VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – Canada is refusing to protect endangered killer whales off the coast of British Columbia by failing to prohibit destruction of their habitat, environmentalists say.
The David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada and others claim the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans erroneously stated in September that the whales’ critical habitat is already “legally protected.”
But the environmentalists say that federal programs, legislation and voluntary guidelines fail to protect the habitat, as required by the Species at Risk Act.
The groups also say that while the governments’ recovery strategy for killer whales identifies threats to the animals’ critical habitat, it fails to expressly prohibit its destruction.
Plaintiffs include the Dogwood Initiative, Environmental Defence Canada, Greenpeace Canada, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Raincoast Conservation Society and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee. They are represented by Lara Tessaro.