Canada close to getting own ESA

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1997:

OTTAWA––Overshadowed by the
CITES and ESA struggles, Canada staggers
toward adopting its first federal Endangered
Species Act, encumbered by resource industries
even stronger than their U.S. counterparts
and provincial governments with far more
autonomy than U.S. states. Canada has placed
276 species to date on an endangered species
list, but legally protecting those species has
been left to the often recalcitrant provinces.
As introduced last December 18,
the Canadian ESA would apply only to
species on federal land, or about 4% of the
Canadian land mass; includes only those
birds who are already covered by the
Migratory Birds Convention with the U.S.;


does not apply to species that migrate from
one province to another, except when they are
on federal land; does not mandate habitat protection;
and permits political override of scientific
decisions. The proposed law authorizes
creation of a Species-at-Risk
Conservation Fund, to be supported by private
donations, but requests no enforcement
allocation from Ottawa. Three hundred leading
Canadian scientists including 1993 Nobel
chemistry prize winner Michael Smith and
100 scientists from British Columbia,
believed to be the province with the most
endangered species, on February 5 asked
prime minister Jean Chretien to fix the problems.
Similar demands have come from
Greenpeace and other advocacy groups.
Opposition to the Canadian ESA
erupted most vehemently in Newfoundland,
led by provincial fisheries minister John
Efford, the Fish, Food, and Allied Workers
Union, and the Newfoundland Aquaculture
Industry Association, who argue that it might
hurt fishing by requiring protection of endangered
marine mammals––and might also be
invoked to keep the cod fishery closed, as it
has been since 1992 due to stock depletion.
British Columbia forests minister
David Zirnhelt and environment minister
Cathy MacGregor joined the timber and mining
industries in objecting that the proposed
Canadian ESA intrudes into areas of traditional
provincial responsiblity.

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