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Ontario Taking Steps to Improve the Endangered Species Act

News Release

Ontario Taking Steps to Improve the Endangered Species Act

Government Invites Public Input on Increasing Program Efficiencies, Achieving Positive Outcomes for Species

Ontario's government is working for the people to reaffirm its commitment to protecting species at risk and their habitats.

As outlined in the made-in-Ontario environment plan, the government is ensuring stringent protections for species at risk, while continuing to work with conservation organizations, businesses, Indigenous communities and the public to improve the effectiveness of the program. As a first step, the province is undertaking a review of the Endangered Species Act.

"As part of the commitments contained within our made-in-Ontario environment plan, we are consulting to improve the effectiveness of our environmental protections to ensure a balanced approach between a healthy environment and a healthy economy," said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. "During the past decade of implementing the act, we have heard what works well, and what can be improved."

A discussion paper has been posted on the Environmental Registry for a 45-day consultation period inviting the public, Indigenous communities and groups, conservation organizations and businesses to have their say on how the province can achieve positive outcomes for species at risk while reducing burden and increasing efficiencies for businesses.

The focus of the review and the discussion paper will be on:

  • Enhancing the government's ability to enforce regulations under the Endangered Species Act
  • Ensuring that species assessments for the Species at Risk in Ontario List are based on current science
  • Streamlining related approvals and processes
  • Maintaining effective government oversight
  • Increasing transparency around the process for listing species on the Species at Risk in Ontario List.

Reaffirming our commitment to the Endangered Species Act is part of the government's made-in-Ontario environment plan to protect our air, land and water, prevent and reduce litter and waste, support Ontarians to continue to do their share to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help communities and families increase their resilience to climate change. The plan will help protect the Ontario we know and love, ensuring that its pristine beauties and strong communities can be enjoyed now and in the future.

Quick Facts

  • 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act in Ontario.
  • Ontario is home to more than 30,000 species of plants, insects, fish and wildlife.
  • 243 species are listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List.
  • Provincially-funded projects have contributed to the restoration of approximately 48,950 hectares of habitat for species at risk.

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