11034936 Canada Inc. - Permit for activities to achieve an overall benefit to a species

Instrument type: Permit for activities to achieve an overall benefit to a species

ERO number
019-4540
Ministry reference number
ER-C-008-21
Notice type
Instrument
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 10, 2022 - February 9, 2022 (30 days) Closed
Last updated

There is no requirement to post this notice on the Environmental Registry of Ontario, but we wanted to hear your thoughts. Thank you for your feedback.

This consultation was open from:
January 10, 2022
to February 9, 2022

Decision summary

The Minister has issued an overall benefit permit under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 to 11034936 Canada Inc. for construction activities that will impact Blanding’s Turtle, which is a species at risk. The permit includes actions to benefit the species and minimize adverse effects, and requires monitoring and reporting.

Location details

Site address

Portions of 927 March Road
Ottawa, ON
Canada

Site location details

The proposed project is being carried out in Ottawa, and the site includes portions of the 927 March Road property.

Site location map

The location pin reflects the approximate area where environmental activity is taking place.

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Proponent(s)

11034936 Canada Inc.
98 Rue Lois
Gatineau, QC
J8Y 3R7
Canada

Decision details

On April 21, 2022, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks issued an overall benefit permit to 11034936 Canada Inc. concerning Blanding’s Turtle.

The permit authorizes 11034936 Canada Inc. to adversely impact Blanding’s Turtle and up to 17.4 hectares of its habitat so they can construct a residential development including portions of 927 March Road in Ottawa, Ontario.

Protecting species under the Endangered Species Act

Our government is committed to protecting species at risk and providing strong environmental oversight, while working to support development opportunities in the province.

Businesses, municipalities and other proponents are expected to take steps to ensure their projects avoid any adverse impacts on species at risk or their habitats. However, where avoidance is not possible, the Endangered Species Act, 2007 gives the Minister the discretion to authorize activities if certain conditions can be met.

The permit includes conditions that require the proponent to undertake measures that will:

  • minimize adverse effects to Blanding’s Turtle
  • achieve an overall benefit to Blanding’s Turtle within a reasonable timeframe

Actions to minimize adverse effects to species

The permit requires 11034936 Canada Inc. to carry out actions to minimize adverse effects on Blanding’s Turtle, including:

  • creating a suitable wildlife passage culvert that will allow the species to pass beneath the new road
  • conducting awareness training for persons working at the site before starting work on the site
  • installing exclusion fencing to prevent turtles from accessing the development site
  • converting temporary fencing to permanent exclusion fencing as each phase of the development is completed
  • conducting initial vegetation removal outside of the active season for Blanding’s Turtle (e.g. between October 15 and April 15)
  • operating vehicles and equipment at speeds that allow drivers to stop safely and avoid hitting turtles
  • adhering to a clean equipment protocol to prevent fuel and other harmful substances from entering wetlands and watercourses
  • developing and adhering to a spill response plan
  • adhering to a species at risk encounter protocol
  • using a Qualified Professional to oversee and undertake important aspects of the project (e.g., during dewatering operations, turtle relocations)
  • undertaking in-water work during the inactive (overwintering) season for Blanding’s Turtle
  • providing homeowner awareness and education packages to educate homeowners on the presence of the species
  • installing public information signs to describe Blanding’s Turtle and the importance of the species to Indigenous peoples
  • monitoring mitigation measures to ensure they are effective

Actions to achieve an overall benefit to species

The permit requires 11034936 Canada Inc. to carry out actions to achieve an overall benefit for Blanding’s Turtle within a reasonable timeframe, including:

  • creating and restoring Category 1 and 2 habitat within the 40 metre wide North Branch watercourse corridor, including:
    • 0.08 hectares of Category 1 habitat which includes one deep pool
    • 0.06 hectares of Category 2 habitat which includes two shallow pans and hard substrate features
  • Installing approximately 693 metres of permanent offsite fencing along a portion of March Valley Road (i.e. expanding fencing system in area) to reduce the risks of Blanding’s Turtle road mortality
  • monitoring the effectiveness of the actions taken

These actions are expected to achieve overall benefits for Blanding’s Turtle by:

