A Quebec Company Got Busted For Illegal Snow-Clearing & Slapped With A $40,000 Fine

The frog said no sir!

Senior Editor
A tractor blows snow on a field.

A tractor blows snow on a field.

A Quebec company found out the hard way it can't clear its snow wherever it wants and now has to pay up $40,000. The reason: the Western Chorus Frog, a threatened (and super cute) local species whose habitat had become the company's snow removal grounds last winter.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) said it discovered the offence while its wildlife enforcement officers were performing a routine patrol of an area subject to special environmental protection in La Prairie on the Montreal South Shore.

This specific section of the frog's habitat has been subject to an emergency protection order since June 2016. ECCC says it comprises about two kilometres of "partially developed land" in Candiac, La Prairie and Saint-Philippe, Quebec.

An investigation following the officers' discovery of debris in snowbanks revealed that a lumberyard belonging to Canac-Marquis Grenier Ltée had over the course of three months blown snow right onto the habitat, ECCC explained.

On November 24, the company plead guilty to an offence under the emergency order and the Species at Risk Act and was slapped with the $40,000 fine.

"The Emergency Order for the Protection of the Western Chorus Frog prohibits the depositing, discharging, dumping, or immersing of any material or substance, including snow, within the enforcement area of the order," the federal agency explains in a press release. "The Species at Risk Act prohibits killing or harming a wildlife species that is listed as threatened and the damaging or destroying of its habitat."

"The prohibitions set out in the Emergency Order aim to prevent the degradation or loss of habitat needed by the western chorus frog for its recovery and to prevent activities that could harm the species."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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