. The health of Ontario ’s economy, landscape and people depend on protecting and sustaining the natural world that supports us.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: