Plans to Gut Ontario’s Endangered Species Act

In a move that will prove devastating to species at risk, the Ontario government has just unveiled plans to severely undermine the Endangered Species Act.

Ontario Nature sums up the proposed changes as follows:

“If the changes go through,

  • Species listed as threatened or endangered may no longer be automatically protected.
  • The Minister will have discretion to interfere with the listing of at-risk species at his convenience, bringing politics into the listing process.
  • Developers and other proponents of harmful activities will be able to “pay-to-slay” by paying into a fund to compensate for harming species at risk and their habitats (rather than providing an on-the-ground overall benefit to species).
  • Southern Ontario species at the northern limit of their range may receive less or no protection, depending on their status outside Ontario.

These moves are regressive and dangerous. The world is facing the largest mass extinction since the disappearance of the dinosaurs. Yet the Government of Ontario has proposed to gut Ontario’s gold standard law, bowing to pressure from industry and sprawl developers.”

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The government has now given the public just 30 days to comment on the proposed changes to the law. The deadline for comments is May 18.

Stay tuned for updates on this critical issue.

Toronto Field Naturalists wishes to acknowledge this Land through which we walk. For thousands of years, the Land has been shared by the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinaabe. Toronto is situated on the Land within the Toronto Purchase, Treaty 13, the traditional and treaty Lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This territory is also part of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum, a covenant agreement between Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Wendat peoples and allied nations to peaceably share the land and all its resources. Today, the Land is home to peoples of numerous nations. We are all grateful to have the opportunity to continue to care for and share the beauty of this Land.