elements of the Species at Risk Working Group Report
A two-stream approach, which includes the conservation of vulnerable ecosystems
and the conservation of species at risk
Legislation and related programs must encourage, not discourage, all Canadians
in cooperative partnerships to protect species and their habitats
Legislation must ensure that no species will become extinct in Canada because of
lack of legal protection
The cost of preventing species extinction must be shared, not borne by a small
group of land owners, resource users, workers and communities
Listing decisions must be made by an independent, scientific body
Habitat conservation is crucial for the protection of species at risk
Exemptions for activities which would violate species at risk legislation should
be made only on a case-by-case basis, with reasons for them made public
Accountability will be ensured through strong, mandatory language in all
legislation and through an administrative appeal process
Adequate funding is essential for sound scientific research, to ensure adequate
capacity to implement and oversee the protection of species at risk, to support recovery
efforts, to ensure adequate enforcement, and where appropriate to provide compensation.
Changes to the tax system are also essential in order to set the right fiscal
framework for protection and to provide incentives for activities aimed at protecting and
recovering species at risk and their habitats.
Bill C-65, the endangered species bill which the federal government failed to push
through second reading before an election call in April 1997, fell far short of Canadians
expectations. It failed to provide protection for over half of Canadas species at
risk, and provided almost no protection for their critical habitat. Now, the federal
government seems to be backpedaling in other key areas, such as legal protection of
cross-border species and the listing of species at risk.
What to Say ?
Let the federal government know that you want them to pass effective legislation.
Federal endangered species legislation should provide:
A strong federal safety net for Canadas species at risk, particularly
those that range or migrate across international or interprovincial borders.
An independent scientific listing process, with legal force and effect given to
Protection for critical habitat, not merely the species "residence".
Habitat loss is the number one cause for species decline in Canada. Put simply, if you
don't protect the habitat, you don't protect the species.
Protection for vulnerable species.
A participatory approach that encourages Canadians to protect species and their
habitats, and provides incentives for activities aimed at protecting and recovering
species at risk and their habitats.
Government accountability through strong, mandatory language in legislation and
through an effective public appeal process.
Adequate funding to ensure the effective protection and recovery of species at