March 26, 2007

Ontario introduces updated endangered species legislation, to be backed by stewardship funding

TORONTO, ONT-Ontario's proposed Endangered Species Act, 2007 would, if passed, make the province a North American leader in species at risk protection and recovery, said Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay. The legislation would:

*broaden the scope of Ontario's existing Endangered Species Act and strengthen protection and recovery measures;

*provide greater accountability to the public and demonstrate clear results; and

*include the necessary provisions to support protection within the context of sustainable development.

Ramsay said the new, more effective legislation is part of a comprehensive, three-part approach to species at risk protection being adopted by the government. "We are proposing a comprehensive, three-part approach to provide an improved legislative framework for species and habitat protection, and also encourage greater stewardship involvement from landowners, resource users and conservation organizations," he said. "We further propose to back up our commitment to greater stewardship with funding of $18 million over four years to promote stewardship activities protecting essential habitat and green space," Ramsay added. Ontario is home to more than 30,000 species, more than 175 of which are listed as being at risk.

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