Federal ministers took action on endangered species due to lawsuit: lawyer
The federal ministers responsible for protecting endangered species took action on four critically threatened species because they were facing court action, their lawyer told a Federal Court judge on Thursday.
Since the Federal Court lawsuit was filed by a coalition of environmental groups more than a year ago, the fisheries and environment ministers have posted a final recovery strategy for Pacific humpback whales and draft strategies for marbled murrelet and Nechako white sturgeon.
A commitment was made to the court that a draft plan for the fourth and final species named in the court action, the southern mountain caribou, will be posted by Jan. 17.
“It is not a comfortable position for the minister to be sued and to have me writing letters saying, ‘Now listen, you have to do something about this file or there could be some serious consequences,'” Brian McLaughlin told the court.
“The reason why these were put on top of the file was because of this litigation.”
The groups launched the court action because the final recovery strategies required under the Species At Risk Act were between four and six years overdue.
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