In mid-October, the City of Ottawa approved a protocol for wildlife protection during construction. These guidelines will be used as a frame of reference in site planning or subdivision approval,and as part of applications to the city.
The recommendations contained in the protocol however, will likely be turned into conditions for approval of new homes, subdivisions, and condominium developments on a case-by-case basis.
Marianne Wilkinson, councillor for the ward of Kanata North on the western edge of the city likes the protocol.
“It is a very, very important document in my area,” she said. “In my ward we have over 700 species that could be affected, and a few that are on the endangered list.” She is concerned, however, about implementation and having a wildlife-mitigation expert specifically for this task.
For now, builders will receive information packages on the best practices to clear sites. This will include the best times of year to avoid damaging wildlife habitat, and ways to construct buildings to keep creatures out, as well as recognizing species and learning to deal with them.
“It’s a big step forward,” says Wilkinson.