Government of Northwest Territories fined $10,000 for offence under Species at Risk Act
January 29, 2021 – Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – Environment and Climate Change Canada
Strong and effective enforcement of Canada’s environmental and wildlife protection laws is one of the concrete ways in which we are delivering on our commitment to providing clean air, clean water, and the conservation of wildlife species and their habitat.
On January 28, 2021, in Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories, the Government of Northwest Territories was sentenced and fined $10,000 for an offence under the Species at Risk Act. The fine will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.
On July 17, 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers responded to a report from the Canadian Wildlife Service concerning the destruction of Bank Swallow nests. An enforcement investigation determined that an active colony of approximately 12 birds and their nests had been destroyed at a quarry site near Edzo, which is operated by the Government of the Northwest Territories’ Department of Infrastructure.
It is an offence under the Species at Risk Act to damage or destroy the residence of a migratory bird species listed as threatened, endangered, or extirpated. The Bank Swallow was listed as a threatened species under the Act on November 2, 2017. On December 8, 2020, the Government of Northwest Territories pleaded guilty to one count under the Act.
- Bank Swallows nest in burrows dug into exposed soil banks near ponds, rivers, sand pits and quarries, and some construction sites with these features. To reduce the risk of damaging or destroying a Bank Swallow nest, it is recommended that persons conducting work near potential nesting areas avoid scheduling excavation or construction activities during the spring and summer nesting season.
- Bank Swallow populations in Canada have declined by 98% in the last 40 years.
- The Environmental Damages Fund is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It was created in 1995 to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit the environment.
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