Federal Environment Minister Recommends Emergency Order to Protect Last Three Spotted Owls

The federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, is recommending Cabinet issue an emergency order under Canada’s Species at Risk Act to protect the last remaining northern spotted owls in British Columbia (B.C.). The order would give Ottawa the power to step in and make decisions that normally fall to the province, such as whether to allow logging in the owl’s habitat. The spotted owl population has declined to only three individuals in B.C. and urgent action is needed to prevent their extinction. The emergency order has not yet been issued, but if approved, it would be only the third time such an order has been used to protect a species in Canada.