Canada fisheries department fined over killer whales

The Federal Court of Canada ordered the federal fisheries department Tuesday to pay Ecojustice $80,000 in court costs in a case in which Ottawa last Dec. 7 was found to not be protecting critical habitat of resident killer whales as required under the Species At Risk Act. Justice James Russell ordered the payment, in part, because the fisheries department had taken an “unjustifiably evasive and obstructive approach to these proceedings for no other purpose than to thwart the Applicants’ attempts to bring important public issues before the Court which the Respondents had failed to clarify. “This has resulted in substantial and unnecessary difficulty and expense to the Applicants, and unnecessarily lengthened and complicated the proceedings.” Ecojustice executive director Devon Page said in response that federal fisheries was “almost bizarrely obstructive in our legal case to identify and protect orca habitat and got spanked for it.” The $80,000 covers legal fees incurred by nine environmental groups, including Sierra Club, David Suzuki Foundation, and Greenpeace, who hired Ecojustice to fight their case.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

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