Post Office Box 483, Durham, Ontario, NOG 1RO
Phone (519) 369-2195   /   Fax; (519) 369-2992
opera@bmts.com  /  Web Page: www.bmts.com/~opera/


On Tuesday, November 19, 2002 OPERA presented oral and written commentary to the Standing Committee on Energy, Environment and Natural Resources in the Canadian Senate concerning Bill C-5, the proposed federal Species At Risk Act. The written submission is recited verbatim on the above OPERA web page while a complete transcript of the oral presentation can be viewed at:


 This commentary was delivered in conjunction with testimony from the Alberta Land Resources Partnership, who share OPERA’s views on several critical issues, such as landowner compensation, latent criminalization, due diligence and punitive excess, raised by this legislation.

Although Bill C-5 without amendment subsequently received Royal Assent on December 12, 2002, Appendix “B” in the Journals of the Senate on December 4th addresses several concerns raised in the LRP/OPERA submissions. An extract from that record is particularly significant:

 “Your Committee believes that the government has a moral obligation to ensure that those who suffer economic losses from a prohibition on killing/harvesting an endangered species receive the same consideration with regard to compensation, as do those who suffer a loss as a result of having to protect the critical habitat of such a species.

With regard to compensation your Committee expects that the regulations developed to implement these provisions of the legislation will encompass the following four principles:

Fair market value should be a starting point of the measure of compensation

Monetary compensation may not always be the most appropriate form of compensation and other forms may be made available

It is possible that the implementation of this legislation could cause a major disruption to a person’s livelihood and reduction of their net worth. Consequently, no artificial limits should be placed on compensation.

Completing due diligence should not be a debilitating burden on farmers and other groups. The government must set out details of what tasks will satisfy due diligence requirements and take steps to ensure that the time and cost be fully compensated”

A transcript of Committee observations and recommendations with respect to Bill C-5 as recorded in Appendix “B” of the December 4th Senate Journals can be viewed in its entirety at:


We commend this summarized report to the careful attention of OPERA web site visitors, especially the 2 above-noted Internet addresses at which related transcripts of oral submissions to, and written comments from, the Senate Standing Committee can be found.


“To protect, and entrench in law, landowner rights and responsibilities”


If you have any questions or comments, please Mr. R. A. Fowler, Secretary.
or write
O.P.E.R.A. c/o R.A. Fowler, Secretary P.O. Box 483, Durham, Ontario. N0G 1R0