Species at Risk Bill

January 28, 2002

The Hon. David Anderson, P.C., M.P.
Minister of the Environment
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Re: Species at Risk Bill

Dear Sir:
The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) acknowledges with thanks your detailed answer (January 23, 2002) to its continuing concerns about protecting the integrity of Canada’s water as expressed in the Policy Updated in the 2001 NCWC Annual Brief.

In 1998, NCWC members urged the Government of Canada to take action to protect Canada’s endangered species (98.3 Ensuring Bio-security/Bio-diversity for Canada). In 2000, members were pleased that you had proposed a strong “species at Risk ” Bill.

However, NCWC was dismayed by the decision to delegate the actual listings of endangered species to a committee of politicians. NCWC does not doubt the intelligence and dedication of politicians but does question their qualifications to be the sole arbiters on such a complex and difficult question. It is therefore preferable that there be expert opinion on endangered species present on such a committee, and that the traditional knowledge of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples be part of the decision-making process.

NCWC members are also alarmed that the published plans of oil and gas companies to exploit northern reservoirs of oil and gas threaten potential destruction of extremely fragile Eco-systems over a large area of Northern Canada thereby endangered some species at risk.

National Council of Women of Canada therefore supports the Species at Risk Bill and asks for its early enactment.

NCWC is a national non-partisan federation of voluntary organizations working together since 1893 to improve conditions of life for women, families and communities.

Sincerely,

Catharine Laidlaw-Sly
President;
National Council of Women of Canada

Cc: The Right Hon. Jean Chrétien
The Hon. Herb Dhaliwal
The Hon. Charles Caccia
Rev. Bill Blaikie

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