February 24, 2003


Mr. Trevor Swerdfager, Director General

Canadian Wildlife Service

Environment Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0H3


Dear Mr. Swerdfager:                            RE: Species At Risk Act


            Thank you for your February 3rd letter advising of opportunities for continued public discussions of the above-noted legislation.


As an Ontario coalition of private landowner organizations, OPERA has steadfastly supported SARA objectives over the past 5 years while vehemently protesting its glaring inequities. Accordingly, we look forward to participating in any forum where legitimate concerns of private landowners with Bill C-5 are not subordinated to the views of environmental extremists; an imbalance clearly revealed in the statute itself.


We question the delay between Proclamation of any legislation and official disclosure of its supporting Regulations. A traditional manoeuvre of senior governments in Canada to separate political vision from bureaucratic reality, this interval will, on our view, dissipate public interest in C-5 thus creating a vacuum which government agencies and government-funded special interest groups will hasten to fill with regulatory excess. In the present instance it remains to be seen whether or not a series of public seminars will modify, and be seen to modify, that manipulative process.


As suggested, we have E-mailed to Mr. Terry Mueller at the Species At Risk Office several OPERA recommendations for possible agenda inclusion at SARA workshops and public meetings. A hard copy of that E-mail message is herewith enclosed for your records and a copy of this letter has been sent to Mr. Mueller as an E-mail “attachment. Please note these recommendations are by no means complete or final since members and adherents of the OPERA network are expected to submit additional material as and when consultative meetings in Ontario proceed.


Please advise proposed time, date and location of SARA workshops and public meetings to convene in Ontario over the next 3 months.


Yours truly



R.A. (Bob) Fowler