Poirier,Chantal [NCR

Heath,Karla [NCR]
March 3, 2014 10:21 AM
Shafea,Anisa [NCR]; Roberts,Mary Jane [NCR]
Lein,Janis [NCR]
RE: Frog
Thanks Anisa. The info memo Mike references below is with Sue for approval.
From: Shafea,Anisa [NCR]
Sent: February 28, 2014 7:46 PM
To: Heath,Karla [NCR]; Roberts,Mary Jane [NCR]
Subject: FW: Frog
Looping you in.
From: Beale,Mike [NCR]
Sent: February 28, 2014 7:02 PM
To: [NCR]; Mclean,Robert [NCR]; Milburn-Hopwood,Sue [NCR]; Taylor,Mary [NCR]; Klenavic,Nancy [NCR]
Cc: Barrette,Sonia [NCR]; Allain,Jane [NCR]; Gaydamack,Natasha [NCR]
Subject: RE: Frog
Sue, , 1
would like to proceed with an info MtM as we discussed. 1 would really like to sign off on that on Monday
morning. Thx, Mike
Environ ment
MAR 1 Z 2014
(For Information)
To provide you with information with respect to the Western Chorus Frog (Great Lakes/St.
Lawrence-Canadian Shield population) and petitions requesting that an emergency order be
issued to provide protection for the Western Chorus Frog in La Prairie, located on the south shore
of Montréal.
• As you were informed in December 2013 (see MIN-167227, attached), your predecessor
received three petitions requesting that he recommend to the Govemor in Council that an
emergency order be made pursuant to section 80 of the Species at Risk Act to provide for
the protection of the Western Chorus Frogs in La Prairie, located on the south shore of
Montréal. The petitioners state that a proposed residential real estate development project
will harm the species and its habitat in one of the local populations ofthis species.
• This project is now moving forward. In mid-February 2014, Quebec authorized work to
relocate a stream in the La Prairie area. It is expected that the authorizations for the
infrastructure aspects of the real estate development project will follow within the next
few months and that the project will be initiated shortly afterward.
• The Department's view is that the Western Chorus Frog does not face an imminent threat
toits survival or recovery.
• The Department sent letters to the petitioners indicating this view (attached).
• There bas been recent media attention in La Presse about the residential development
and the alleged failure of the federal and provincial govemments to protect the Western
Chorus Frog. It is anticipated that the media will continue to report on the proposed
development and its impact on the Western Chorus Frog. Media lines are available and
will be revised as needed.
The Western Chorus Frog is a small amphibian approximately 2.5 cm long which reproduces in
temporary wetlands. The species is particularly vulnerable to changes in surface water drainage
patterns and requires a territory composed of varied terrestrial habitats and a cluster oftemporary
The 2008 status report prepared by the Committee on the Status of Wildlife in Canada
(COSEWIC) for the Western Chorus Frog describes declines of approximately 40% over a 10-
year period both in Quebec and in Ontario. The current population is small and is exposed to
ongoing losses of habitat and breeding sites due to suburban expansion and alteration in farming
practices, which have resulted in losses of populations and isolation ofremaining habitat patches.
The species is found in Que bec and Ontario. The direct mariagement of the Western Chorus Frog
is under provincial jurisdiction except where the species occurs on federal lands.
Quebec intends to authorize the municipality of La Prairie to build utility infrastructures and to
conduct work in wetlands for a residential real estate development project called "Bois de la
Commune" that involves the construction of about 1200 residential unîts on 40 ha.
Section 80 of SARA provides the federal government with the authority to make an emergency
order to protect a listed species. The specific wording in the act is as follows:
80. (1) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the competent minister,
make an emergency order to provide for the protection of a listed wildlife species.
(2) The competent minister must make the recommendation ifhe or she is of the opinion
that the species faces imminent threats to· its survival or recovery.
The current threat to the species relates to habitat destruction continuing across the species'
range in Quebec and Ontario due to suburban expansion and alteration in farming practices.
Although the decline of the Western Chorus Frog across all of southern Quebec and Ontario can
be classified as biologically serious and sudden, Environment Canada concludes that the scale of
the actions contemplated at the La Prairie site does not threaten the continued existence of the
species elsewhere in Ontario and Quebec and thus the Western Chorus Frog is not facing an
imminent threat toits survival or recovery.
A proposed· recovery strategy containing information about critical habitat for the Western
Chorus Frog is now ready to be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry. A copy of the
proposed recovery strategy will be sent to your Office before it is posted. Environment Canada
worked with Quebec and Ontario in developing the proposed recovery strategy.
• The Department will continue work to complete the recovery strategy and to identify
critical habitat of the Western Chorus Frog in Quebec and Ontario and then work with
Quebec and other partners to ensure the downstream protection of that critical habitat, as
per the requirements of SARA.
• Communications bas been engaged and updated media lines on the Western Chorus Frog
issue will be developed as required.
Attachments (4):
Bob Hamilton
Deputy Minister
c.c. Andrea Lyon
• MIN-167227
• Letter to Christian Simard
• Letter ta
• Letter to
Andrea Lyon
Associate Deputy Minister
c.c. Bob Hamilton