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Lawsuit accuses environment minister of failing to protect caribou

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is named in a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group that says her department isn't doing enough to protect boreal caribou.

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Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is named in a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group that says her department isn't doing enough to protect boreal caribou.

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is being sued for not protecting boreal woodland caribou.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society filed the suit in a Montreal court today.

Lawyer Frederic Paquin says the minister has failed to live up to the requirements in the Species at Risk Act to identify gaps in protection and report on the progress to fix that.

He says once a critical habitat for a species at risk has been identified, the minister has six months to determine if any part of that habitat is unprotected and is then required to report on progress every six months until full protection is achieved.

The woodland caribou habitat was identified as critical in 2012 and the society argues there have been no reports since then from the government to explain what progress has been made to protect the land.

The woodland caribou habitat spans nine provinces and territories.

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