Hydro-Québec fined $40,000 for violating the Species at Risk Act
October 25, 2022 – Longueuil, Quebec – Environment and Climate Change Canada
Across the country, wildlife enforcement officers enforce laws and regulations that ensure the protection and conservation of wildlife and their habitat. They work to reduce threats and harms to biodiversity for the benefit of Canadians and all living things.
On October 13, 2022, at the Longueuil courthouse, Hydro-Québec pleaded guilty to one count of violating prohibitions under the Emergency Order for the Protection of the Western Chorus Frog and the Species at Risk Act. The Crown corporation was ordered to pay a $40,000 fine to the Receiver General for Canada.
On March 23, 2022, during a routine patrol, Environment and Climate Change Canada wildlife enforcement officers observed heavy equipment and work in the geographic area of the Emergency Order for the Protection of the Western Chorus Frog (Great Lakes / St. Lawrence–Canadian Shield Population) [the Emergency Order], in the municipality of La Prairie. The investigation determined that Hydro-Québec was responsible for the work that caused visible damage to an area estimated to be over 3,955 m2.
A violation of the provisions of an emergency order constitutes an offence under the Species at Risk Act. The Act prohibits killing or harming a wildlife species listed as threatened and damaging or destroying its habitat. The Emergency Order prohibits installing or constructing any infrastructure or performing any type of maintenance on infrastructure within the geographic area.
- The Great Lakes / St. Lawrence–Canadian Shield Population of the western chorus frog has been listed as threatened in Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act since 2010.
- On June 22, 2016, the Government of Canada announced an emergency order to protect the western chorus frog in the municipalities of La Prairie, Candiac, and Saint-Philippe, near Montréal, Quebec. The Order’s geographic area is approximately 2 km2 of partially developed land, a portion of which includes land that is part of Smitter’s Marsh Conservation Park.
- The prohibitions set out in the Emergency Order aim to prevent the degradation or loss of habitat needed by the western chorus frog for its recovery, and to prevent activities that could harm the species.
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