The federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) received Royal Assent on December 12, 2002. The new legislation will come into force by an order in council in 2003. SARA is one of three elements of the federal government’s strategy to protect species at risk, and requires the development of recovery action plans for the species deemed most at risk.
SARA also prohibits the destruction of the critical habitat of listed endangered or threatened species. Should private property be included in the classification of critical habitat, this could preclude waste management industry undertakings such as the development of new waste management facilities (i.e., transfer stations) or facilities that require more sizable footprints (like landfills).
While SARA makes provision for some compensation for businesses, the details of the compensation are yet to come in the form of regulations. The Act passed after a nine-year legislative process.
(See the Final Analysis column in the August/September 2000 edition.)