Environment and Climate Change Canada (“ECCC”) reports that, on January 2, 2019, Syncrude Canada Ltd. (“Syncrude), pleaded guilty in the Provincial Court of Alberta to violating the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and was sentenced to pay a fine of $1.775 million, which will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.
Under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, ECCC is authorized to protect migratory birds, their nests, and populations and to regulate potentially harmful human activities that may impact them.
On August 7, 2015, ECCC’s wildlife enforcement officers received a report of 31 deceased great blue herons that were exposed to bitumen at the Syncrude Mildred Lake facility. ECCC’s investigation confirmed 31 great blue herons were found in an abandoned sump, and 30 of the birds were deceased upon discovery.
Syncrude was charged with depositing a substance that is harmful to migratory birds or permitting the deposit of such a substance in waters or an area frequented by migratory birds or in a place from which the substance may enter such waters or such an area.
ECCC notes that wildlife crimes may be reported anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) with a possible reward of up to $2,000.
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