Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth Canada.Ontario’s Endangered Species Act is a key law that protects the province’s endangered wildlife and habitat. The law is one of the best in the country. When corporations plan a project that affects species at risk, they must obtain a permit. The industry or developer must come up with a plan that protects endangered species. The company must comply with the terms of the permit, and the environmental impacts are monitored.

The Endangered Species Act is now endangered by recent proposals by the province. Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has proposed granting blanket exemptions for industrial activities. The exemptions would apply to mining, logging, quarries, suburban housing developments, hydroelectric dams and other types of projects.

What will be the long-term impact on Ontario’s endangered species?

The Ministry’s proposals would allow for broad exemptions for many industrial activities. If the proposals are approved, the province will not monitor the impacts of many industrial projects. With “voluntary” measures, we could lose endangered species.

Are you disturbed by MNR’s proposals? We certainly are. We hope you will take a moment to speak out for Ontario’s endangered species. Make sure your opinion is counted. We don’t want exemptions for industries and developers. We want Ontario to protect endangered wildlife and plants. Don’t delay — we have less than a week to comment.

To register your comments, visit Ontario’s Environmental Registry:

To make sure your comments are counted, be sure to include the EBR Registry Number 011-7696. The comment period has been extended to January 25, 2013.

Beatrice Olivastri