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Today in the legislature I introduced a private member’s bill entitled Bill M 225 — Endangered Species Act, 2017. This Act builds off the Ontario Endangered Species Act and the B.C. version of their legislation tabled by the BC NDP in 2011. My office was grateful to work with Gwen Barlee from the Wilderness Committee and environmental lawyer Sean Nixon from EcoJustice to close loopholes and make the bill more proactive and preventative. I also incorporated language from the United State Federal Endangered Species Act to make it more effective and comprehensive. Of note is the addition of a section that mirrors the US Endangered Species Committee, known as the “God Squad” because of the substantial impact of its decisions on the natural world. 

Below I reproduce the text and video of the speech I gave as I introduced the bill. I also include the accompanying media release.


Text of my Introduction


A. Weaver: It gives me great pleasure to move that a bill intituled Endangered Species Act, 2017, of which notice has been given, be introduced and read a first time now.

Motion approved.

A. Weaver: I’m pleased to be introducing a bill intituled the Endangered Species Act, 2017. The world is in the midst of an extinction crisis, and humans are the driving force. British Columbia is the most biodiverse province in Canada, but it is also the home to more at-risk species than any other province. Half of British Columbia’s assessed species are deemed at risk.

In addition to identifying, protecting and rehabilitating at-risk wildlife populations and habitats, this act seeks to introduce proactive measures that will prevent healthy species from declining in the first place. The act substantively expands upon the Ontario Endangered Species Act, the B.C. version of their legislation tabled by the B.C. NDP in 2011 and the American federal Endangered Species Act. Under the guidance of lawyers and advocates who have worked tirelessly on this issue, I was able to close problematic loopholes and make this act more proactive, transparent and effective.

Of note is the addition of a section that changes how exemptions are made. Under this new section instead of being left to the discretion of the minister, if government or industry want to take actions that will result in a species going extinct, it is required to go through an independent publicly disclosed board review.

I move that the bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of this House after today.

Bill M225, Endangered Species Act, 2017, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.


Video of my Introduction



Media Release


Weaver introduces Endangered Species Act
For immediate release
February 27th, 2017

VICTORIA B.C. – The entire world in is the midst of an extinction crisis and humans are the driving force.

“In Canada, British Columbia is the most biodiverse province, but it is also home to more at-risk species than any other province,” says Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party. “Half of B.C.’s assessed species are deemed at risk.”

“B.C.’s biodiversity is globally significant, rapidly declining, and lacking any substantial legal protection – this Act aims to change that by bringing into force standalone legislation to safeguard British Columbia’s native wildlife species and their habitat.”

In addition to identifying, protecting, and rehabilitating at-risk wildlife populations and habitats, this Act seeks to introduce proactive measures that will prevent healthy species from declining in the first place.

“Compared to reactive government efforts to intervene in a habitat already out of balance, preserving healthy ecosystems is easier, more cost effective, and avoids needless animal suffering,” says Weaver. “Furthermore, as the global climate warms and precipitation patterns shift, having a complete ecosystem within which animals and plants can try to adapt will be essential.
“The Federal Species at Risk Act and B.C.’s current non-binding patchwork approach to protecting wildlife is clearly not working. The biodiversity in our province is prodigious, but it is not without risk. We will lose it if we do not act.”

This Act builds off the Ontario Endangered Species Act and B.C. version of their legislation tabled by the B.C. NDP in 2011. It incorporates language from the United State Federal Endangered Species Act to make it more effective, proactive, preventative, and comprehensive. Of note is the addition of a section that mirrors the US Endangered Species Committee, known as the “God Squad” because of the substantial impact of its decisions on the natural world.

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Media contact
Mat Wright, Press Secretary
+1 250-216-3382 | mat.wright@leg.bc.ca

One Comment

  1. Jacqueline Steffen-Reply
    February 27, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you Andrew Weaver for introducing the bill to protect our endangered species in BC. I fully support it.

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