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Simon Shields, LLB

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Simon Shields,
LLB

Barrister and Solicitor
(Retired)
LSUC #37308N


simonshields@isp.com

Legal Writing and Research


Wild Animal Law of Canada

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Forestry-Related Acts (Ontario)

(current to 15 September 2016)

Note Re Application of the Forestry Act ('FA') and the Crown Forest Sustainability Act ('CFSA')

These statutes bear on wild animals in two respects. First in their capacity as an element of the ecology of the province whose protection should be integrated into provincial forestry management, and second (at least in the Forestry Act) as animals that may constitute 'pests' harmful to commercial forestry interests.

This law bears on the wildlife issues of:
  • PROTECTION
  • HABITAT
  • EXTERMINATION
The full current text of these statutes and their Regulations may be viewed at the Ontario statute website.

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Table of Contents
1. Forestry Act
2. Crown Forest Sustainability Act
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1. Forestry Act

(a) Forest Tree Pests

The first capacity in which the Forestry Act ('FA') impacts on wild animals is in their capacity as 'forest tree pests', which are defined as "any vertebrate or invertebrate animal or any virus, fungus, or bacterium or other organism that is injurious to trees commonly found growing in a forest or windbreak or the products from such trees" [FA 1(1)].

The Minister may, when they believe that control of a pest infestation is in the 'public interest', "direct an officer to enter upon the land and, at the expense of the Crown, take such measures to prevent, retard, suppress, eradicate or destroy the infestation as the officer considers advisable" [FA 7]. For infestation inspection purposes, FA officers have authority to enter land [FA 8].

(b) Wildlife Conservation Included in Forestry Policy Goals

Wildlife conservation is an integral part of legislative forestry policy in Ontario. The definition of "good forestry practices" includes (amongst other things) seeking to minimize forestry activity-caused "detriments to forest values including significant ecosystems, important fish and wildlife habitat, soil and water quality and quantity" [FA 1(1)]. Additionally, 'forestry purposes' under the Act includes (amongst other things) "provision of proper environmental conditions for wild life ... " [FA 1(1)].


2. Crown Forest Sustainability Act

Wildlife conservation is also an integral part of the policy underpinning the Crown Forest Sustainability Act ('CFSA'). The 'Forest Management Planning Manual' adopts as it's guiding principles that forestry-induced "adverse effects on plant life, animal life, water, soil, air" be minimized, and that "associated ecological processes and biological diversity should be conserved" [CFSA 2(3)]. Additionally, all Minister-approved 'forest management plans' must "have regard to the plant life, animal life, water, soil, air" [CFSA 8(2), 9(2)].

Lastly, where a person "causes or permits damage to water, soil, plant life or habitat for animal life in a Crown forest", then the Minister may either take direct action to "repair the damage or prevent further damage", Order the person to do the same, or both [CFSA 56].

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