QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the UN global scientific report on biodiversity:

“The timing of this report could not be more damning for a government that is dismantling environmental protections, punctuated by last week’s housing bill that gives big developers the ability to bulldoze the places we love in Ontario.

Globally, one in eight species are headed for extinction, as species loss soars to an unprecedented level in human history, not seen since the dinosaurs died off.

Killing species and destroying their habitat is a direct threat to humans, risking life support systems that provide food production, pollination, clean drinking water and flood mitigation.

In Ontario, the disappearance of pollinators including bees and butterflies would be catastrophic for our $40 billion food and farming sector. Paving over the earth’s ability to absorb excess water will lead to more extreme flooding.

Yet, the Premier plans to abandon responsibility to protect Ontario’s 243 threatened and endangered species by gutting the Endangered Species Act. 

If passed, Bill 108 will open the floodgates to the habitat destruction that is directly connected to the global extinction crisis.

The changes not only ignore the science of this report, they fly in the face of the people of Ontario, 98% of whom called for strong protection in the Endangered Species consultation.

But the government is plowing forward with new loopholes and exemptions that will grease the wheels for more forest, wetland and habitat loss.

I urge the Premier to read this report and strongly consider the permanent and irreversible loss of wildlife that his actions are causing.”