David Coon, the executive director of the Conservation Council, says the proposed legislation has weaknesses identified during consultation last year. ((CBC))

Environmental advocates in New Brunswick are not impressed with the provincial government's proposed new legislation to deal with endangered species.

The goal is to align provincial regulations with national standards, but members of the New Brunswick Conservation Council say the existing legislation is better.

Michael Olscamp, minister of agriculture, aquaculture, and fisheries, introduced the bill Thursday.

The proposed act would replace the current Endangered Species Act.

The bill includes plans to form an independent committee of experts to advise government and recovery planning for endangered species.

"In summary, the new Species Act at Risk will send a clear message that New Brunswick is a progressive and responsible jurisdiction, making every effort to ensure the protection of  species at risk," Olscamp said.

David Coon, executive director of the group, says the new rules are a step in the wrong direction.

"It still has the weaknesses that we identified during the consultation period last year, which is first and foremost, it does not any longer protect the habitat of endangered species."

Coon said he wants to see public hearings before new legislation is put in place.

There's no word on whether the government will act on that suggestion, but there is a chance for public input before the bill is passed.