London firms fined for hunting birds, destroying nests – The London Free Press

Two London-area construction companies have been fined $20,000 for violating the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

Late last month, 1926705 Ontario Inc. (operating as AAR-CON Excavating) of Delaware, and M.T. Johnstone Construction Ltd. of London each pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully hunting migratory birds, and one count of destroying migratory bird nests.

Both companies were sentenced to pay $10,000 in fines, with the total $20,000 penalty going toward the federal government’s Environmental Damages Fund. The fund directs fines, court orders and voluntary payments from environmental violations to projects that benefit the environment.

In May 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada received a complaint that approximately 100 bank swallow nests had been destroyed at a residential construction project in Mount Brydges, west of London.

An enforcement officer saw a freshly excavated soil berm with numerous birds flying in and out of more than 30 remaining nest shelter entrance holes in the berm.

Under the Migratory Birds Regulations, it’s prohibited to hunt a migratory bird as well as attempt to kill, capture, injure or harass a migratory bird in any way. The regulations also prohibit the destruction, removal or disturbance of migratory bird eggs, nests and nest shelters without a permit. Permits are only available under specific conditions.

Over the last 40 years, Canada has lost 98 per cent of its bank swallow population and the bird was listed as a threatened species in Canada in November 2017.