Risky Business 

Under the Harper government, Canada's species at risk are at greater risk than ever

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF ECOJUSTICE BY URSUS PHOTOGRAPHY - at risk Four environmental groups are fighting to protect the habitat of Pacific humpback whales and other species at risk.
  • Photo courtesy of EcoJustice By Ursus Photography
  • at risk Four environmental groups are fighting to protect the habitat of Pacific humpback whales and other species at risk.

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In typical fashion, Kent has attempted to both politicize and economy-wash his government's conspicuous inaction by reminding Canadian Press that the Species At Risk Act "introduced in 2002 by a Liberal government," will be both "more efficient and more effective" when the Harper government overhauls it. Given the conservatives' track record on such matters, no one is holding their breath.

There are now 668 wildlife species listed, including 297 endangered, 159 threatened and 190 of special concern. Twenty-two species are considered extirpated (i.e., no longer found in the wild). There is, however, some good news: the bottom-feeding Salish sucker, found in the Lower Mainland, has been upgraded to threatened, and the committee said the spotted, northern and Atlantic wolffish are all showing signs of recovery in response to protection and management measures — proof that implementation works. Which puts the ball squarely in the feds' court — where it has now been sitting idle for six years.

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