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For Immediate Release

Sept. 22, 2008


VICTORIA – Draft regulations leaked today are proof that the Campbell government doesn’t care about protecting species at risk in British Columbia, New Democrat environment critic Shane Simpson said today.

“These draft regulations are an embarrassment,” said Simpson, the MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. They miss the point completely, utterly failing to take the action needed to protect species at risk. It shows just how out of touch the Campbell government really is on this issue.”

The environmental groups Western Canada Wilderness Committee and Ecojustice received a briefing document outlining aspects the Campbell government’ long awaited species at risk regulations. That document shows that only 38 species and 57 plants, out of more than 1300 that have been identified as at risk, will receive limited protection. Further, the regulations fail to recognize habitat protection as a key piece to the puzzle.

“How can this government expect to protect species at risk when they ignore the role habitat protection plays in the effort?” said Simpson. “This legislation is weak – merely lip service.

“The Campbell government has been promising tough action on protecting species at risk,” said Simpson. “Clearly, all they are really committed to is watered down regulations that will accomplish little.”

Simpson said that last spring he introduced a private members bill, the Wildlife Protection Act. “My bill is comprehensive and would provide real protection based on science, while ensuring balance for other essential habitat uses when warranted. It provides a template for the Campbell government to move on, but they just are not interested.”

Simpson added that it is vital to legislate species-at-risk protection – not just regulate. He noted that BC is one of only two provinces in Canada that don’t have legal protection for species-at-risk.

“The Premier may claim to be green, but weak regulations like these shows the Campbell government really has no interest in doing what is right for our environment,” said Simpson.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 22, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Posted in Environment

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