Just as the Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources brace for cuts, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario has released another timely special report on the grave threats to biodiversity in Ontario.
“The Ontario government did adopt a Biodiversity Strategy in 2005,” says Gord Miller. “Unfortunately, it expired in 2010, and the government has so far chosen not to adopt an updated plan.”
In 2010, Canada met with almost 200 nations in Nagoya, Japan and agreed on 20 biodiversity conservation targets that should be achieved by 2020. But the Commissioner says most of the constitutional responsibility for meeting these targets lies with Ontario and the other provincial governments. In Ontario, the most significant threats to the province’s species and natural spaces are habitat degradation, climate change, invasive species, overexploitation and pollution.
Federal efforts to protect species at risk have also been weak, even when permits are required. If species at risk are in the way of something a government department wants (the Detroit Bridge, the Kearl oil sands mine), the species at risk always seem to lose.