On June 27, 2018, Simpson’s Num-Ti-Jah Lodge Ltd., operating within the boundaries of Banff National Park, pleaded guilty in the Provincial Court of Alberta to violating the Migratory Birds Regulations contrary to the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Canada National Parks Act. The defendant was fined $27,000, which will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund. In addition to the fine, the defendant was ordered to write an article on the incident, for publication in a local newspaper.
In August 2016, Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers and Parks Canada wardens conducted a joint inspection at Simpson’s Num-Ti-Jah Lodge Ltd. after receiving a report that Barn Swallow nests had been removed from the lodge. The inspection revealed that one egg and four nests had been removed and destroyed by maintenance staff employed by the lodge.
Following this investigation, charges were laid under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Canada National Parks Act for disturbing a migratory bird nest, contrary to the Migratory Birds Regulations; for contravening a condition of a licence issued under the National Parks of Canada Lease and Licence of Occupation Regulations; and for disturbing or destroying a nest in Banff National Park, contrary to the National Parks Wildlife Regulations.
The defendant was convicted of these three offences, and, as a result, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.
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In November 2017, the Barn Swallow was designated as a threatened species under the federal Species at Risk Act. It is an offence under the Migratory Birds Regulations for anyone to kill, hunt, capture, injure, harass, take, or disturb a migratory bird or to damage, destroy, remove, or disturb migratory bird eggs, nests, and nest shelters, without a permit. Permits are available only under specific circumstances: scientific purposes (scientific collection, educational, salvage, and rehabilitation); aviculture; taxidermy; damage or danger; airport safety; and migratory game bird hunting.
Environment and Climate Change Canada enforces federal wildlife legislation that protects plant and animal species throughout Canada. The Department works in collaboration with other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments, and international agencies and organizations.
Under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, Environment and Climate Change Canada is mandated to protect migratory birds, their nests, and populations, and it regulates potentially harmful human activities that may impact them.
The Environmental Damages Fund is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It was created in 1995 to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to projects that will benefit our environment.