  • creating and enhancing habitat so as to provide better functioning and higher quality habitat than what exists now
  • reducing threats such as road injury and mortality

Other information

Reasonable alternatives were considered, including alternatives that would not adversely affect the species, such as:

  • not proceeding with the development
  • proceeding with site development, including a 40-metre-wide corridor of retained habitat surrounding the tributaries of Shirley’s Brook and installing a wildlife passage culvert
  • proceeding with site development and expanding the proposed 40-metre-wide corridors of retained habitat to 60-metre-wide corridors surrounding the tributaries of Shirley’s Brook

The best alternative involves proceeding with site development and employing a 40-metre-wide corridor of retained habitat surrounding the tributaries of Shirley’s Brook.

This preferred alternative strikes a balance between meeting the servicing and development needs of the subdivision, while preserving and enhancing key habitat features and function for Blanding’s Turtle.

A government response statement (GRS) for Blanding’s Turtle was published in September 2020. Consideration was given to this GRS and proposed permit conditions align with the objectives outlined in the GRS, including:

  • improving habitat
  • reducing threats
  • promoting awareness among private landowners about Blanding’s Turtle

Comments received

Through the registry

3

By email

1

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

We received a total of 4 comments. One comment received through email was duplicative of a comment received through the registry.

Following is the summary of the concerns expressed in the comments and how we considered them.

Summary of comments

The comments we received include:

  • an offer to construct the basking platform for turtles and a similar comment to help design sunning areas for the species
  • questions about the classification criteria for an instrument required to be posted on the Environmental Registry
  • suggestion that a qualified professional, specializing in herpetology be involved in the project and permit

Responses

No changes were made to the proposed permit conditions. The commenter wanting to build the basking platform could reach out directly to the proponent using contact information included on the Environmental Registry. The Environmental Registry posting was conducted on a voluntary basis, and it was determined that all concerns regarding involving a qualified professional in carrying out permit conditions had been appropriately addressed.

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.

Appeal

Appeals are not allowed

This instrument type cannot be appealed. Learn more about our consultation process.

Connect with us

Contact

Kristina Hubert

Phone number
Office
Species at Risk Branch - Permissions and Compliance
Address

300 Water Street
4th Floor, South tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

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Follow this notice

Original proposal

ERO number
019-4540
Ministry reference number
ER-C-008-21
Notice type
Instrument
Act
Endangered Species Act , R.S.O. 2007
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Proposal posted

Comment period

January 10, 2022 - February 9, 2022 (30 days)

Why consultation isn't required

We are not required to consult on this permit proposal as it relates to an animal and therefore does not meet the required criteria set out in subsection 1.3(6) of Ontario Regulation 681/94 of the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993.

We are voluntarily posting this notice to advise the public of this proposal and to invite the public to submit written comments to the contact person identified in this notice

Proposal details

11034936 Canada Inc. is seeking an overall benefit permit under clause 17 (2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007. The proposal is for residential development in Ottawa.

The proposal may adversely impact:

The main threats to Blanding’s Turtle are:

  • loss or fragmentation of habitat
  • motor vehicles
  • raccoons and foxes that prey on eggs

Blanding’s Turtle are generally threatened by habitat loss and degradation caused by urban and agricultural development.

A general habitat description provides a framework for identifying areas of habitat that may be able to tolerate alterations, based on how Blanding’s Turtles use the area to carry out their life functions. For Blanding’s Turtles:

  • Category 1 Habitat is considered to have a low tolerance to alteration, and includes habitat features used nesting and overwintering sites
  • Category 2 Habitat is considered to have a moderate tolerance to alteration and includes wetland complexes
  • Category 3 Habitat is considered to have a high tolerance to alteration and include movement corridors around the wetland complexes

Protecting species under the Endangered Species Act

Our government is committed to protecting species at risk and providing strong environmental oversight, while working to support development opportunities in the province.

Ontario provides protections for species at risk and their habitats under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sections 9 and 10 of the ESA provide protection for individual members of a species and their habitat if that species is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List as either:

  • extirpated
  • endangered
  • threatened

Blanding’s Turtle is listed as threatened, therefore, it is protected.

