10th Year Review of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act: Discussion Paper

ERO number
013-4143
Notice type
Policy
Act
Endangered Species Act , R.S.O. 2007
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
January 18, 2019 - March 4, 2019 (45 days) Closed

This consultation was open from:
January 18, 2019
to March 4, 2019

Decision summary

We reviewed the Endangered Species Act, 2007 to improve protections for species at risk, consider modern and innovative approaches to achieve positive outcomes for species at risk, streamline approvals and provide clarity to support economic development. As a result of the review, we are proceeding with proposing amendments to the act.

Decision details

After considering comments received in relation to the 10th Year Review of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act: Discussion Paper, we have decided to proceed with proposing amendments to the Endangered Species Act, 2007. A summary of the feedback received during the Discussion Paper posting is provided below, as well as information about how you can submit a comment on the proposed amendments.

Comments received

Through the registry

1,943

By email

13,011

By mail

10
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

To inform the 10th Year Review of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, we solicited comments and suggestions about ways to achieve positive outcomes for species at risk as well as streamline approvals and provide clarity to the process.

We were particularly interested in hearing ideas around four areas of focus, as outlined in the Discussion Paper:

  • Landscape approaches
  • Listing process and protections for species at risk
  • Species recovery policies and habitat regulations
  • Authorization processes

We received feedback through a 45-day Environmental Registry posting, meetings with stakeholders, municipal associations, and Indigenous peoples. The feedback received was largely divergent. Generally, respondents supported strong protections for species at risk and their habitat, but found the current approvals process to be long, duplicative and unpredictable.

Generally, respondents supported:

  • Improving the implementation of the current legislation, including by increased enforcement
  • stringent protections for species at risk and their habitat, and clear requirements and conditions for authorizations
  • maintaining a science-based process for adding species to the Species at Risk in Ontario list
  • allowing the Minister the ability to seek re-assessment of species’ classifications by the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario
  • greater Indigenous representation on the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario and consideration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • increased discretion, transparency and certainty about when and where protections for species at risk and/or their habitat will apply
  • greater consideration of community knowledge and on-the-ground realities
  • reducing burden, shortening timelines, and increasing clarity for obtaining approvals under the ESA, including by establishing new tools such as the ability to make a payment in-lieu of some requirements
  • enabling a long-term solution to addressing forestry activities conducted under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994
  • enabling positive outcomes for species at risk
  • enhancing stakeholder and Indigenous engagement in recovery planning

Concerns were expressed regarding:

  • any changes that would lower protections to species at risk and their habitat
  • any re-assessment of species’ classifications by the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario that would lower protections
  • any negative impacts to species if it takes too long to develop the Government Response Statement or complete a review of progress towards the protection and recovery of the species
  • any landscape approaches that may be interpreted too broadly, depending on the circumstance and the species impacted
  • any changes that reduce requirements and conditions of authorizations
  • any payment-in-lieu approach that is not stringent and would result in reduced outcomes for species at risk
  • ensuring appropriate transparency, accountability and effectiveness monitoring for any payment-in-lieu approach
  • allowing activities that will have an adverse impact to species at risk to proceed under exemption regulations

As a result of the review and public consultation, we are proposing amendments to the Endangered Species Act, 2007. For more information about the ­proposed amendments, and to provide a comment, please search for Environmental Registry # 013-5033.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Species at Risk Branch - Species at Risk Recovery Section
Address

300 Water Street
North tower, 5th floor
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

Connect with us

Contact

Public Input Coordinator

Phone number
Email address
Office
Species Conservation Policy Branch
Address

300 Water Street
Floor 5N
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

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Original proposal

ERO number
013-4143
Notice type
Policy
Act
Endangered Species Act , R.S.O. 2007
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Proposal posted

Comment period

January 18, 2019 - March 4, 2019 (45 days)

Proposal details

Protecting and recovering our province’s species at risk is part of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks’ made-in-Ontario environment plan, “Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations,” launched in November 2018.

Ontarians are fortunate to live in a province that is filled with clean air, land and water, valuable resources, and an incredible diversity of more than 30,000 species of plants, insects, fish and wildlife. These species and their habitats are found in forests, rivers, lakes, wetlands, grasslands, and other important ecosystems that make up Ontario’s rich biodiversity. While many of these species have stable populations, 243 are listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List due to threats such as habitat loss, pollution, invasive species, climate change and disease. Species that are at risk include birds, fish, mussels, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, plants, and insects, and they occur across Ontario from the southern tip near Point Pelee to the northern edge near Fort Severn. As of January 2019, Ontario has developed and put in place 140 recovery strategies for species at risk in the province.

The Ontario government is currently undertaking a review of the Endangered Species Act to improve protections for species at risk, consider modern and innovative approaches to achieve positive outcomes for species at risk, as well as to look for ways to streamline approvals and provide clarity to support economic development.

The desired outcomes of any proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act are to:

  • Enable positive outcomes for species at risk
  • Ensure species assessments are based on up-to-date science
  • Address multiple objectives for ecosystem management through stewardship and protection activities
  • Increase efficiencies in service delivery for authorization clients
  • Streamline processes and provide clarity for those who need to implement the Act
  • Maintain an effective government oversight role

Endangered Species Act, 2007 came into effect on June 30, 2008. During the past decade of implementing the Endangered Species Act, we have heard what works well and what could work better – for species at risk, conservation groups, the public, Indigenous peoples, and economic development. Since coming into effect, the Act has been criticized for being ineffective in its aim to protect and recover species at risk, for being unclear, administratively burdensome, time-consuming and costly for applicants, and for creating barriers to economic development.

The ministry is particularly interested in hearing ideas in relation to four key areas of focus, as outlined in the Discussion Paper:

  1. Landscape Approaches
  2. Listing Process and Protections for Species at Risk
  3. Species Recovery Policies and Habitat Regulations
  4. Authorization Processes

The government is committed to ensuring that the Endangered Species Act provides stringent protections for species at risk, continuing to work with stakeholders and Indigenous peoples to improve its effectiveness, and modernizing the program based on best practices in other jurisdictions.

For more information on the proposal, please read the attached 10th Year Review of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act: Discussion Paper

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Species Conservation Policy Branch
Address

300 Water Street
Floor 5N
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from January 18, 2019
to March 4, 2019

Connect with us

Contact

Public Input Coordinator

Phone number
Email address
Office
Species Conservation Policy Branch
Address

300 Water Street
Floor 5N
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number