Canadian Groups Win At-Risk Species Protection Case

Pacific humpback whale breaches in British Columbia waters off Haida Gwaii / Queen Charlotte Islands.

The Canadian Federal Court ruled today that two Cabinet ministers acted unlawfully in delaying for several years the production of recovery strategies for four at-risk species threatened by industrial development, including the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker route.

Brought by five environmental groups – the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada, Sierra Club BC, Wilderness Committee and Wildsight – the lawsuit challenged the federal government’s multi-year delays in producing recovery strategies for species listed under the Species at Risk Act of 2002.

Lawyers for the nonprofit law firm Ecojustice represented the five groups in court. They argued that the federal government’s chronic delays have forced species already struggling to survive to wait even longer for the protection they need.

Justice Anne Mactavish declared that the Minister of Environment and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans “did not comply with the statutory timelines for the preparation and publication of recovery strategies” for the four species at issue in this lawsuit: the Pacific humpback whale, the Nechako white sturgeon, the Marbled murrelet and the Southern mountain caribou.

Justice Mactavish wrote, “To state the obvious, the Species at Risk Act was enacted because some wildlife species in Canada are at risk. As the applicants note, many are in a race against the clock as increased pressure is put on their critical habitat, and their ultimate survival may be at stake…”

Read the full story here.


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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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