Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa to Step Up Monitoring of Threatened Species Habitat on Provincial Land

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ottawa to Step Up Monitoring of Threatened Species Habitat on Provincial Land

Article excerpt

Ottawa to step up monitoring of species habitat

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OTTAWA - An environmental group is declaring victory following a federal government decision to increase its oversight of habitat for threatened species on provincial land.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society will withdraw legal action against Ottawa after federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna made the promise, society director Eric Hebert-Daly said Tuesday.

"We've settled out of court. We feel this is a very good result."

In April 2017, the group filed a request for a judicial review into what it said was McKenna's failure to follow the federal Species At Risk Act.

That law obliges the federal government to file periodic reports on how well the provinces are preserving critical habitat of threatened species on provincial Crown land.

The request pointed out that the report on caribou was 4 1/2 years late.

It was finally released last week. It found significant gaps in provincial protections and also concluded that provincial regulatory bodies weren't being required to follow the Species At Risk Act.

Environment Canada will be preparing similar reports for 150 different species where critical habitat has been identified on provincial land. The reports are expected by June 2019.

"We are committed to fulfilling our responsibilities under the Species at Risk Act and we will work closely with partners to track efforts to protect habitat and promote the recovery of species at risk," McKenna said in a release.

Jonathan Wilkinson, McKenna's parliamentary secretary, said the reports will be prepared for categories, not individual species.

"We will do those reports every six months on mammals, on birds . …

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