Montreal, October 22, 2021 – Today, the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE) and the Société pour la nature et les parcs (SNAP Québec) filed a lawsuit in federal court against Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, seeking to compel the minister to recommend the issuance of an order targeting the section of the critical habitat of chorus frogs located in Longueuil. At the same time, the organizations also initiated proceedings before the Superior Court of Quebec with the main objective of obtaining suspension of work and activities that may alter the critical habitat of chorus frogs. 

The Species at Risk Act is clear and requires the Minister to recommend protection of the critical habitat when a province does not adequately do so. By seeking redress, we’re giving notice – ringing the recess bell as it were– that there will be no more delays in the protection of species at risk in Quebec,” indicates Alain Branchaud, executive director of SNAP Québec. 

“It is frankly regrettable to have to, once again, turn to the courts to protect this threatened species. The Quebec government has abdicated its responsibilities, the threat is clear, and the federal minister’s obligations are just as obvious,asserts Geneviève Paul, executive director of the CQDE. “We hope that our legal actions will finally lead to suspension of the work before it’s too late,” she adds.

It is worth remembering that after a number of weeks of calling for federal government action, and given provincial government inertia and the urgency to counteract the destruction of the chorus frog habitats in Longueuil, both organizations issued an ultimatum to the federal government last week

While governments are obviously stalling for time, the work on the extension of Boulevard Béliveau in Longueuil continues at a frantic pace. As evidenced in photos taken this week by the newspapers Le Devoir and La Presse, destruction of the area designated as the essential habitat of chorus frogs is already well underway.

The two organizations do not exclude other legal recourse in the days ahead to move forward on this issue.