Petition: Strengthen Ontario’s Endangered Species Act

It is becoming a pattern with this government to hear, once again, that Ontario’s most sensitive and valuable environments are being offered to the highest bidder. "Open for business" now also means trading protection for species at risk to anyone willing to pay the price. A strong and prosperous Ontario has a healthy and bountiful natural environment.

By weakening and outright removing protections in exchange for money this government weakens our province and sells our natural heritage out from under us. This move is particularly shocking given the global epidemic of species loss.

Ontario’s Endangered Species Act was already insufficient. This proposal effectively removes the small safety net species at risk had remaining.

Like Bill 66, the process to determine which regulations can be avoided are taken out of the public eye and at the discretion of the Minister. Local habitats could be under threat without any notification or public input opportunities.

The government will establish a second set of rules for those that are able to pay more. Instead of following the rules everyone else has to, sprawl developers, aggregate companies, even our own municipalities can just pay their way out of the process, regardless of whether it undermines Ontario’s environmental integrity.

To read more on what the government is proposing see the ERO posting.

See our response here.

See Environmental Defence's response here.

See Ontario Nature's response here.

Who's signing

WHEREAS the Government of Ontario is reviewing the Endangered Species Act, and

WHEREAS ERO 013-5033 proposes Ministerial powers to delay protections and exempt proponents from regulations meant to protect species-at-risk, and

WHEREAS there is strong evidence that we are currently in the midst of what has been called a “sixth mass extinction”, which is almost certainly due to human activity,

We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to prioritize protection of endangered species by ensuring exemptions listed under the Endangered Species Act do not compromise recovery potential;

To fully and in good faith engage with experts in the field, as well as with the public, in crafting and establishing a renewed, expert-led, evidence-based commitment to protecting Ontario's species at risk;

To engage in this regard comprehensively and transparently.

Will you sign?