Re: EBR 013-4143: 10th Year Review of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act
To comment on the ESA review discussion paper, I am writing to strongly support the stated intent to provide more stringent protections for species at risk, but the proposals being considered will not accomplish that goal. On the contrary, for the most part they would make it easier for industry and developers to destroy the habitats of our most vulnerable plants and animals.
Any amendments to the ESA must support its purpose of protecting and recovering at-risk species. To that end, I urge MECP to:
- Repeal the 2013 exemptions for the forestry, hydro, mining and development industries;
- Amend section 57 (1)1 of the ESA so that exemptions will only be allowed if they do not jeopardize the survival and recovery of endangered and threatened species;
- Maintain COSSARO’s current science-based listing process;
- Maintain mandatory habitat protection with no ministerial discretion; and
- Maintain the requirement for proponents of harmful activities to provide an on-the-ground overall benefit to species impacted with no backdoor option to simply pay into a fund to compensate for harm.
Thank you for your attention.