Court ruling sets a frightening precedent for the Economy
Ottawa, July 10, 2018 – Canada’s Federal Court decision to allow the federal government to protect the ‘western chorus frog’ on private land could restrict development projects across Canada in cases where species face extinction.
This is the little amphibian at the heart of the decision
Justice René LeBlanc of the Federal Court said in a recent decision that Ottawa has the power to criminalize threats posed to the frog, and other species deemed to be at risk, anywhere in the country, and even when provinces disagree.
This marks the first time since Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA) began in 2002 that it has been used to halt development on private property.
It is only the second protection order issued under the act period.
The first was to protect the sage grouse on Crown lands in the prairies.
“This decision could have negative consequences for the Canadian economy, including for regions that depend on the forest,” says Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the Montreal Economic Institute. “The same logic could for example lead to a moratorium on forestry activity in boreal caribou habitat, despite the extravagant economic cost.”
Alain Branchaud, executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society in Quebec, said the decision will be a “pillar” for the future interpretation of the act. The judgment is quite clear that the federal government has the authority to step in when there are gaps in species protection, Mr. Branchaud said.
No doubt! Environmentalists are thrilled by this decision.
It essentially meant that in this case, it would be a criminal offence to develop in the area, and the housing project that was expected to be on the land had to be scaled back by 171 units.
Big Win for Catherine McKenna!
The mayor of La Prairie told the local newspaper that cutting the housing project by 171 homes would reduce municipal revenue by $30-million over 20 years.
If faced with a similar court challenge, the Boreal Forest could be hit hard as well…
“A similar line of reasoning applied to the boreal caribou could threaten 5,700 jobs in Quebec alone, namely in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, the North Shore, and Northern Quebec, in addition to entailing losses of $740 million for the forestry industry,” says Mr. Moreau of MEI. “This basically amounts to saying that for each caribou saved, we would sacrifice 72 jobs and $9 million in economic development, with no guaranteed results.”
I don’t know a lot about British Columbia’s forest industry, but I’m sure there are some species out there deemed ‘at risk’ as well…
Hmm. Food for thought…
So there’s the Question — Should SocioEconomic Impacts be factors in the Species At Risks Decisions… Let me answer that for you….
IT WAS STATED AS SUCH IN THE Species at Risk Act IN THE FIRST PLACE!
Yet the decision this time around essentially said because humans are to blame, it must be stopped.
With the FEDERAL COURTS now in Line with the Current Federal Government… uh oh.. Where Have I heard that one before??