Good news for white sturgeon, the pacific humpback whale, the marbled murrelet, the southern mountain woodland caribou and over 200 other critters. In a spectacular victory for environmental groups and the critters, the Federal Court has ruled that the Ministers of Environment and Fisheries broke the law, and were negligent in their lack of enforcement of the Species At Risk Act.
The judgment said those recovery plans could have an impact on the approval of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, which will affect all four of the species cited in the case.
The court heard that lack of resources for the government departments came up time and again during the court challenge, but the Conservative government refused to cite lack of funding as an excuse for what were found to be deliberate delays.
There is apparently no penalty when the government breaks the law, but the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada, the Sierra Club of British Columbia, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and Wildsight were awarded $22,000 in costs.