MP Richard Cannings is hoping a tweak he’s suggesting for Species at Risk legislation will actually start saving species at risk.
The South Okanagan – West Kootenay MP introduced Bill C-363 — An Act to amend the Species at Risk Act — in the House of Commons Friday.
If passed, the bill would close a loophole that the Canadian government has used for years to delay or deny protection for species deemed to be at risk.
“The Species at Risk Act was designed to provide governments with a transparent and timely process to accept scientific advice on which species require protection,” Mr. Cannings said. “Under the Act, that advice comes from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, and the Minister has nine months to make a decision —to list or not —after receiving that advice.
“Unfortunately the previous Conservative government found the wording of the Act ambiguous and chose to completely ignore those timelines. In fact, the government made no decisions at all about listing between 2011 and 2015, despite the fact that 82 species were assessed as needing that protection.”
If Passed, Bill C-363 would amend the Act to make it clear that the clock starts when the advice is received, and will give the Minister of Environment and Climate Change one year to make a decision as to whether or not a species will be added to the lists in the Act.
“I hope the government will support this Bill and return the Species at Risk Act to its original intent and force “ said Mr. Cannings.