At-risk species loophole shut

The federal Liberal government has taken a suggestion from South Okanagan—West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings to close a loophole in the Species at Risk Act.

The act sees the government receive advice from a committee on endangered wildlife in Canada and have nine months to make a decision—to list as endangered or not—after receiving that advice.

“Unfortunately previous governments found the wording of the act ambiguous and often chose to ignore those timelines.  In fact, the Conservative government made no decisions at all about listing between 2011 and 2015, despite the fact that 82 species were assessed as needing that protection” said Cannings.

He called for changes that would make it clear that the clock starts when the advice is received, giving governments a firm deadline.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced on Monday that the government would be executing Cannings’ proposal in government policy.

“I’m glad the government has seen the merit in my proposal and I want to thank them for working with me to ensure that the Species at Risk act functions as it was intended to all along,” Cannings said.

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