Minister Wilkinson expresses concern over proposed regulatory changes to the United States’ Migratory Bird Treaty Act
December 18, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario
“The Government of Canada is committed to protecting and conserving migratory birds. Science shows that migratory bird populations are declining, which has widespread negative impacts to ecosystem health and biodiversity on both sides of the border. Almost 80 percent of Canada’s migratory birds migrate through or reside in the United States during parts of their life cycle, which means ongoing collaboration between the two countries is critical to protect these important populations.
“The United States has recently moved forward with a proposal to allow the incidental take of migratory birds: the unintentional but predictable killing of birds or destruction of their nests or eggs. This proposal greatly concerns Canada, given the potential negative impacts to our shared migratory bird species. The Government of Canada’s interpretation of the proposed changes to the United States’ Migratory Bird Treaty Act is that they are not consistent with the objectives of the Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds in the United States and Canada. During the public comment process, Canada also raised concerns with the lack of quantitative analyses to inform this decision and the lack of fulsome consideration of the impacts on birds crossing our borders.
“The Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds in the United States and Canada, signed in 1916 between Canada and the United States, aims to protect migratory birds and allows the killing of migratory birds only under very limited circumstances. In the more than 100 years since, the collaboration between the two countries has yielded positive results for migratory birds, and our government will continue to develop and implement programs, policies, and regulations consistent with the objectives of the Convention to protect migratory birds, their eggs, and their nests.
“Birds know no borders, and cooperation is essential to conserving and protecting the world’s migratory population. Our countries share a long history of partnership, and we must continue to work together to protect migratory birds for future generations.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
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