Canada’s environment minister faces lawsuit for failing to protect Caribou

OTTAWA – Canada’s Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is being sued for not protecting boreal woodland caribou.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society filed the suit in a Montreal court on Thursday.

Lawyer Frederic Paquin said the minister has failed to live up to the requirements in the Species at Risk Act to identify gaps in protection and report on the progress to fix that.

Once a critical habitat for a species at risk has been identified, he added, the minister has six months to determine if any part of that habitat is unprotected and is then required to report on progress every six months until full protection is achieved.

The woodland caribou habitat was identified as critical in 2012 and the society argues there have been no reports since then from the government to explain what progress has been made to protect the land. The woodland caribou habitat spans nine provinces and territories.

According to latest reports, the population of those animals has reduced in the last few years to up to 30 thousand animals when 15 years ago the population was of 385 thousand animals.