40:1 Bill 73, Endangered Species Amendment Act, 2012

Scott, Laurie

Viewing: Original (current version) pdf

Bill 73                                                          2012

An Act to amend the Endangered Species Act, 2007

Note: This Act amends the Endangered Species Act, 2007, which has not previously been amended.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

   1.  Subsection 11 (12) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 is repealed and the following substituted:

Feasibility

   (12)  The Minister shall consider social and economic factors in reaching his or her opinion on whether something is feasible for the purpose of subsection (7) or (9) and shall ensure that the consideration of those factors is reflected in the strategy prepared under subsection (7) or the statement published under subsection (8), as the case may be.

   2.  Subsection 12 (8) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Feasibility

   (8)  The Minister shall consider social and economic factors in reaching his or her opinion on whether something is feasible for the purpose of subsection (6) and shall ensure that the consideration of those factors is reflected in the statement published under subsection (5).

   3.  Subclause 17 (2) (c) (i) of the Act is repealed.

   4.  (1)  This section applies only if Bill 55 (Strong Action for Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2012), introduced on March 27, 2012, receives Royal Assent.

   (2)  References in this section to provisions of Bill 55 are references to those provisions as they were numbered in the first reading version of the Bill.

   (3)  If subsection 4 (1) of Schedule 19 to Bill 55 comes into force on or before the day section 3 of this Act comes into force, section 3 of this Act does not apply.

   (4)  On the later of the day subsection 4 (1) of Schedule 19 to Bill 55 comes into force and the day section 3 of this Act comes into force, subclause 17 (2) (a) (i) of the Act is repealed.

   5.  Section 56 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Rules re public notice of proposed regulation

   (2.1)  The following rules apply if the Minister is required to give notice to the public under section 16 of the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 of a proposal to make a regulation under clause 55 (1) (a) of this Act that would prescribe an area as the habitat for an endangered or threatened species:

    1.  The Minister shall give notice of the proposal to the public at least 90 days before the proposal is implemented.

    2.  The Minister shall include the following in the notice:

            i.  A brief statement of the objective of the proposal.

           ii.          A preliminary assessment of the environmental, social and economic consequences of implementing the proposal.

          iii.          An explanation of why the environmental objectives, if any, of the proposal would be appropriately achieved by making the regulation.

Commencement

   6.  This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

   7.  The short title of this Act is the Endangered Species Amendment Act, 2012.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill amends the Endangered Species Act, 2007 in the following ways:

Currently, the Minister is required to ensure that a recovery strategy is prepared for each endangered and threatened species that is on the Species at Risk in Ontario List.  The Minister is also required to ensure that a recovery strategy is prepared for an extirpated species on the List, if the Minister is of the opinion that reintroduction of the species into Ontario is feasible.  If a recovery strategy is prepared, the Minister must publish a statement that summarizes the actions that the Government of Ontario intends to take and the Minister must ensure the implementation of those actions that, in the opinion of the Minister, are feasible.  Subsection 11 (12) of the Act currently permits the Minister to consider social and economic factors in reaching his or her opinion on whether something is feasible.  That subsection is re-enacted to make the consideration of social and economic factors mandatory and to ensure that those considerations are reflected in a recovery strategy or statement, as the case may be.  A similar amendment is made in section 12 of the Act, which governs the preparation of management plans for special concern species.

Section 17 of the Act enables the Minister to issue a permit that authorizes a person to engage in an activity that would otherwise be prohibited.  Clause 17 (2) (c) of the Act currently describes one of the circumstances in which a permit may be issued.  That subsection requires that, although the activity’s main purpose is not to assist in the protection or recovery of a species, the Minister be of the opinion that an overall benefit to the species would be achieved, that reasonable alternatives have been considered and that reasonable steps are required to minimize adverse effects on individual members of the species.  An amendment is made to remove the requirement that an overall benefit must be achieved.

Subsection 55 (1) of the Act currently authorizes the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make species-specific regulations that prescribe an area as the habitat for a species.  Section 56 of the Act governs public notice concerning proposals to make habitat regulations for species that are listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario List as an endangered or threatened species.  If the Minister gives notice of a proposal to make a habitat regulation, new subsection 56 (2.1) of the Act requires the Minister to give the notice at least 90 days before the proposal is implemented.  Currently, the requirement is at least 30 days.  In addition, the subsection requires the Minister to include certain information in the notice, including a preliminary assessment of the environmental, social and economic consequences of implementing the proposal.

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