Property owner convicted for damaging endangered species habitat ordered by court to pay approximately $490,000 for recovery efforts

Ottawa ON (9/9/2021) – Convicted – 1041400 Ontario Inc. operating as M&A Rentals Inc. Court Location – Ottawa

Description of Offence – The conviction relates to the company unlawfully damaging the habitat of a threatened species, as listed under the Species at Risk in Ontario List (the Blanding’s Turtle), contrary to s.10(l)(a) of the Endangered Species Act, 2007

Date of Offence – During the period beginning on or about December 2016 and ending on or about May 2017

Date of Conviction – August 26, 2021

Penalty Imposed – 1041400 Ontario Inc. operating as M&A Rentals Inc. was convicted of damaging Blanding’s Turtle habitat. A court order was issued that ordered the company to:

Complete the proposed enhancement work outlined under the Endangered Species Act Permit on the property’s Feedmill Creek corridor, which is expected to cost M&A Rentals Inc. approximately $400,000 over the life of the project (until 2025).
Pay $90,000 to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to assist in the protection or recovery of Blanding’s Turtles.

Background –

1041400 Ontario Inc. operating as M&A Rentals Inc. owns a property in the City of Ottawa.
In April 2016, during a meeting with City of Ottawa staff, the company was advised that the property contained Blanding’s Turtle habitat and that the turtle species is listed as threatened under the ESA. The city also indicated that the company would require a permit from the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry if the habitat was to be altered.
From December 2016 to May 2017, portions of the property were cleared by heavy equipment retained by the company and included the cutting/removal of shrubs and other vegetation and the movement of topsoil that was pushed into piles and berms on-site.
An investigation was initiated by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.
The investigation revealed that the company had damaged Blanding’s Turtle habitat by reducing or eliminating wet and vegetated areas utilized by the species for cover, feeding and migration purposes.
At the time the work was completed, no permit had been obtained by the company.

Contact: Gary Wheeler Communications Branch gary.s.wheeler@ontario.ca 416-314-6666