Lawsuit seeks to force feds to protect endangered species along pipeline route

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Lawsuit seeks to force feds to protect endangered species along pipeline route

VANCOUVER - A coalition of conservation groups is suing the federal environment minister to try and force Ottawa to protect endangered and threatened species along the proposed route of the Northern Gateway pipeline.

The Western Canada Wilderness Committee, the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada, the Sierra Club and Wildsight say the minister is breaking the government's own Species At Risk law.

They're filing applications to the federal court for judicial review in the cases of the Pacific humpback whale, the Nechako white sturgeon, the marbled murrelet and the southern mountain caribou.

The groups say Environment Minister Peter Kent's ongoing refusal to publish a final recovery plan for these species is against the law, and they want the court to compel the minister to do so.

The lawsuit says under the federal Species At Risk Act, final recovery plans that would offer legal protections for these species are long overdue.

Kent told The Canadian Press in Ottawa earlier this month that the act is ineffective and will be overhauled in the coming months.

Organizations: Western Canada Wilderness Committee, David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada Sierra Club Canadian Press

Geographic location: Ottawa, VANCOUVER, Northern Gateway

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