Peaceful Parks Coalition
For Immediate Release
Ontario Election - Honesty Press Release
McGuinty issues carte blanche exemptions to the ‘Endangered Species Act 2007’.
September 8, 2011 Toronto, Ontario: Since Dalton McGuinty plopped Linda Jeffrey into the chair of Minister of Natural Resources in 2010, there have been two hundred and fifty five (255) permits issued to contravene the ‘Endangered Species Act 2007’. An unprecedented number compared to her predecessor who issued twelve (12) in two years.
On April 8, 2010, the McGuinty govt. issued two carte blanche exemptions – 1) to eighty-three (83) municipalities in south and central Ontario for infrastructure work, and 2) one hundred and three (103) aggregate companies. (EBR # 010-9526 and EBR # 010-9527)
Typical individual exemptions include Metrus Development who in March 2010 received a permit to destroy the habitat of the Redside Dace , an endangered fish, to build a school and park as part of a subdivision inBrampton. (EBR # 010-9085)
“I wonder how those children would feel if they knew their park destroyed the habitat of a species struggling to survive on this planet,” muses AnnaMaria Valastro of Peaceful Parks Coalition.
In April, 2011, the McGuinty government issued a permit to the City of Guelph to destroy a nesting site (an old chimney) of the threatened Chimney Swift for the purpose of establishing a temporary parking lot and a new library. (EBR # 010-3168)
“I guess Minister Jeffrey couldn’t figure out how to incorporate an old chimney stack currently being used by Chimney Swifts into the overall design of the temporary parking lot,” speculates Ms Valastro.
The number of species affected from all the exemptions is vast, including species on the brink of extinction such as Jefferson Salamander (endangered), American Ginseng (endangered), Butler’s Gartersnake (endangered), Mudpuppy Mussel (endangered), Redside Dace (endangered), Round Pigtoe (endangered), Eastern Flowering Dogwood (endangered), and so many more.
“This government is reckless with Section 17 (2)(c), a loophole which allows the minister to issue exemption permits,” concludes Valastro.
“What’s worse, is that on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry, these exemption notices are listed as an ‘overall benefit’ permit to a species. So unless a person actually opens and reads the notice, one could conclude that McGuinty is protecting hundreds of species at risk,” says Valastro.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The McGuinty government is also considering a proposal to exempt the forestry industry, the hydro electric industry and the mining industry from the ‘Endangered Species Act 2007’ as it relates to the protection of Woodland Caribou – a species reliant on ancient forests to survive and whose population is rapidly declining in Ontario.