TORONTO | Traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples — In response to the federal government’s announcement today about boreal caribou protection measures in Ontario, Rachel Plotkin, boreal project manager at the David Suzuki Foundation, issued the following statement:

“It’s deeply frustrating that status quo forestry operations in Ontario will continue to log intact habitat until at least April 2024, when a reassessment is conducted. Despite putting money on the table, Ontario has made no indication that it plans to adhere to the science-based disturbance thresholds for maintenance and restoration of caribou habitat that it was first directed to apply in 2012.

“Science about the relationships between disturbance and caribou survival has been available since 2008, and the federal recovery strategy that directed provinces to develop plans for each caribou range that incorporate a threshold for disturbance was released in 2012.

“Ontario has failed to apply the disturbance thresholds in its forest-management process. Rather, it has turned its back on caribou by exempting the forest industry from the Endangered Species Act. Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy, released in 2020, outlines plans to double the amount logged in the province.

“The federal statement does, however, provide transparency for how and when Ontario’s caribou efforts will be evaluated by the federal government, which is a welcome addition. Usually, when recommendations are made to cabinet, the public is in the dark.

“The commitment to ensure that Ontario provides expert-led, evidence-based approaches that are in alignment with federal-provincial boreal caribou conservation frameworks is significant: it will be critical to ensure that the experts selected are not affiliated with industry.

“It would be a remarkable about-face for the province to do what it takes to protect caribou. We hope the threat of the safety-net order, and the transparency surrounding it, will finally provide adequate motivation.”

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For more information or media interviews, please contact:

Stefanie Carmichael,, 437-221-4692

The David Suzuki Foundation ( | @DavidSuzukiFdn) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, founded in 1990. We operate in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. We collaborate with all people in Canada, including First Nations leadership and communities, governments, businesses and individuals to find solutions to create a sustainable Canada through scientific research, traditional ecological knowledge, communications and public engagement, and innovative policy and legal solutions. Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future.