Recent Media Coverage

Canada’s Federal Government Urged To Protect Wild Bees

Niagara At Large,
Niagara At Large,
September 17 2015

New from the environmental groups Ontario [Nature], Ecojustice, Wilderness Committee, David Suzuki Foundation, Equiterre and Friends of the Earth

(A brief foreword note from Niagara At Large – A drastic drop in bee populations is something our political leaders in Niagara, Ontario should be addressing by joining groups like this in pushing for action at all levels of government.

These bee pollinators are essential to the survival of a tender fruit industry in Niagara that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually and to other vegetation that grows here.

Yet we hardly hear a word from the region’s political leaders and we, the people, are not doing enough to press them into action.)

Toronto, Ontario, September 17th, 2015 – Six environmental groups are pressing the federal Minister of the Environment to list four wild bee species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

Listing these bees is the crucial — and overdue — first step in protecting them from threats to their survival and recovery, including the use of harmful neonicotinoid pesticides.

“The Minister has a legal obligation to list these essential wild pollinators under SARA,” said Lara Tessaro, Ecojustice lawyer. “We need to ensure that wild bees are protected from threats to their survival, including neonicotinoid pesticides, habitat loss, diseases, and climate change.”

On behalf of the Wilderness Committee, David Suzuki Foundation, Equiterre, Friends of the Earth and Ontario Nature, Ecojustice lawyers sent a letter to the Minister today, urging her to take immediate action.

The Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee, Western Bumble Bee occidentalis and mckayi subspecies, and Macropis Cuckoo Bee have been identified as endangered, threatened, or of special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

The Committee provided assessment reports to the Minister more than nine months ago, but these four bee species have still not been added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. No species receives any protection under SARA until it has been added to the List.

“These wild bees desperately need help now,” said Gwen Barlee, Policy Director for the Wilderness Committee. “Even though the writ has dropped, the federal government’s responsibility for species doesn’t grind to a halt. Just as the criminal code applies during the writ period so does the Species at Risk Act.”

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