The Georgia Strait Alliance is one of six conservation groups taking legal action against the federal government.
The groups filed a lawsuit against the Trudeau Liberals because of inaction when it comes to the feds failing to issue an emergency order to protect the endangered resident killer whales, a population that’s now at 75.
Despite the feds taking what Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson calls ‘unprecedented’ action to protect the orcas, Christianne Wilhelmson, the Executive Director of the Georgia Strait Alliance, said the 167 million dollar Whales Action Plan has only been partially implemented.
“They haven’t closed all the areas where we know the orcas are foraging,” said Wilhelmson. “It’s a good example of when you do a partial action, it can sometimes be very ineffective.”
She added, “when you close some areas, but you leave another area where the orcas are spending a lot of time open, and there’s fishing happening there, you’re going to limit the ability of the orcas to access the food that’s there.”
Wilhelmson said the pace at which the government moves at is dangerously slow.
“They’ve ticked some boxes, but if you look a little closer, it’s clearly not enough,” said Wilhelmson. “They (the government) want to expand the area that needs to be protected for the orcas and that’s great, but it’s going to a consultation process and that area probably won’t be finalized until the spring of next year and, even then, it won’t have details about how that area will be protected.”
These conservation groups filed a lawsuit against the federal government for its failure to issue an emergency order to protect the resident killer whales.
An emergency order is part of the Species at Risk Act and it allows the government to bypass process and take immediate action.