Under clause 17(2)(c) of the ESA, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks may issue a permit authorizing a person to engage in an activity that would otherwise be prohibited by sections 9 or 10 of the ESA if the minister believes that:

  • an overall benefit to the species will be achieved within a reasonable time through the conditions of the permit
  • reasonable alternatives have been considered, including alternatives that would not negatively affect the species, and the best alternative has been adopted
  • reasonable steps to minimize negative effects on individual members of the species are required by conditions of the permit

Providing an overall benefit to a protected species under the ESA involves improving circumstances for the species in Ontario. Overall benefit is:

  • more than "no net loss" or an exchange of "like for like"
  • grounded in the protection and recovery of the species at risk
  • more than mitigation measures or "replacing" what is lost

Actions to achieve an overall benefit to the species

11034936 Canada Inc. is working to identify actions that would achieve an overall benefit for Blanding’s Turtle, which may involve:

  • installing habitat and restoration features (Category 1 and 2 habitat creation) with the 40 m wide North Branch watercourse corridor, including:
    • 0.08 hectares of Category 1 habitat which includes one deep pool
    • 0.02 hectares of Category 2 habitat which includes two shallow pans and hard substrate features
  • installing 693 metres of permanent offsite fencing along a portion of March Valley Road (i.e. expanding fencing system in area) to reduce the risks of Blanding’s Turtle road mortality
  • monitoring the effectiveness of the actions taken

These proposed actions are expected to achieve overall benefits for Blanding’s Turtle, resulting in creating and enhancing habitat and reducing threats (road injury and mortality).

Reasonable alternatives being considered

11034936 Canada Inc. has explored a range of alternatives, including alternatives that would not adversely affect Blanding’s Turtle and habitat. These include:

  • not proceeding with the development
  • proceeding with site development, including a 40 m wide corridor of retained habitat surrounding the tributaries of Shirley’s Brook and installing a wildlife passage culvert
  • proceeding with site development and expanding the proposed 40 m wide corridors of retained habitat to 60 m wide corridors surrounding the tributaries of Shirley’s Brook

11034936 Canada Inc. has concluded that the best alternative involves proceeding with site development and employing a 40 m wide corridor of retained habitat surrounding the tributaries of Shirley’s Brook. This preferred alternative strikes a balance between meeting the servicing and development needs of the subdivision, while preserving and enhancing key habitat features and function for Blanding’s Turtle.

Actions to minimize negative effects to the species

11034936 Canada Inc. is seeking ways to minimize adverse effects on Blanding’s Turtle and its habitat. These may include:

  • creating a suitable wildlife passage culvert that will allow the species to pass beneath the new road
  • conducting contractor awareness training before starting work on the site
  • installing exclusion fencing to prevent turtles from accessing the development site
  • converting temporary fencing to permanent exclusion fencing as each phase of the development is completed
  • conducting initial vegetation removal outside of the active season for Blanding’s Turtle (e.g. between October 15 and April 15)
  • operating vehicles and equipment at speeds at which drivers are able to stop safely and avoid hitting turtles
  • adhering to a clean equipment protocol to prevent fuel and other harmful substances from entering wetlands and watercourses
  • developing and adhering to a spill response plan
  • adhering to a species at risk encounter protocol
  • using a Qualified Professional to oversee and undertake important aspects of the project (e.g. during dewatering operations, turtle relocations)
  • undertaking in-water work during the inactive (overwintering) season for Blanding’s Turtle
  • providing homeowner awareness and education packages to educate homeowners on the presence of the species
  • monitoring mitigation measures to ensure they are effective

Other information

The Province has published a government response statement under section 12.1 of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 with respect to Blanding’s Turtle.

A copy of the government response statement for Blanding's Turtle is available at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/blandings-turtle-government-response-statement.

The government response statement will be considered before a decision to issue an overall benefit permit.

Posting this proposal on the Environmental Registry does not imply that the Minister will issue a permit. A permit may only be issued where the legal requirements set out in clause 17(2)(c) of the ESA have been satisfied.

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.

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from January 10, 2022
to February 9, 2022

Connect with us

Contact

Kristina Hubert

Phone number
Office
Species at Risk Branch - Permissions and Compliance
Address

300 Water Street
4th Floor, South tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada