In 2019, Ecojustice launched a lawsuit aimed at protecting five herds of boreal caribou in Alberta: the Red Earth, Richardson, West Side Athabasca River, East Side Athabasca River, and Cold Lake herds.
On behalf of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation, Alberta Wilderness Association, and the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice asked the court to compel the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to recommend a safety net order to protect boreal caribou habitat under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).
In 2020, Ecojustice discontinued this lawsuit after the Minister informed our clients he would make a recommendation.
Unfortunately, the federal government opted not to follow the Minister’s recommendation. Instead, it says it will rely on a conservation agreement with the province to protect boreal caribou.
Under the plan, the Alberta Government will be responsible for delivering range plans for caribou herds in northeastern Alberta within five years. At the time of the announcement, there were no plans for interim protections for caribou or their habitat.