Ministerial responsibility to protect the northern spotted owl and its habitat

Petition: 461

Issue(s): Biological diversity; Compliance and enforcement; Federal-provincial relations

Petitioner(s): A Canadian resident

Petitioner location(s): Ottawa, Ontario

Date received: 8 November 2021

Status: Completed - Response(s) to petition received

Summary: The petition expresses concerns regarding the potential extirpation of the northern spotted owl in its British Columbia range. It states that the northern spotted owl is considered endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and is listed as such under the Species at Risk Act. The petition maintains there is only 1 remaining breeding pair in the wild in British Columbia and that the species is facing extirpation.

The petition refers to the act’s provisions (sections 32–35) that obligate the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to recommend an order to the Governor in Council to protect an endangered species and its habitat if the Minister finds that a province’s legislation is not adequately protecting the species or the residences of its individuals. The petition asks how the Minister has concluded that British Columbia’s current legislation is adequately protecting the northern spotted owl and its habitat from extirpation of the species. It also asks whether the Minister agrees that additional actions are needed to protect this species and its habitat and, if so, what additional steps the Minister will take.

Federal departments/organizations responsible for reply: Environment and Climate Change Canada