Liberals And NDP Agree To Speed Up Species At Risk Listings

Image of Stephen Hazell

Stephen Hazell
Director of Conservation
and General Counsel

Congratulations to Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and BC NDP Member of Parliament Richard Cannings for agreeing to speed up listings of species at risk recommended by COSEWIC scientists.

Cannings introduced a private member’s bill C-363 that would close a loophole that the Canadian government has used for years to delay or deny protection for species deemed to be at risk.

Under the Species at Risk Act, the advice to list a species comes from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), and the Minister has nine months to make a decision—to list or not—after receiving that advice.  Unfortunately, previous governments often did not respect these timelines such as for the listings of Barn and Bank Swallows which were delayed for many years until McKenna acted earlier this year.

Bill C-363 proposed to amend the Act to make it clear that the clock starts when the advice is received. At a meeting of COSEWIC this week, Minister McKenna announced that the government would be enacting Mr.Cannings’ proposal in government policy.

Nature Canada is delighted that the government and the NDP could work together to protect species at risk.

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