Species at Risk Act: summary


Her Excellency the Governor General recommends to the House of Commons the appropriation of public revenue under the circumstances, in the manner and for the purposes set out in a measure entitled "An Act respecting the protection of wildlife species at risk in Canada".


The purposes of this enactment are to prevent Canadian indigenous species, subspecies and distinct populations of wildlife from becoming extirpated or extinct, to provide for the recovery of endangered or threatened species, to encourage the management of other species to prevent them from becoming at risk.

This enactment establishes the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as an independent body of experts responsible for assessing and identifying species at risk. It provides that COSEWIC's assessments are to be reported to the Minister of the Environment and to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council and it authorizes the Governor in Council to establish by regulation the official list of species at risk based on that process.

It requires that the best available knowledge be used to define long- and short-term objectives in a recovery strategy for endangered and threatened species and it provides for action plans to identify specific actions.

It creates prohibitions to protect listed threatened and endangered species and their critical habitat.

It recognizes that compensation may be needed to ensure fairness following the imposition of the critical habitat prohibitions.

It creates a public registry to assist in making documents under the Act more accessible to the public.

It is consistent with Aboriginal and treaty rights and respects the authority of other federal ministers and provincial governments.

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