“Boralex Inc. – Port Ryerse Wind Farm Limited Partnership has submitted a proposal in relation to an overall benefit permit under clause 17(2)(c) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) with respect to Barn Owl in order to construct and operate a Wind Generation Facility near Port Ryerse, Broken Front Concession, Geographic Township of Woodhouse, County of Norfolk.”
The proposal to construct and operate a Wind Generation Facility has the potential to adversely affect Barn Owl as described in regulation. The proposed permit conditions would provide benefits that exceed
the adverse effects on Barn Owl and their habitat.
Barn Owl is listed on the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) List, in O. Reg. 230/08 of the ESA, as Endangered.
Subsection 9(1) of the ESA provides for the protection of endangered, threatened (and extirpated) species on the SARO List.
Habitat protection under the ESA applies to Barn Owl (subsection 10(1)). The specific habitat of Barn Owl has been prescribed by section 24.1 of O. Reg. 242/08.
The ESA allows some activities to proceed under a clause 17(2)(c) permit with specific conditions if: avoidance and reasonable alternatives have been considered; adverse effects will be minimized; and an overall benefit will be achieved for the species in Ontario. Providing an overall benefit to a protected species under the ESA involves undertaking actions to improve circumstances for the species in Ontario. Overall benefit is more than “no net loss” or an exchange of “like for like”. Overall benefit is grounded in the protection and recovery of the species at risk and must include more than mitigation measures or “replacing” what is lost. Read more and file comment