'Nothing left' if Irving case succeeds, says conservation group
There will be little legal protection for migratory birds in Canada if a constitutional challenge put together by J.D. Irving, Ltd. in New Brunswick succeeds, says P.E.I.'s Island Nature Trust.
Irving filed a defence based on the constitutionality of the Migratory Birds Convention Act. A company foreman has been charged under the act after great blue heron nests were allegedly destroyed during the construction of a road on company land at Cambridge Narrows.
Jackie Waddell, executive director of the Island Nature Trust, told CBC News Tuesday her group and others across the country are concerned about the outcome of the trial.
"If it's struck down then there's nothing left to protect these birds across the country," said Waddell.
"There are provincial laws, in each province, and here it's the Wildlife Conservation Act, but they're generally not as strong as something that's federal. And it will take a great deal of power from enforcement and the people that are hired to protect these birds under that act."
Waddell said every migratory bird in Canada could be affected by the court action.
P.E.I. currently has one migratory bird sanctuary and one federal conservation officer to protect the birds.