Doug Ford is reviewing Endangered Species Act to find 'efficiencies for businesses'
Canada's most populous province has launched a sweeping review of a law protecting endangered species in order to find "efficiencies for businesses."
Ontario Premier Doug Ford's government announced the review of the provincial Endangered Species Act through a paper released Friday afternoon by the provincial Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
The paper's wording suggests that Ford's Progressive Conservatives — who promised in the 2018 election campaign to make Ontario "open for business" — are eager to soften the existing legislation and reduce onerous obligations on businesses. These obligations were put in place to help protect endangered species like the caribou — the iconic species featured on Canadian quarters — that are at risk of disappearing from regions of Ontario and other provinces due to industrial development.
Another environmental law, Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights, requires the government to begin a 45-day public consultation period as part of what it is calling its 10th-year review of the endangered species law. The consultation is now open.
Environment Minister Rod Phillips said in a statement that this would improve the "effectiveness" of environmental protections and find a "balanced approach" to boost the environment and the economy.