The western chorus frog is listed as threatened by the Species at Risk Act (SARA) with 90% of the frog’s historical range in Southern Ontario and Southwestern Quebec lost to so-called environmental degradation.
And that's when the rights of a tiny endangered frog no one has ever heard of, collided with the endangered property rights of real life people.
Candiac House Group wanted to develop a stretch of land in a suburb of Montreal called La Prairie. The development was to be a 1200 unit housing project, but the land is considered crucial to the chorus frogs’ survival.
In an act of federal tyranny, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna intervened and used the SARA to issue a protection order covering 2km of the frog’s habitat at the urging of environmentalist groups.
No compensation would be paid to the legal owners of the land as the government took jurisdiction over private land, turned it into a protected area and didn't reimburse the owners.
Legal wrangling ensued, and in the end, a federal judge ruled the government should and does have the power to criminalize threats to animals and other species deemed to be at risk anywhere in the country, even if the provinces disagree.
This ruling means it’s now a criminal offence to develop land you own if McKenna says you can't.
We’re entering a new era of green authoritarianism when a frog can help the government steal your property and leave you penniless.