Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:

The Submitters assert that Canada is failing to effectively enforce section 6(a) of the Migratory Bird Regulations (MBR) adopted under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA) against the logging industry in Ontario. Section 6(a) of the MBR makes it an offence to disturb, destroy or take a nest or egg of a migratory bird without a permit. The Submitters claim that their research, based on statistical data, estimates that in the year 2001 clear-cutting activity destroyed over 85,000 migratory bird nests in areas of Central and Northern Ontario. They allege that Environment Canada, through its Canadian Wildlife Service, is primarily responsible for enforcing the MBCA and that virtually no action has been taken to enforce section 6(a) of the MBR against logging companies, logging contractors and independent contractors. They assert that despite the estimated widespread destruction of bird nests, an access to information request revealed no investigations or charges in Ontario for violations of section 6(a). The Submitters assert that the alleged failure to enforce section 6(a) of the MBR, in addition to the harmful impact on the migratory bird population, has negative consequences for wildlife biodiversity, tourism, respect for the law, fair competition within the logging industry and healthy wood stocks.

Summary of the response provided by the Party:

In response to the submission, Canada asserts that “Environment Canada’s Wildlife Enforcement Branch has not made a sweeping policy decision not to enforce subsection 6(a) of the MBR with regard to logging operations.” The response states that priorities for wildlife enforcement are set on an annual basis in response to public complaints, international commitments, and wildlife conservation goals. The response indicates that “[i]n the forestry context, an enforcement approach that will be helpful to migratory bird conservation over the long term first requires compliance promotion and education among industry, particularly decision-makers.” It states that CWS has initiated such compliance promotion activities and “is planning and in the process of implementing significant new initiatives and programs to address the growing needs of compliance promotion and enforcement of wildlife laws among industry in general. Environment Canada will investigate possible violations of subsection 6(a) of the MBR, and lay charges as may be appropriate.” The response concludes that “because the submitters did not provide any actual case, the Canadian Government was not able to respond in a meaningful way to their main assertion” and “[f]or this reason, as well as the submitters’ failure to otherwise make a complaint to the CWS that a logging operation in Ontario was in violation of subsection 6(a) of the MBR, the Government of Canada believes that a factual record is not warranted.”

Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:

Section 6(a) of the Migratory Bird Regulations adopted under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.

Submitter(s):

Canadian Nature Federation, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Earthroots, Federation of Ontario Naturalists, Great Lakes United, Sierra Club (United States), Sierra Club of Canada, Wildlands League - Represented by Sierra Legal Defence Fund (SLDF)

Submission Timeline

February 6, 2002

The Secretariat received a submission and began a preliminary analysis of it under the guidelines.

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 06/02/2002

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 04/02/2002

February 25, 2002

The Secretariat determined that the submission met the criteria of Article 14(1) and requested a response from the concerned government Party in accordance with Article 14(2).

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14 (1) and 14 (2) authored by Secretariat on 25/02/2002

April 25, 2002

The Secretariat received a response from the concerned government Party and began considering whether to recommend a factual record.

Acknowledgement - Other document authored by Secretariat on 25/04/2002

Party Response - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Canada on 11/04/2002

November 12, 2002

The Secretariat informed Council that the Secretariat considers that the submission warrants development of a factual record.

Recommendation - Secretariat Notification to Council under Article 15(1) authored by Secretariat on 12/11/2002

April 22, 2003

The Council decided to defer voting on whether to instruct the Secretariat to prepare a factual record.

Resolution - Council decision concerning the development of a Factual Record authored by Council on 22/04/2003

August 20, 2003

The Secretariat received new or supplemental information from the Submitter(s).

Other Documents - Other document authored by Submitter(s) on 20/08/2003

August 21, 2003

The Secretariat requested additional information from the concerned government Party.

Determination - Other document authored by Secretariat on 21/08/2003

October 16, 2003

The Secretariat received additional information from the concerned government Party.

Party Response - Other document authored by Canada on 16/10/2003

Acknowledgement - Other document authored by Secretariat on 17/10/2003

December 17, 2003

The Secretariat supplemented its recommendation to Council that a factual record be prepared.

Recommendation - Secretariat Notification to Council under Article 15(1) authored by Secretariat on 17/12/2003

March 12, 2004

The Council voted to instruct the Secretariat to develop a factual record.

Resolution - Council decision concerning the development of a Factual Record authored by Council on 12/03/2004

June 30, 2004

The Secretariat posted a request for information relevant to the factual record on its web site.

Secretariat Information Request - Document related to the preparation of a Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 30/06/2004

April 4, 2005

The Secretariat placed a work plan on its web site or otherwise made it available to the public and stakeholders.

Workplan - Overall workplan for Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 04/04/2005

March 31, 2006

The Secretariat submitted a draft factual record to Council, for a 45-day comment period on the accuracy of the draft.

May 18, 2006

The Secretariat received comments from Canada.

May 19, 2006

The Secretariat received comments from the United States.

June 20, 2006

The Secretariat submitted a final factual record to Council for Council's vote on whether to make the final factual record publicly available.

January 31, 2007

Council voted to instruct the Secretariat to make the final factual record publicly available.

Resolution - Council decision on whether the factual record will be made publicly available authored by Council on 31/01/2007

February 5, 2007

The final factual record was publicly released.

Final Factual Record - Final Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 20/06/2006