The Government of Ontario Has Failed Species at Risk

The Government of Ontario Has Failed Species at Risk

The November 2021 report of the Auditor General of Ontario, Protecting and Recovering Species at Risk, lays bare the provincial government’s utter failure to do what is needed to improve the outlook for Ontario’s most vulnerable plants and animals.

We are in the throes of a mass global extinction crisis. The rate of loss is unprecedented and accelerating, and world leaders are calling for urgent, transformative action to address the crisis. Yet, as the audit reveals, our provincial government has essentially abdicated its responsibility to protect and recover Ontario’s more than 240 species at risk. 

Ontario’s ...

The November 2021 report of the Auditor General of Ontario, Protecting and Recovering Species at Risk, lays bare the provincial government’s utter failure to do what is needed to improve the outlook for Ontario’s most vulnerable plants and animals.

We are in the throes of a mass global extinction crisis. The rate of loss is unprecedented and accelerating, and world leaders are calling for urgent, transformative action to address the crisis. Yet, as the audit reveals, our provincial government has essentially abdicated its responsibility to protect and recover Ontario’s more than 240 species at risk. 

Ontario’s once gold-standard Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been gutted through exemptions and amendments that undermine the science-based, precautionary approach to protection originally intended when the law was passed in 2007. The audit’s biggest eye-opener, however, is the government’s slipshod approach to implementing the law. For example, approvals for harmful activities have gone up by 6,262 percent; the government has never inspected any of these approved projects to ensure compliance; and enforcement has been almost non-existent since 2018. In other words, it’s been carte blanche for those harming species at risk and destroying their habitats. 

To complete the picture, implementation suffers from chronic delays in producing recovery strategies, questionable appointments to the scientific and public advisory bodies, and declining funding for stewardship. The government has no long-term strategy to improve the status of species at risk in Ontario – no priorities, no timelines, no planned actions and no performance measures to evaluate effectiveness.  

Please join Ontario Nature in demanding better of our political leaders and representatives. Let them know you want an action plan to recover species at risk developed and implemented, with clear commitments to address the government’s inexcusable record to date. Your voice matters.

Photo @: David Allen CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Please speak up for Ontario’s more than 240 at-risk plants and animals

  • Premier Doug Ford
  • Andrea Horwath, leader of the New Democratic Party of Ontario
  • Steven Del Duca, leader of the Ontario Liberal Party 
  • Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario
  • Your local MPP
  • cc. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada

 

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